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  • joly 8:18 pm on 07/06/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , England, , ICE, ,   

    ICE seeking extraditions of foreign website owners #copyright #netfreedom 

    Peter Walker of UK newspaper The Guardian reports that United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is looking to extradite owners of websites it believes are breaking US copyrights – even if their servers are not based in America or are legal in their own countries. The rationale is that the use of generic top level domain names like .com and .net, administered by Verisign in the US, provides “nexus” thus giving them jurisdiction. At issue is the case of tvshack.net – a linking site run by British student Richard O’Dwyer. The domain already was seized by ICE. O’Dwyer now faces extradition. Walker quotes ICE Assistant director Erik Barnett:

    “Without wishing to get into the particulars of any case, the general goal of law enforcement is to arrest and prosecute individuals who are committing crimes. That is our goal, our mission. The idea is to try to prosecute.”

    On linking:

    “I’ll give you an analogy. A lot of drug dealing is done by proxy – you rarely give the money to the same person that you get the dope from. I think the question is, are any of these people less culpable?”

    In England there are calls to amend the extradition agreement with the US so that a UK judge can decide jurisdiction on individual cases..

  • joly 11:57 pm on 03/07/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: domain seizures, ICE, ,   

    Video: Rep. Zoe Lofgren vs Victoria Espinel on domain takedowns 

    On Mar 1 2011 the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held a hearing “Oversight of the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator” wherein they grilled U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, aka White House ‘IP Czar’. In the course of the proceedings Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D – CA) took Espinel to task on several counts concerning the recent ICE “Operation In Our Sites” domain seizures – due process; ignoring DMCA provisions; first amendment rights; fair use considerations; plus bumbled operations, receiving little more than platitudes in response. Video is here or below.

  • joly 2:47 am on 02/16/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: COICA, , , ICE, , ,   

    U.S. Senate Hearing on seizing websites – 2/16 

    In contrast to Feb 15’s Hillary Clinton speech about Internet Freedom on Feb. 16 2011,  the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled “Targeting Websites Dedicated To Stealing American Intellectual Property“. This was a followup to last year’s shelving of the COICA Act and the recent DHS-ICE site seizures – which some consider to be of dubious legality. Witnesses include representatives of the Authors Guild, Go Daddy, Verizon, and Visa. There was be a webcast.

    Witness Statements

    Tom Adams – Rosetta Stone Inc
    Scott Turow – Authors Guild
    Christine Jones – Go Daddy
    Thomas Dailey – Verizon
    Denise Yee – Visa

    Member Statements
    Patrick Leahy Chair
    Chuck Grassley
    Al Franken

  • joly 8:57 am on 01/12/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ICE,   

    Is there such a thing as “criminal contributory infringement”? #ICE #copyright #dns #freeculture 

    Mike Masnick of techdirt argues that recent seizures of domain names by Homeland Security’s Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) group have dubious legal validity. Even the Supreme Court’s embrace of the concept of “inducement as contributory infringement” in the Grokster case didn’t contemplate it as criminal activity.

    The actual seizure itself was handled clumsily, using outside contractors. The tracking of visitors to the seized sites contrary to government policy led many observers to initially conclude the whole thing was an elaborate hoax. This was compounded by the ICE delaying public statements so they could make a splash on “Black Monday”. Techdirt further noted in December just how inept and flimsy the case against one site – torrent-finder – was. If the standard – commercial sites that link to web items that advocate or facilitate filesharing – was applied across the board, the ICE would have to seize a large portion of the entire web!

    • joly 7:28 pm on 01/19/2011 Permalink | Reply

      Jan 19:

      ICE director John Morton said Tuesday. In “every single case,” federal investigators were able to obtain materials that infringe copyright from the websites that had their domain names seized, Morton said during a speech at the Congressional Internet Caucus’ State of the ‘Net conference.

      The operators of Torrent-finder.com, a BitTorrent search engine, and two hip-hop music blogs, have questioned why their domain names were seized. ICE and the DOJ “spent a lot of time” examining the websites, and the agencies did not honor all of the requests to take action that they received from copyright holders, Morton said.

      The owners of those sites can challenge the seizures in court, Morton added. The seizures have also started a lively debate about copyright protections in the U.S., and “that’s a good thing,” he added.

      [Source: Computerworld

      • joly 3:57 am on 02/08/2011 Permalink | Reply

        The video of this is now online:

        Morton starts talking about domain takedowns at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWZY_LujUhc&feature=player_detailpage#t=328s

        • In all cases they obtained illicit goods via the sites before obtaining warrants.
        • He says they served the registries.
        • All seizures can be challenged in federal court.
        • After they seized 8 sites in June, 81 more sites shut down voluntarily.
        • One re-emerged under a different name. Working with UK police it was again shutdown.
        • Seizure banners have received 25m hits. Some sites got more hits after seizure.
        • After 131 referrals from industry they enforced 81 in November. (81 obviously a magic number)
        • Pirates don’t pay taxes or health care, invest in America.
        • Criticism provides publicity which is helpful..
        • Not interested in limiting speech or due process
        • Internet is not above the law.

        Then, in answer to question, about whther this set a bad example for Internet freedom in other countries.

        • All except 5 sites were selling counterfeit hard goods.
        • In the case of the 5 sites, special care taken to establish 1) content is illicit, and 2) knowingly supplied, in order to obtain court order.
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