US Copyright Czar Questioned On Domain Seizures

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Techdirt posted a great clip of U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren questioning copyright Czar Victoria Espinel. Among other things the Czar is questioned about the necessity of spending tax dollars on shutting down blogs, and on the absence of due process.

Below’s Lofgren’s statement in response to Espinel’s claims of due process, referencing the 84,000 innocent websites that were accused of trading Child pornography.

“With all due respect, judges sign a lot of things… For example, the FreeDNS takedown — it wasn’t a copyright enforcement, but “supposedly” a child pornography enforcement — ICE took down 84,000 websites of small business people that have nothing to do with child pornography at all. And put up a little banner saying “this was taken down for child pornography.” Really smearing them. If I were them, I’d sue the Department. These were just small businesses. They had nothing to do with anything, and yet a judge signed that. So, if that’s the protection, it’s no protection. I want to know, what is the Department doing to think about the affirmative defenses, to think about — yes, there’s piracy, and all of us are united that we gotta do something about piracy — but there’s also a First Amendment that you should be considering when you go and destroy a small business. Are you thinking about that?”

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