The Very Real Threat of the D.M.C.A.

If you have any doubts about the chilling effect of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on free speech, take a gander at this article from Salon. A British medical research firm has used the Act to force a U.S. ISP to remove the page of animal rights group critical of their work:

On Thursday, EnviroLink Network, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Internet service provider, took offline two Web sites belonging to the animal-rights activist group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. The action came in response to a letter sent to the ISP earlier in the week by Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British medical research firm. Citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Huntingdon accused the activists of violating its copyright. Although no charges have yet been filed, under the terms of the DMCA, Envirolink was forced to remove the sites to avoid potential legal liability. \"It\'s very clear that Huntingdon Life Sciences just wants to shut them up,\" says Josh Knauer, the founder of Envirolink, which provides free Web hosting to nonprofits . . .

More. This is a truly disgusting development.

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