COPA Law struck down as unconstitutional

  • Bigwebmaster
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A federal appeals court struck down as unconstitutional a Clinton-era law that would have forced websites with adult material to verify visitors' ages, dealing another blow to the government in a 10-year court battle over net censorship.

The 3rd U.S. Circurt Court of Appeals upheld on Tuesday a 2007 lower-court decision that the Child Online Protection Act violated the First Amendment since it was not the most effective way to keep children from visiting adult websites.

The Justice Department has been defending COPA since its passage in 1998, when the ACLU and others filed suit against the censorship law and won an immediate injunction. Since then, the court battle has made its way twice to the Supreme Court, though the government has never won any clear battles in the dispute.

COPA makes it a crime to knowingly post material that is "harmful to minors" on the web for "commercial purposes" without having some method -- such as a credit card -- to verify a visitor's age.

Critics assailed the law for infantilizing the internet and requiring website operators -- including news sites -- to live in fear of prosecution if even a small part of their website contained adult material.


http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/0 ... rship.html

This law is actually different from COPPA which is why Ozzu asks the age of someone signing up as a member. If they are under 13 we require that they have their parents sign a form giving them permission. Here are some of the different acts:

COPPA: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
COPA: Child Online Protection Act
CIPA: Children's Internet Protection Act
CPPA: Child Pornography Prevention Act

Quote:
COPPA is enforced by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. It requires U.S.-based websites that collect personal information from people under the age of 13 to obtain permission from parents or guardians before asking for such data. It prohibits websites from requiring the collection of personal information as a prerequisite for accessing online interactive services (such as chat rooms), and allows parents to determine, review (and delete) any data on kids that is provided to online services, and block any further data collection.


Quote:
COPPA went into effect April 21, 2000, but was actually signed into law by President Clinton in 1998-- a significant year that also saw the passage of COPA by Congress.


Quote:
COPA, passed in October 1998, treated activity involving the publishing (for commercial purposes) of communications or content (particularly sexual in nature that includes material harmful to minors, but that also does not restrict access to minors. Under COPA, violators could expect up to a $50,000 fine, six months in jail, and/or additional civil fines. COPA was basically a second attempt by Congress to pass a federal law that would shield children from harmful online content.


http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/593/2/96/
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm glad you spelled it out for me, I thought there was a typo at first being I was unaware there was any difference.

I think there's going to be alot of legal shakeups in comming years now that some of these Internet laws have been in place long enough to provide real data for experts and lawmakers to analyze.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Interesting. I guess I never paid much attention to the difference between COPPA and COPA. Basically looked at both of them and assumed they were identical.
  • RicerXX
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here is a Solution that has been around for awhile that no one has done. Create the .xxx TLD domain. Allow all adult sites to register the .com they currently own as a .xxx Then require any Adult sites that are graphic and porn in nature move to this .xxx. Parents can then black whole all .xxx in one shot and no more porn on the computer or work computers. Done.
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

have you seen what a .xxx domain name will cost you ... ?

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