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Seized Site's Lawyer: US Breaking The Law By Taking Domain Names

Postby sunnyd » Tue May 08, 2012 6:01 pm

Story : http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/05/seized-sites-lawyer-us-breaking-

Dajaz1, the hip hop blog whose domain was seized and then held for a year by the United States government before being returned without any charges filed, came out swinging against the government and the Recording Industry Association of America on Monday. In a blog post, Dajaz1 attorney Andrew Bridges called the government's legal position "stunning" and compared the dajaz1.com domain's year in legal limbo to a "digital Guantanamo."

Bridges pointed out that Dajaz1's alleged crime consisted of posting four links to infringing files hosted by third-party websites. "Seizing a blog for linking to four songs, even allegedly infringing ones, is equivalent to seizing the printing press of the New York Times because the newspaper, in its concert calendar, refers readers to four concerts where the promoters of those concerts have failed to pay ASCAP for the performance licenses," he argued.

"The original seizure was unjustified," Bridges wrote. "The delay was unjustified. The secrecy in extensions of the forfeiture deadlines was unjustified."

Indeed, Bridges doesn't just believe the seizure of his own client's site was illegal. He argues that the 2008 PRO-IP Act, which provided the basis for all such seizures, doesn't authorize the seizure of link or locker sites at all. Bridges wrote that the legislation only allows "seizures of property used in connection with the making of, or trafficking in, 'articles' in violation of copyright law." He argued that an intangible song download is not an "article." If his interpretation of the statute is correct, then neither sites that host infringing files nor those that link to them are subject to seizure under the PRO-IP Act.



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