The raid, one year later | Bleader

Friday, December 9, 2011

The raid, one year later

Posted By on 12.09.11 at 04:30 PM

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Pretty much everyone—including a lot of intellectual-property holders both big and small—has come to accept that file sharing and myriad other forms of copyright infringement are the status quo, at least for the time being, but the more megalithic IP owners are having a much more antagonistic reaction to this state of affairs. As in militantly antagonistic. Since they also have a lot more lobbying presence in Washington, they're getting a lot more government support than civilians who, say, run hip-hop leak blogs.

Just over a year ago the Justice Department and the Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement wing raided a number of hip-hop blogs (and a BitTorrent hosting site) that were allegedly sharing copyrighted works illegally, seizing the sites and posting banners notifying visitors of the sites' alleged illegal activities.

Even at the time the legal reasoning behind the ICE raid seemed a little shaky. Today Techdirt posted a lengthy explanation of exactly how legally flawed the whole operation really was. Considering that our government has increasingly taken it upon itself to act as Big Content's personal security force, it's necessary reading for anyone with even a passing interest in copyright, the First Amendment, censorship, and the role of our government in corporations' affairs.

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