A Dutch advocacy group, Bits of Freedom, signed up with 10 ISPs and used the websites to host text by an author who died in 1887. They then sent a ‘complaint’ demanding via a Hotmail account that ‘copyright infringing’ content be pulled by the 10 ISPs.
Seven of the ten providers (ISPs Tiscali, Wanadoo, Demon Internet and Planet Internet; hosting firms Yourhosting, iFast and Active24) pulled the content without either scrutinising the ‘offending’ website or demonstrating a basic understanding of copyright law.
Bits of Freedom said its test show a worrying willingness to comply with complaints without question. “It only takes a Hotmail account to bring a website down and freedom of speech stands no chance against Texan-style private ISP justice,” it concludes.
And with everything we say online being scrutinised via Echelon, everyone’s just a bit too jumpy. Doesn’t anyone have a healthy disrespect for authority anymore??