How can businesses ensure that the government won't mistakenly shut down your website?
SilverHawk 2 years ago
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) went on a major campaign against unauthorized music and sports streaming and the sale of counterfeit goods. Using Federal forfeiture laws intended to seize property like automobiles and houses purchased with funds acquired through illegal activity such as drug trafficking, they seized over 350 web domains. In this campaign, called Operation in Our Sites (grrrr, please, give me better puns for my tax dollars), they seized dajas1.com, a site that was often used by labels and artists to give fans previews of upcoming music. The DHS through ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) named 4 songs that were on the site, apparently reported to them by the RIAA. Problem was that at least 3 of the 4 songs were provided directly to the site by execs at record companies. dajas1.com was taken down for a year, with all proceedings sealed so the site owner could not see anything beyond the initial complaint by ICE alleging copyright violations for the 4 songs. There was no access to court records beyond the complaint, not by the defendant, not by the defendant's lawyer, no one. How can you defend yourself if you are denied access to your own case? After a year, ICE returned the site, with the bare explanation that the forfeiture was unwarranted. WHAT?!?!
It it could happen to dajas1.com, what is to prevent ICE from mistakenly seizing any other domain name, and putting you out of business online? I use images and music that is in the public domain on my website, and can prove it if I am given the chance. Is there anything companies can do to protect ourselves against this type of action, which would be absolutely devastating to my business?
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