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Preventing Piracy or the Slippery Slope Towards Internet Censorship?

Posted on February 21 2010 7:29 pm
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NBC’s general counsel Rick Cotton is calling for filters on Internet content in order to stop online piracy. The idea is to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to place filters on content in order to protect intellectual property.

I certainly do not defend any type of piracy, but using Internet filters, which will be designed by ISPs, portends an incredibly slippery slope towards Internet censorship. Until now, the remedy has been pursuit of lawsuits against violators. This process worked to transform Napster into a pay service and eventually led to the highly successful iTunes.

NBC is in the process of being acquired by Comcast, which is currently the largest Internet Service Provider in the United States, and allowing the country’s largest ISP to apply filters to Internet content is a troubling proposition regardless of the legitimacy of the intent.

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