Court Ruling Threatens Internet First Amendment Freedom
March 27, 2013
The Electronic Frontier Foundationis warning that a Georgia court ruling may be used as a precedent to censor internet messageboards.
The international non-profit digital rights group writes that a Georgia Superior Court has issued a restraining order against Matthew Chan, the operator of Extortion Letter Info, a messageboard criticizing copyright trolls. Judge Frank Jordan ruled that Chan is responsible for the posts of his users and must remove content from his website.
“As the owner and operator of the site, Respondent has the ability to remove posts in his capacity as the moderator,” Jordan wrote. He then ordered Chan to remove posts relating to poet Linda Ellis.
Ms. Ellis is notorious for issuing copyright infringement notices and threatening the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 plus attorney fees against alleged infringers who post her poem, The Dash, without permission. On her website, Ellis says she will settle copyright infringement claims for $7,500.