Internet Anti-Porn Law Dies In Court (But Internet Anti-Porn Prosecutions Continue)

The Child Online Protection Act — a Clinton-era anti-porn law that required Internet publishers with “material harmful to minors” to keep kids off their site — has finally died.

Shortly after the law was passed a federal judge in Philadelphia issued an injunction against the statute on free speech grounds. The Supreme Court today declined to review the Philadelphia ruling, effectively making it permanent.

COPA wasn’t exactly well thought out: The law only applied to US-based websites, making the attempt to legislate a “safe” Internet something of a pointless exercise.

But free-speech advocates should hold their applause. Over the past few months, we’ve seen that if the federal government really wants to try someone for obscenity, they can. One recent target, Paul Little (a/k/a “Max Hardcore”), got four years in prison in a case that had nothing to do with COPA.

See Also:
What’s Really At Risk At A Federal Obscenity Trial? About Four Years In Prison
Do The Good People Of Florida Think Your Website Is Obscene? You Better Hope Not.

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