March 11, 2003
DMCA hits Journalism

Unhappy targets of journalism, especially those in the technology industry, are using the DMCA to stop leaks from turning into published material. As you know, journalists often find themselves in the possession of information that others would very much like to stop them from publishing (Pentagon Papers, leaked memos, technology specs, the works). But the "power of the press" has ensured that whoever wishes to stop them simply can't - they don't control the printing press, the distribution networks, or the broadcast equipment. And the courts, for the most part, have backed publication over injunction. This all changes with the DMCA, as Microsoft proves in this case, which is not the first, and, most likely, will not be the last. Who needs an injunction against a publisher when you can just shut down its ISP? Microsoft claims copyrighted material was illegally posted on the site in question, but we should watch this space. Perhaps when journalists are threatened on their home turf, the rest of the world will realize what's really at stake here.

Posted by John Battelle at March 11, 2003 07:33 AM
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