Thursday, October 07, 2004

ISPs: Don't Notice & Take Down Anyway

The Dutch digital rights organisation Bits of Freedom (BOF) has been doing some research on how Dutch ISPs handle notice and take down orders. The outcome is that seven out of ten providers don't notice that the order provided by BOF involves a public domain text, and take it down anyway without even checking the website or contact the affiliated party. The irony is that the text is from the 19th century Dutch author Multatuli, who's masterpiece Max Havelaar is a poignant novel about an individual's rise against a collective suppression (to put it crudely).

This Dutch study resembles a small 2003 research for the European Commission about codes of conduct in the digital content-related industries, which didn't make it to the final report in question. This research used a part of the also appropriate On Liberty by John Stuart Mill, which sees on freedom of speech.

Notice and take down orders have also been used and misused for combating child porn (and blocking protected speech in the heat of the battle) and by copyright holders essentially using copyright to suppress criticism ( e.g. by The Church of Scientology). More on the U.S. and EU notice and take down schemes in an earlier posting.
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Link to BOF research paper
Link to BOF paper presentation slides
Link to On Liberty research

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