Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mentioning other peoples' websites is now a federal offense...

...along with seemingly just about every other innocuous activity these days.

Website owner Brian McCarthy's site has been seized by the feds, and he now faces charges that could result in five years in prison.  The criminal mastermind's awful deed?  Allegedly placing links on his page which pointed to other web locations that stream copyright-infringing sports programming:

"In a case against a New York website owner, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime."  (emphasis ours)

Why, then, isn't DHS shutting down Google or Bing, which of course have links to pretty much everything on the Internet?  And, more importantly, just why is our "homeland security" department now involved with enforcing corporate copyright law?  Is the world terrorist problem now solved and no one bothered to tell us?

It's important to note that McCarthy has never been accused of hosting copyrighted material on his own website.  Theoretically, this means that anyone can now be similarly busted by the Thought Police merely for placing a link to a funny YouTube video on their blog, or for innocently pointing out a content programming site to others via Facebook.

Think of DHS Special Agent Daniel Brazier's Big Brother-ish and free speech-killing criminal complaint against McCarthy while you're having fun web-surfing today.

(link via Jenn Chou at

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