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I am addressing this very seriously to EVERY lawyer with legal expertise in copyright infringement and fair use, and I'm also addressing this to any lawyer well-versed in the legal statutes on internet child pornography.

As I'm sure many of you already know, pornish_pixies was permanently deleted today by Livejournal.com, along with a number of other communities with "incest" as an interest, an incomplete list of which is here.


Straight up, people. What are our options as a fandom to fight this? What are all our options to fight this, and how can we as a fandom collectively work to deal with Six Apart in this issue?

Please respond, because I really, really want to get started on the part where the fandom rallies together to make our voices heard by Six Apart.

Thanks.

Comments

violet_quill
May. 30th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
My first reaction to this is, however much it sucks and is ridiculous, that there isn't really anything we can do from a legal standpoint. This isn't a freedom of speech issue because Livejournal isn't the government. As long as there's no discrimination involved, it can deny service to anyone it wants for any reason it wants, and trying to avoid encouraging criminal activity is probably a good reason. The fact that they're doing it the easy way (i.e. deleting journals based on interests rather than actually looking at them and trying to figure out whether there is actually criminal activity involved) is extremely sucky and unfair, but isn't infringing on our rights.

I don't think that there are any copyright or fair use issues or anything involved here, or even child pornography (because there aren't any criminal sanctions being brought against the owners of the communities, simply denial of service). But I'm just a law student, and those are just my initial thoughts.

I personally think that the only way to fight this would be with sheer numbers. A list of PAID MEMBERS (which I know there are many, many fandomers who pay quite a bit of LJ) sending a petition to Livejournal stating that they will cancel their accounts if there isn't some compromise reached MAY do something... but it would take a great deal of organization and a LOT of people. And even then, that might just be a drop in the bucket. :-\
elfwreck
May. 30th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
They are claiming they "must" do this because to leave the journals active would open them to charges that they support the activities in question. They are saying not "we can shut down any journal at any time" but "this is a TOS violation: you are advocating [rape/violence/incest/pedophilia/whatever] and therefore LJ must shut down your journal or be considered an accessory to the crime." (paraphrased. Probably badly. IANAL nor a law student.)

Exact quote:
...we have been advised that listing an interest in an illegal activity must be viewed as using LiveJournal to solicit that illegal activity....

They're claiming a legal reason, not "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone," for shutting down journals. We need lawyers to tell them that listing an interest for discussion purposes doesn't indicate support of the activity under discussion.
rubymiene
May. 30th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC)
My reaction to this is 'bullshit', but I think they're just using that as any easy excuse. They're not so much afraid of losing a court case as being involved in one at all, and unfortunately, no reasonable legal arguments are going to help with that.
elfwreck
May. 30th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC)
Of course they're using that as an easy excuse. It even directly contradicts what they've said to complainers in the past, which is that a person/community would have to be openly advocating or giving instructions for criminal activity to shut down a journal.

We want either the journals restored... or LJ to admit "we are shutting down journals left and right because some fundamentalist group screamed scary words at us."
jehanne1431
May. 30th, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC)
>>>They're not so much afraid of losing a court case as being involved in one at all...

With the cost of legal fees being what it is, I don't blame them. This is a big, huge, gray-area can of worms to be dragging into open court.
nebris
May. 30th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
the cost of legal fees...
...will pale next to the money they're going to lose when possibly thousands of folks who were going to drop $150 on a permanent account next month say 'forget it!'. Two in this household right here.

~M~
heidi8
May. 30th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
A few weeks ago, I posted about Digg.com taking a stand by saying that hosting DIGGs of the code to crack a DVD encryption wasn't a violation of US copyright laws and if it was, they were willing to defend their hosting of the links in court.

Why is DIGG so willing to take that sort of risk in a situation where the liability could be considerable, but SixApart is so wimpy that they can't even investigate the content of the communities and journals in question?
hikari_cyhan
May. 30th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
For the same reason Google was willing to help censor internet in China.
(Anonymous)
May. 31st, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Digg wasn't willing to take that sort of risk, it was forced on them. They tried to suprress that number but were so overwhelmed by submissions they gave in.

If digg was really willing to take that risk they wouldn't have pulled the posts in the first place.
roh_wyn
May. 30th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
I think paid members (and particularly anyone whose LJ has actually been affected) should absolutely come forward and make a stink about the fundamental unfairness of the situation.

That said, I should add that LJ is a private entity and does have the freedom to do whatever it wants, if it perceives that some TOS violation has taken place. To me, there is a reasonable argument that a fanfic that describes an act of pedophilia (for example) is at least technically a violation of the TOS.

What I'm saying is that beyond what seems intuitively unfair, I think LJ is on pretty safe legal ground. There is little to do other than protest, and for paid account holders, stop paying...and I don't know that even that will swing it.

This may turn out to be much ado about nothing in the end, but I have a really hard time thinking that LJ has really done anything "legally" wrong here.
violet_quill
May. 30th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
That was my intuitive feeling as well, though I think that Heidi may have a point below about a breach of contract.
(Deleted comment)
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