Monopoly Control of Broadband Internet Threatens Free Speech

March 29, 2005

The Internet as we have known it is going to change, the only question is how. There's a fight going on over that question, and at stake is nothing less than the Internet's potential as a medium for free expression, civic involvement and economic innovation.

The Supreme Court's two rulings in Grokster and Brand X raise concerns for freedom on the Internet.

"The fight to preserve freedom on the Internet just got tougher," said Chris Hansen, an ACLU Senior Staff Attorney. "The ACLU will have to respond by intensifying our own efforts to defend online liberty."

In the Grokster case, the Supreme Court found that the makers of peer-to-peer file sharing software can be held liable for the copyright infringements of the people who use that software.

In the Brand X case, the Court refused to overrule a decision by the Federal Communications Commission that the providers of cable broadband Internet service are not required to provide access to Internet Service Providers other than their own.

PRESS RELEASES
> Internet Rulings Raise Concerns (6/27/05)
> Court Hears Two Cases Critical to Online Free Speech
(3/29/05)
> Court Preserves Online Competition (10/7/03)
> ACLU Defends Internet Free Speech in Three Courtst (11/1/02)

 

 

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