Tuesday, June 29, 2004

High court blocks COPA: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the Child Online Protection Act is likely unconstitutional, and upheld a lower court's injunction against the 1998 law. The New York Times has the story:

"The 1998 law makes it illegal for commercial Web sites to make available to children 16 and under material that is not necessarily obscene but could be considered 'harmful to minors' under a complex, three-part formula.

"Congress's first big effort to restrict pornography in cyberspace was the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the following year. In passing the 1998 law, Congress tried to be narrower and more specific. The 1998 law bars Web sites from publishing material 'harmful to minors' unless a site can show it has made good-faith efforts (requiring a credit card, for instance) to block out Web surfers younger than 17."

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was among the groups that challenged COPA.