Friday, July 02, 2004

CBLDF on COPA: Newsarama talks with Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the injunction against the Child Online Protection Act:

"... [I]t's a horrible idea for the government to mandate that speakers need to use credit cards or age verification technology to disseminate constitutionally protected work. The government is basically saying, 'even though it's within your First Amendment rights for adults to see what you're posting, you could go to jail and pay costly fines if you don't go through the expense of setting up accounts with credit card vendors or age verification companies.' It chills the speaker's First Amendment rights by requiring him or her to go through this step in order to disseminate protected speech. And to even go through this step requires an understanding of what is legally 'harmful to minors,' an issue that the courts are still defining. The Court explicitly acknowledged this when Justice Kennedy wrote, 'speakers may self-censor rather than risk the perils of trial. There is a potential for extraordinary harm and a serious chill upon protected speech.'"