Looks like COPA may finally be dead.

COPA is a law that has been kicking around the Internet for close to 10 years now. Originally COPA was a series of new laws that were set forth to help protect children on the Internet. Like most of those laws, the people who wrote them have no idea what they are doing so they ended up writing a law that is far overreaching and does more harm than good. In this case part of the COPA law would require any site that contained content that is "harmful to minors" to restrict access and require a credit card as age verification to get into the site. Of course this part of the law was aimed at the adult industry, but since there was no explanation of what "harmful" meant it included all kinds of different sites.

The lawsuits have been flying ever since. For the most part the judges have always ruled that existing filtering software does a good enough job that this law is not needed. In its most recent appeal the US government argued that at least half the households in the country with children don’t have any filtering software so this law needs to be in place to protect them. So basically they were saying that if you decided to actually do your job and monitor your kid on the Internet you were still not doing enough. The appeal was, of course, denied. Yesterday the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case. That refusal should pretty much put a nail into the coffin of this law.

Maybe the government will find some other creative way to bring it back for another appeal, but this last appeal was pretty far reaching and desperate so it looks like this part of COPA is finally dead. Good riddance.

Comments are closed.