Ever sent someone a link to a copyrighted YouTube video? Of course: Everybody has. And now the US Government seems to think that means it can put us in prison.
Bryan McCarthy ran a website, channelsurfing.net, that linked to various websites where you could watch online streams of TV shows and sports networks. A couple months ago, the government seized his domain name and just today they arrested him for criminal copyright infringement.
But the government doesn't even allege he made a copy of anything! Just that his site linked to various sites with copyrighted material. Under that sort of thinking, everyone who's sent around a link to a copyrighted YouTube video is a criminal.
This is another shocking overreach by the department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) -- a steamship-era department that's proving once again it doesn't understand the Internet. We need to push back -- and fast -- before they try to lock up all Americans.
TEXT OF PETITION TO JOHN MORTON, DIRECTOR OF IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:
There's nothing wrong or illegal about posting a link to a website. This is another shocking overreach by ICE: You need to drop the charges against Bryan McCarthy right away.
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