Battles Continue Over Internet Filters
(November 11, 2012) - Two recent court cases have challenged discriminatory blocking of web sites that support gay and lesbian rights and that provide information on nonmainstream religions.
Can Anti-Gay Marriage Petitioners Keep Their Identities Private?
(Nov. 2, 2009; updated July 27, 2010) - An ongoing First Amendment battle pits the public interest in openness and disclosure against the constitutional rights to anonymity and privacy.
The Trials of Judge Kozinski
(July 13, 2008) - When it comes to sexual humor, what standards should apply to a judge's private web files?
FEPP's Slide Show of Controversial and Censored Art
(May 2008) - From the erotic frescos of Pompeii to today's battles over fair use - an entertaining and informative history of censored images.
Harry Potter Lexicon Goes to Court
(March 8, 2008) - J.K. Rowling claims copyright infringement
while the Lexicon publisher argues fair use. A federal judge will
Cellphone Companies Censor Text Messages?
(October 24, 2007) - Verizon's blocking of a Naral/
Pro-Choice America message might be illegal if text messages, like phone
calls, are covered by "common carrier" rules.
Proposal to Police "Morality" in Domain Names
(August 24, 2007) - ICANN is considering a plan to
ban any "generic top-level" domain names that "undermine religious, family
or social values."
is Struck Down Again
(March 23, 2007) - A federal court's March 22 decision
touts Internet filters as more effective than a criminal law in barring
minors from sexual speech.
Property and Free Speech in the Online World
(January 2007) - A new report from the Fair Use Network surveys how online
service providers are coping with cease and desist letters and takedown
the First Amendment"
(January 22, 2007) - A conference sponsored by the
Brennan Center and Hofstra Law School explored the viability of a "right
of access" along with other reforms that might help democratize the mass
Post-CIPA Lawsuit Filed
(November 21, 2006) - The ACLU of Washington has sued
a library district for refusing to dismantle Internet filters.
Perils of Filtering in a post-Grokster World
(November 3, 2006) - On remand from the Supreme Court's decision condemning
file-sharing networks, a judge dangerously relies on overbroad copyright
Can Play Fantasy Baseball, But Can You Google It?
(August 16, 2006) - Two current "intellectual property"
disputes threaten our favorite sit-down sports.
Disconnect Between Fact and Rhetoric
(August 2, 2006) - A recent conference, "Beyond
Censorship," touts ratings and filters, and buys into myths about
proven harm from sexual or violent content.
Sheets on Media Democracy
(August 2006) - The companies that own the mass media have a powerful
influence over our culture, our political system, and the ideas that inform
public discourse. This set of interlocking fact sheets gives background
on broadcast and cable conglomerates, Internet access and WiFi, the First
Amendment and media regulation, and the movement for media reform.
Neutality Takes Center Stage
(May 30, 2006) - How broadband technology and a bad
Supreme Court decision have come to threaten the once-democratic Internet.
Paper to the Nebraska Broadband Task Force: The Need to Permit Broadband
From Public Entities
(May 22, 2006) - The Brennan Center and six other
groups have filed a brief explaining why states shouldn't bar their cities,
towns, and public power companies from offering high-speed Internet access.
Filters: A Public Policy Report
(May 2006) - Internet filters categorize expression
without regard to its context, meaning, and value. Yet these sweeping
censorship tools are now widely used in schools and libraries. This fully
revised and updated report surveys nearly 100 tests and studies of filtering
products through 2006. An essential resource for the ongoing debate.
Big Step on Orphan Works
(February 9, 2006) - The U.S. Copyright Office is recommending new legislation
to encourage distribution and use of works often hidden from public view.
Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control
(December 2005) - The product of more than a year of research
- including many firsthand stories from artists, scholars, bloggers, and
others - Will Fair Use Survive? paints a striking picture of an
intellectual property system that is perilously out of balance.
Defeats - and a Silver Lining
(June 28, 2005) - The Supreme Court's Grokster
and Brand X decisions may be disappointing, but file-sharing technology
survives, and the campaign for media democracy goes on.
(March 28, 2005) - The Supreme Court hears argument on March 29
in the hottest case of its term - the entertainment industry's suit to
stop peer-to-peer technology. What are the legal issues, and the stakes
for online communication?
of the Court Brief Challenges Laws That Shrink the Public Domain
(January 28, 2005) - The Brennan Center and other groups
are urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to recognize that laws eliminating
copyright "formalities" harm free expression by starving the
(June 2004) - In the face of dramatic media consolidation and new laws
that increase corporate copyright control, the emerging information commons
offers new ways for producing and sharing information, creative works,
and democratic discussion. FEPP's policy report describes the growing
movement for democratic alternatives to for-profit control of information
(July 2003) - Despite well-documented problems of overblocking, Internet
filters are now widely used in schools and libraries. FEPP's fact sheet
summarizes the most salient facts about filters.
Ignoring the Irrationality of Internet Filters, Supreme Court Upholds CIPA
(June 2003) - The justices say that to the extent that erroneous blocking of "completely innocuous" Internet sites raises a constitutional problem, "any such concerns are dispelled" by the law's provision giving libraries the discretion to disable the filter upon request from an adult.
Progress of Science & Useful Arts": Why Copyright Today Threatens
(2003) - Music swapping -- encryption -- the frozen public
domain -- where should we draw the line between rewarding creativity through
the copyright system and societys competing interest in the free
flow of ideas? FEPP's policy report covers "fair use," copyright
term extension, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and more - without
In Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and The Innocence
(2001, 2nd edition 2007) - From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Internet
filters to the v-chip, censorship is often based on the assumption that
children and adolescents must be protected from "indecent" speech.
In Not In Front of the Children, FEPP Director Marjorie Heins explores
the history of indecency laws and other censorship aimed at youth. Not
in Front of the Children won the 2002 American Library Association's
Eli M. Oboler Award for the best published work in the area of intellectual
For More Materials on the Internet in 2001-04, go to the Archives