Friday, January 20, 2006


So here we aren’t!

Last Saturday, 14th Jan, disappeared from the internet. It vanished because of some quite frankly remarkable claims made against it by a UK lawyer (Nick Cunningham of Wragge & Co LLP) acting for Novachannel AG.

Mr. Cunningham started his campaign in September 2005. He did not write to the site authors, but instead chose to threaten out service provider claiming that they bore responsibility for publishing the content of the site. We responded by renting our own server, making stopECG the publisher as well as author. However he continued to threaten our upstream provider.

He developed an argument that as the data from crossed their network they bore responsibility for our “unlawful material” being available to internet users. As such he threatened them with a lawsuit, even going as far as to mock up the documents he would file with the high court. Were this argument to hold fast in court it would have profound implications for Net Freedom; meaning that upstream providers could be forced to block sites that others disagreed with.

We admire the way Rapid Switch Ltd stood up to this bullying and accept their eventual decision to back out, however unlikely it is that they would end up in court and lose, this is not their battle, and herein lies the failing of British Law. It is becoming more common for people who wish to silence their critics to simply threaten service providers; it might be cowardly but is cheaper and avoids court action. UK Law needs to be updated in order to absolve web hosts of liability for words published by UK residents.

As I write this the DNS is propagating so that people will soon be able to see again, thanks for the offers to mirror and host the site, more on the mirror sites soon. If you wish to mirror the site, please simply copy the pages from the web and then host them yourself. Once it is up and running, email the URL and we will add a link.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?