The Justice Department is not pleased

COPA - The Child Online Protection Act - was struck down, yet again, yesterday and apparently, The Justice Department doesn’t feel justice has been served. The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was on the other side of the Justice Department’s interpretation of the law, the one that said COPA is right and righteous and, yet again, declared COPA unconstitutional. The Third US C.C. upheld the last ruling, the one from back in 2007, when a lower court - sounds sort of degrading, oh, you’re a lower court - ruled that COPA violated our First Amendment rights, and both courts agreed that COPA wasn’t going to effectively stop children from searching adult material online.

Basically COPA forces websites with adult material (and that’s more sexual than violent material I’m sure) to verify visitors’ ages before they enter the site. They are supposed to verify this age with a credit card.

Here’s what ABC News reports:

COPA makes it a crime to knowingly post material that is “harmful to minors” on the web for “commercial purposes” without having some method — such as a credit card — to verify a visitor’s age. Critics assailed the law for infantilizing the internet and requiring website operators — including news sites — to live in fear of prosecution if even a small part of their website contained adult material.

I’m all for protecting children, but how does one define “harmful to minors?” I’ve seen a lot of things that I would call “harmful to minors” on Saturday morning cartoons, I mean even when I was growing up, nobody had to tell me that it wasn’t okay to try to kill animals, something that happened all the time when it came to the Looney Tunes.

So today let’s celebrate the fact that COPA is nothing more than ineffective words on paper. And let’s hope it stays that way.