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COPA Is Struck Down

By - March 27, 2007

Remember when the DOJ went on that enormous fishing exercise under the guise of defending/resurrecting COPA, the Child Online Protection Act? Well, a Ed Felten tell us that the Federal judge just killed the act dead. We hope.

This is the end of a long legal process that started with the passage of COPA in 1999. The ACLU, along with various authors and publishers, immediately filed suit challenging COPA, and Judge Reed struck down the law. The case was appealed up to the Supreme Court, which generally supported Judge Reed’s ruling but remanded the case back to him for further proceedings because enough time had passed that the technological facts might have changed. Judge Reed held another trial last fall, at which I testified. Now he has ruled, again, that COPA is unconstitutional.

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5 thoughts on “COPA Is Struck Down

  1. Omar Khan says:


    It is COPPA, with an extra P for Privacy. I see the many points around which this has been abused, but for those of us who build and run websites for children it did/does help create standards that make the web safe for kids. This is not a trivial issue. With email and marketing forces going crazy, it is I think worthwhile to create environments where kids can go and not be subject to some of the stuff us adults have to sit through.

  2. Colin Robb says:

    Wait a minute, are we talking about COPA or COPPA?

    COPA (the Child Online Protection Act of 1998) was to “protect[] minors from harmful sexual material on the internet” by requiring users to provide a credit card number or some other so-called reliable proof of majority.

    COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) “applies to the online collection of personal information by persons or entities under U.S. jurisdiction from children under 13 years of age.”

    I understood that COPA had finally been struck down as being unconstitutionally broad. Has COPPA been struck down too?

  3. John Battelle says:

    It’s COPA.I made the change (again)

  4. FrogEngine says:

    Until we find new ways to protect kids online, the laws need to adjust to making their safety a priority.

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