Court of Appeals Deals Another Blow to COPA

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 7, 2003

The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) was ruled unconstitutional for a second time by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision ACLU v. John Ashcroft, no. 19-1324, filed March 6.
The court stated that “…provisions of COPA are not narrowly tailored to achieve the Government’s compelling interest in protecting minors from harmful material and therefore fail the strict scrutiny test: (a) the definition of “material that is harmful to minors”… (b) the definition of “commercial purposes,”..and (3) the “affirmative defenses” available to publishers…”
EPIC maintains an excellent online library of legal documents associated with this case, as well as on the 1998 law signed by President Clinton to protect minors through the use of criminal penalties for the distribution of harmful materials online.

Also, see the following articles for more background: Court Strikes Down Online Porn Law and Appeals court strikes down Net porn law.

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