Prior Restraint and the Closure of MegaUpload

Prior restraint is a simple concept.

A man owns a book store where half the books are evil, the other half are not. Because his stores inventory is half evil, it is shut down.

A man owns a book store with one evil book and forty thousand good books.  Because of that one evil book, his store is shut down.

Prior restraint describes both of these cases. Both book stores were shut down, preventing access to the good, legitimate, and legal works. When in reality only the evil books should have been removed, and the stores allowed to continue doing business. Simple isn’t it?

The lead up is done, now the article …

Recently a web site called was taken offline by the FBI. was an online file hosting service where you could store your files and access them from anywhere with an internet connection. Many of the files infringed on copyright, but many others did not. This is a difficult conundrum, for a sizable portion of the 180 million users of this file service. If even 2% of them are not sharing files that are somehow are illegal, that means 3.6 million people have lost their files. What they see is this, with no ability to reclaim their files.

Now I ask a simple question. If one book in a store is good, and 40 thousand are bad, do you close down the book store, or do you remove the bad books and leave the one?


Before you answer. ….   the Dictionary, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,  Death Be Not Proud, The Collected Works of Shakespeare,  Kama Sutra,  collected works of Ancient Greece, Bible, Koran, philosophy from Thales to Aristotle.


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One Response to Prior Restraint and the Closure of MegaUpload

  1. Most of us buy Dvds, because we need to enjoy individuals.

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