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COPA is finally dead

 9:27 pm on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

The Child Online Protection Act, now a decade old, appears to be permanently, completely, and otherwise absolutely dead now that the Supreme Court has rejected Bush Administration pleas to consider reviving the law one more time. According to the Associated Press, the rejection was made without comment by the justices.

Read more [arstechnica.com].

Are you currently checking for minor status in your community? Do you use some kind of faxed/mailed permission? This might simplify things greatly.



 11:30 pm on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ha! NOW I can launch my evil plan! Muhhahahaha!

Things to do tomorrow:
1. Come up with some kind of evil plan.

Exactly what did they think this law was going to do, eh? This is one of those well-meaning things that takes money and time for the honest business people and doesn't do anything to stop the bad actors. Gotta believe Facebook, MySpace, etc., are happy about this, but so should news web sites and, really, even people with message boards.


 1:12 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

So does this mean I can remove my COPPA question in my forum sign-ups? I sure hope so, it's annoying. I want the sign-up process to be as painless and quick as possible.


 1:16 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wait.... is COPA the same as COPPA?


 1:55 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)




 3:14 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can someone clarify for me then..? Do I need to ask new registrants whether they're over/under 13 years of age? I live in Canada but the server is in the US. It seems that I no longer need to care. My content is for adults...


 3:50 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I know quite a few places that just ignored the law anyway the owners didn't think it made sense as kids don't talk about engineering subjects or where to source iron this week...


 8:47 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can only hope that the death of Coppa is met with something new and improved under the new administration. The Convention on the Rights of the Child which has been rattified by 193 countries except for two: Somalia and the US. (see [treaties.un.org...] That I hope changes.

I hope that under the new administration, a more understanding and tolerant social responsibility is born in the US. It's not rocket science, but business just ignores it because business is not a person it is a entity and so often it steams ahead without feeling.


 1:48 pm on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

2clean, there is something to what you say, but in most cases people try to do the right thing. A few bad actors can make everyone look bad, which is understandable, but not reality.

I work in mobile and the industry has attempted to draw up some worthwhile standards that protect people, especially youth, but still make the mobile web a way to easily communicate commercial information to those who want and need it.

And, as the link you provided makes clear, there are so many exceptions provided by the countries which signed on to this convention, it's nearly impossible to judge it.

What's needed, first and foremost, are practical standards. Then we can debate enforcement.


 2:22 pm on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I quite agree, and I'm not for a minute pointing the finger here. In fact I've conducted a fairly extensive research review which has shown that these practical standards are still a long way off because they get tied into ethical debates about what is good practice. For example a study of American and Egyptian business students showed how there was a tendancy for decisions by each of these groups to be made in different ways "collectivist" and "individualist" ways. It therefore becomes very difficult to apply practical standards at a Universal level. No answers here but it seems like practical standards and codes of conduct are being touted as an interim solution.



 6:38 pm on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

just have them download a pdf permission slip that has to be faxed with their parent, guardian, and grandparent's signature. 'change the world!'


 9:34 pm on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Good riddance!


 11:54 pm on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

listen copa, i ain't talkin', see?


 10:27 am on Jan 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think the problem is that governments rush through populist laws without proper consultation, research or even basic understanding of the things they are attempting to change or control.


 11:22 am on Jan 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

COPA has been under injunction from enforcement practically since day 1.

Atomic Justice

 1:27 pm on Jan 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

So, I can remove the birthdate checker from my forum now?.. as well as edit my TOS? ;)

Seriously.. I'm not KIDding around here. :P


 2:28 pm on Jan 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Folks, COPA is not the same as COPPA. COPA is a restriction on content that may be viewable by minors. COPPA concerns the collection of the identifiable information of minors. COPA has never been in force, always held up in the courts. COPPA has been in force for some time now. You cannot take off the age checkers from your forums, as that law is still in effect!

Atomic Justice

 1:42 pm on Jan 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks 4D, I appreciate the tip!


 8:28 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Like 4D alluded to, COPA and COPPA are different. The former had to do with keeping "obscene" material from kids. The latter was about the privacy of information.

In true government fashion, they share the same words. Children's Online Protection Act and Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. They were even passed in the same year.


 10:09 am on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

It seems that I no longer need to care. My content is for adults - Well hang on here, if its of an adult nature i.e top shelf shouldnt you have the deceny to confirm the viewers age ?


 6:45 pm on Feb 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I visit a lot of wine sites, many of which have an age barrier. Sounds like COPA might open that up, although I suppose state regulations might come into play.

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