Constricting Internet Opinion?
What would happen if those with the most to gain, suddenly, had a vehicle in which to control the communication on the internet. More specifically, what would happen if CBS News (read: 60 Minutes II) wanted to take Power Line or Little Green Footballs to task and shut them up about any alleged Liberal bias in their posts. There is a difference in the way the law interprets "opinion" as it relates to commercial and non-commercial websites. But, by merely taking donations there is a question as to whether the site crosses over into a commercial venture.
However, that isn't the crux of the situation. The laws never become less constricting. There is, always, more of a grasp on the throat (so to say) with the application of each new law. And, it isn't hard to believe that the corporate counselors for the various media fronts taking a beating from the blogs are watching this decision to see how it can be applied to their unwanted keepers. Granted, opinion is given some breathing room. But, let's face it, some of todays major media outputs are so blatant in their bias, it's hard to remember to install those qualifiers when commenting.
In other words, what would happen if "bad law" results from a decision on this pending case?
Suit Over Customer Web Site May Help Set Rules for Online Speech
The Associated Press
The federal case may help shape the boundaries of online speech.
Companies routinely go after individuals when they feel people are maligning them on the Internet. And often, legal scholars say, the Web site's owners don't fight back at all.