|Motto||Monitoring the legal climate for Internet activity|
|Diane Cabell, Berkman Fellow
DePaul University College of Law
George Washington University Law School
Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic
Santa Clara University, School of Law High Tech Law Institute
Stanford Center for Internet & Society
University of Maine School of Law
USF Law School, IIP Justice Project
Chilling Effects is a collaborative archive created by Wendy Seltzer and founded along with several law school clinics and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to protect lawful online activity from legal threats. Its website, Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, allows recipients of cease-and-desist notices to submit them to the site and receive information about their legal rights and responsibilities.
The archive was founded in 2001 by Internet activists who were concerned that the unregulated private practice of sending cease-and-desist letters seemed to be increasing and was having an unstudied, but potentially significant, "chilling effect" on speech.
The archive got a boost when Google began submitting its notices in 2002. Google began to do so in response to the publicity generated when the Church of Scientology convinced Google to remove references and links to an anti-Scientology web site, Operation Clambake, in April 2002. The incident inspired vocal Internet users and groups to complain to Google, and the links to the Clambake site were restored. Google subsequently began to contribute its notices to Chilling Effects, archiving the Scientology complaints and linking to the archive.
Since 2002, researchers have been using the clearinghouse to study the use of cease-and-desist letters, primarily looking at Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 512 takedown notices, non-DMCA copyright issues, and trademark claims.
Praise and criticism
Copyright holders have complained that by republishing the URLs of infringing content, after those URLs were legitimately taken down from Google, chillingeffects.org subverts the intent of the DMCA and has "become the largest repository of URLs hosting infringing content on the internet." The Copyright Alliance representative has described the project as "repugnant". The critics, in turn, have been labelled by some as "censorship defenders". The site's supporters have commended it for being a major supporter of transparency regarding copyright take-downs.
- Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- George Washington University Law School
- Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic, Boalt Hall
- Santa Clara University School of Law High Tech Law Institute
- Stanford Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School
- University of Maine School of Law
- IIP Justice Project, University of San Francisco School of Law
- "Chilling Effects". chillingeffects.org. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Gallagher, David (April 22, 2002). "New Economy; A copyright dispute with the Church of Scientology is forcing Google to do some creative linking.". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Don Marti, "Google Begins Making DMCA Takedowns Public", Linux Journal (2002/4/12) (describing Google's response to the Scientologists and subsequent decision to contribute to ChillingEffects.org).
- J. Urban & L. Quilter, "Efficient Process or 'Chilling Effects'? Takedown Notices Under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act," Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal (March 2006)
- "Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control" (2005). (PDF) Free Expression Policy Project
- "Copyright Alliance Attacks ChillingEffects.org As 'Repugnant,' Wants DMCA System With No Public Accountability". Techdirt.
- "Chilling Effects On Chilling Effects As DMCA Archive Deletes Self From Google". Techdirt.