Share a YouTube video? Go to jail?

Dear Reader,

Ever sent someone a link to a copyrighted YouTube video? Of course: Everybody has. And now the US Government seems to think that means it can put us in prison.

Bryan McCarthy ran a website, channelsurfing.net, that linked to various websites where you could watch online streams of TV shows and sports networks. A couple months ago, the government seized his domain name and just today they arrested him for criminal copyright infringement.

Tell the government that this is crazy: There’s nothing wrong or illegal about sharing a link.

The government doesn’t even allege he made a copy of anything! Just that his site linked to various sites with copyrighted material. Under that sort of thinking, everyone who’s sent around a link to a copyrighted YouTube video is a criminal.

This is another shocking overreach by the department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — a steamship-era department that’s proving once again it doesn’t understand the Internet.

We need to push back — and fast — before they try to lock up all of us. Click here to tell ICE to drop its charges.

Thanks for taking a stand.

— The Demand Progress team and The Cyber Mushroom

P.S. Will you help us convince ICE to back down by referring this post to your friends?

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