Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ISP pulls plug on writers' info site

Absolute Write, a website where writers exchange tips and information (including comments about bad agents) went down last night. According to Making Light, one of agents who made the site's Twenty Worst Agents list called the site's Nashville ISP, alleged that posting her name and business email address on the Absolute Write site violated various laws, and as a result the ISP pulled the plug on the site.

I found this a very odd scenario...I mean, if you pay money for an ISP for hosting, aren't they in breach of contract if they shut you down for content (short of terrorism or child pornography)?

If you're an internet free speech enthusiast, you might want to dig more deeply into the details in the Making Light blog entry. I confess, this flap is a bit beyond me.

3 comments:

  1. A lot of ISPs have terms-of-service agreements that let them shut down hosted sites pretty much arbitrarily. Of course, doing so is bad for business...

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  2. TNH is right about the terms of service. ISPs are sensitive to being sued, and it sounds like this agent was threatening a defamation suit.

    I don't agree that it's bad for business as a general rule though. It happens all the time, usually to small sites that are powerless to fight back. Overall, an ISP isn't going to suffer any real downside to removing a site, especially if the alternative is having to defend a lawsuit.

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  3. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Sin in haste, repent at leisure. I posted my earlier comment before following the links and reading more about this debacle. After doing that, I am happy to revise my view that shutting down this site may indeed have been a bad business move for JC-Hosting. Certainly, it will gain them no friendly karma from the writing community.

    News of this decision has spread far and wide almost instantly in the blogosphere and I suspect that JC Hosting is getting an email or two on the subject, as well they should.

    I'm done blithering now. May everyone involved get what the deserve!

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