Concept

Child Online Protection Act

Summary
The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) was a law in the United States of America, passed in 1998 with the declared purpose of restricting access by minors to any material defined as harmful to such minors on the Internet. The law, however, never took effect, as three separate rounds of litigation led to a permanent injunction against the law in 2009. The law was part of a series of efforts by US lawmakers legislating over Internet pornography. Parts of the earlier and much broader Communications Decency Act had been struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1997 (Reno v. ACLU); COPA was a direct response to that decision, narrowing the range of material covered. COPA only limits commercial speech and only affects providers based within the United States. COPA required all commercial distributors of "material harmful to minors" to restrict their sites from access by minors. "Material harmful to minors" was defined as material that by "contemporary community standards"
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