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How U.S. copyright law is being used to take down Correa's critics in Ecuador

The following is an excerpt of a CPJ blog post by Alexandra Ellerbeck, CPJ Americas Research Associate:

On December 30, César Ricaurte, the executive director of Fundamedios, received a copyright complaint with the potential to close his entire website. The complaint, filed on behalf of Ecuador's communications regulator SECOM by a company called Ares Rights, ordered the independent press freedom group to remove an image of President Rafael Correa from its website, he told CPJ.

The incident, which Fundamedios denounced on its website as censorship, is an example of how copyright complaints have been used against Ecuadoran news outlets and groups critical of the Correa administration. The country already has one of the worst press freedom records in the Americas region. CPJ has documented how restrictive media laws, which led to a US$350,000 fine for El Universal in June, and criminal defamation cases are used against critical outlets. Local media and freedom of speech advocates with whom CPJ spoke said U.S. copyright law is also being used to restrict critical commentary and information.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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