The payment processing company Stripe is forwarding cease and desists to Chilling Effects.

We’re partnering with Chilling Effects. Developed at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Chilling Effects is run by the EFF and law clinics at Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and other universities across the country. Chilling Effects tracks the use of cease-and-desist notices to gauge the impact of legal threats to online expression. This database of notices provides important empirical data concerning the real-world effects of laws and policies.

From now on, whenever a third party sends a legal request for us to stop working with a user, we will pass a copy of the request to Chilling Effects. (We will, however, first give the user the chance to opt out of this disclosure.) Reporting take-down requests is standard practice at Google, Twitter, and GitHub today.

Chilling Effects is about takedown requests related to copyright infringement, but Stripe doesn’t say takedown requests, they say cease and desists. Which makes sense because Stripe doesn’t do copyrighted stuff, they do financial transactions. The trick is that they’re applying the process defined in the DMCA for non-DMCA stuff. Because it’s a pretty good rulebook for handling conflicts of all kinds.

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