Florida Law Review Forum

Jake Linford
Private Ordering Under Threat of Regulation
Response to Annemarie Bridy, Internet Payment Blockades

In Internet Payment Blockades, Professor Annemarie Bridy describes how administrators in charge of IP policy have successfully pressured payment intermediaries to “voluntarily” shut off payments to websites that are loci of copyright or other intellectual property infringement. As Professor Bridy recounts, the White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) persuaded payment processors (including American Express, Discover, MasterCard, PayPal, and Visa) to enter an ostensibly voluntary best practices agreement with corporate intellectual property owners. Professor Bridy argues that adoption of the best practices agreement was effectively coerced by an unscrupulous threat to regulate if payment processors didn’t sign on. Professor Bridy’s analysis is mostly persuasive. In particular, her advice to beware administrators threatening regulation is well-taken. But there is some room for optimism, even when facing cajoled payment processors. Read more.