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Thursday, March 11 12:00 AM ET

5 Three-strike Laws We Really Need for the Internet

By Brian Briggs follow me on Twitter or Buzz.

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The ACTA Treaty is trying to do an end around the laws of countries by secretly enacting "3 strikes" laws against "pirates." Get reported 3 times for violation copyright, and get kicked off the Internet forever. This is patently ridiculous in so many ways, but if you're going to enact a "3 strikes" law then here are some suggestions for the shadowy negotiators to ponder.

Just Google It: A person should be banned from the Internet if they post a question that could've been easily answered by a simple Google search, and be informed to "just Google it" by other posters. After 3 such posts the offender is banned. Phrases such as "I was too lazy to do a search" or "I couldn't find anything on Bing" do not exempt the poster from punishment. Exceptions are made for minors and for people whose last name begins with the letter "U" (if we're going to be arbitrary about these laws, we might as well go all the way).

The Dead Meme: Three offenses of referring to a meme in a non-historical manner after it has been declared dead by the Internet Meme Council (IMC). The IMC will be made up of members from the major meme-generating sites (e.g. Fark, 4chan, Reddit) who will meet in secret every three months to determine which meme lives and which dies. Results are not made public, so evictions from the Internet will seem sufficiently arbitrary. Ignorance of a meme's status is not a defense for violating this rule. No exemptions for age or city of birth.

The Misleading Headline: Publications guilty of using sensational headlines that have are not reflected in the actual story will be banned from the Internet after three offenses. Headlines such as "Obama Decapitates Glenn Beck in Debate" where the story does not included head loss or actual debate are guilty. Determination of misleadingness will be determined like movie ratings. A panel of 3 Mormons and 4 fundamentalist Christians will decide. Exemptions can be purchased for $10,000 per headline run.

Unwanted Facebook Notifications: If you send out 3 or more unwanted Facebook notifications from 3 different applications in a 30 minute time period, your access to the Internet will be terminated. Violators will also have to spend 30 hours reading junk mail from credit card companies just for the hell of it. 30-day exemption for new users.

Brain-dead Clicker: Three clicks on ads depicting ripped abs, 100,000th visitor, singles in your area or smileys will need to find a new place to be moronic. The only reasons these ads run is that stupid people click on them, eliminating those people from the Internet will make the Internet better for everyone else. Children under 13 and people with Random Click Syndrome are exempt from this rule. Scholars and satirists can also file for an exemption with the Association to Prevent Stupid People from Clicking on Ads that Annoy the Rest of Us.

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