For the most part internet publishing is flak-free unless you incriminate yourself in a country to which you are extraditable. On 4 May, 1998 the first person in the US to be convicted of civil rights violations in cyberspace received a one-year prison sentence and was ordered to undergo counselling, according to Wired News.110 Richard Machado, 21, had written a series of e-mail messages threatening Asian students that he intended to hunt down and kill them at the University of California, Irvine, where nearly half the students are Asian.
Civil actions for breach of copyright are not unknown and the Washington Post has threatened legal action against Jim Robinson's Free Republic site for reproducing its articles online without permission. Despite Robinson's claim that the site is "a non-commercial, not for profit public bulletin board operated under the 'Fair Use' exemptions of copyright laws," an attorney, consulted by Los Angeles webmaster Matt Drudge, is of the opinion that the Washington Post is in the right. He says: "Any news article is the intellectual property of the newspaper. The information contained therein is not. Rather than post the entire article, you'd be within your rights to post a link or to summarize the ideas contained in the article/column. I think the Post is within their rights on this one."111