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Thing.net, the primary service provider for activist and artist organizations in the New York area, has been booted from the Web following pressure from Dow Chemical Corporation, according to a release forwarded from rtmark. On December 3, activists used a server housed by Thing.net to post a parody Dow press release on the eighteenth anniversary of the disaster in which 20,000 people died as a result of an accident at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. (Union Carbide is now owned by Dow.) The deadpan statement explained that Dow could not accept responsibility for the disaster due to its primary allegiance to its shareholders and to its bottom line. Dow sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint to Internet company Verio, which immediately cut Thing.net off the Internet for fifteen hours. A few days later, Verio announced that Thing.net had 60 days to move to another provider before being shut down permanently, unilaterally terminating Thing.net’s 7-year-old contract. Affected organizations include PS1/MOMA, Artforum, Nettime, Tenant.net which assists renters facing eviction), and hundreds more.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, January 3rd, 2003]

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