Question: What are Chilling Effects?
Answer: “Chilling Effects” refers to the deterrent effect of legal threats or posturing, largely cease and desist letters independent of litigation, on lawful conduct. The Chilling Effects clearinghouse will catalogue cease and desist notices and present analyses of their claims to help recipients resist the chilling of legitimate activities (as well as understand when their activities are unlawful). The project’s core, this database of letters and FAQ-style analyses is supplemented by legal backgrounders, news items, and pointers to statutes and caselaw. Periodic “weather reports” will sum up the legal climate for online activity.
Question: What is the Chilling Effects clearinghouse?
Answer: The project invites recipients and senders of cease and desist notices to send them to a central point (here, at
chillingeffects.org) for analysis, and to browse the website for background information and explanation of the laws they are charged with violating or enforcing. Clinical law students will prepare issue-spotting analyses of the letters in the question- and-answer style of FAQs, which we will post alongside the letters in an online database. The site aims to educate C&D recipients about their legal rights. Site visitors may search the database by subject area or keyword.