Gee that was sweet Johnny
June 22, 2000 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Gee that was sweet Johnny but the world happens to like suing everyone for everything they're worth be it offline or online so we're going to pretend you never said that. Honey?" "Yes dear." "Where's my lawyer's phone number?" "You put it on speed dial, remember?" "Oh yeah.."
posted by ZachsMind (6 comments total)
You did notice, did you not, that the article you referenced was dated 1996?

The legislation to which he referred was CDA, which did not survive court test.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:11 PM on June 22, 2000

*shakes head* Is this yet another unwritten law of MetaFilter? We can't link to good stuff that's old? What's the date? Are we talking twinkie or milk expiration dates?

Yes. I'm aware of the date. My point is four years have passed and we've completely ignored what Barlow was saying. And now people are afraid to post because they fear retaliation, or they fear the future, or their lawyers just tell them not to.

The CDA was only the first battle. This is a war that will continue until the money and power gets its way.

Corporate interests and congressional legislation couldn't take the front door, so now through the judicial department and complicated copyright laws which never worked right in the first place, they're slipping their way in.

The Internet is being infiltrated.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:31 PM on June 22, 2000

I read the article and thought, "Well that sure didn't turn out to be true."

"people are afraid to post because they fear retaliation"

Where? I seem to be missing out on this huge mass of lawyer fearing Internet users. I see people flipping off anything they think is unfair. Constantly.

Where are the folks who have been scared straight? Where are the people who have been frightened into silence? All those Napster users? All the people who mirrored the Elian/Wuzzup file?

"they're slipping their way in. "

No they aren't. They're being beaten into shit. It looks like Napster is going to float. Gnuella isn't going anywhere. People here cuss all the time. Porn is everywhere. If anything is slipping in it's freedom in cyberspace.

You can always find examples for freedom of speech being slapped about in this new medium, but I think we're getting away with a hell of a lot.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:12 PM on June 22, 2000

y6, freedom has always been in cyberspace. Pretty much since day one. Well, maybe after the military sorta shrugged at the idea and let the universities experiment.

I'm not talking about now. In 96 Barlow set up something that we could all rally around. We all thought it was silly and melodramatic; claiming allegiance to a virtual nation. How absurd.

When commercial interests (i.e. money) got involved, they kept trying to find ways to own the 'Net, like cyberspace is property. They couldn't do that. They couldn't control it. They still can't. But they're trying. And eventually they will succeed. CDA failed. Congress' second attempt to censor the 'Net, using their chivalric "it's to protect the children" crap has failed, but they're just gonna go back to the drawing board.

And eventually they will find a way to make the 'Net "safe" for children, while at the same time making it useless for everybody, unless you can afford to pay for what you want.

Congress isn't doing this for the kids. They're doing it because corporate interests want there to be a pricetag not just on smut, but on all information. They're using the "protect the children" plea to get their foot in the door. They intend to control the 'Net. Barlow opened the door for us to take the initiative four years ago. We didn't step through it. We didn't have the balls. And in another four years, the Internet will become as harmless and useless as prime time television or drive time radio.

99 cents a page. Can you handle that? It's coming.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:43 AM on June 24, 2000

"commercial interests [....] kept trying to find ways to own the 'Net, [....] And eventually they will succeed. "

I guess we just disagree about that. How can they control the server I have sitting on my desk? I think more and more people will have servers soon. If they try to shut that down they have serious freedom of speech caseload to overcome. I don't see it happening.

And the Sealand thing is another option. I don't think Sealand will make it, but someone will. And at that point they have nothing to control.

I see things going in the opposite direction you do.

"99 cents a page. Can you handle that? It's coming."

How? Really. If you could figure out how to charge for access to websites you would be better than the thousands of business people who've gone broke trying. This business model has crashed and burned over and over. I dare you to come up with a scenario.

We seem to both feel strongly about this issue. I hope you won't think I'm being personal here. I like your posts very much and I've visited your site many times.

So there.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:50 AM on June 24, 2000

It's okay. If I take things personally, I'm not personally aware of it.

Corporate interests have been unsuccessful, so they are lobbying congressmen and other politicians to do something about it. Granted, much of this is probably behind closed doors. Maybe I'm just one of those paranoid types... Well yes, I am one of those paranoid types, but I have trouble believing politicians are trying to clean up the 'Net for the sake of the children. And we've been making copies of copies of files for decades now. Why is it suddenly under scrutiny? Cuz corporate interests think they're losing potential revenue.

There's no proof this is cutting down the money they're already making. They believe it's keeping them from money they could make. And they want control. They can't get it through the legal channels that exist now, so they lobby congress for new legislation to make it happen.

Now if those who pushed the CDA would have been satisfied with the judicial decision that's one thing, but they're not. They keep going. I don't see them giving up.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:10 PM on June 25, 2000

« Older Ladies and Gentlemen, Derek has left the building.   |   Longtime dream of Francis Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments