cr> re: Bennahum on censorship


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996
Sender: Lazlo Nibble <•••@••.•••>
Subject: cr> Perspectives on censorship

> seems rather than legislating over the infrastructure as one
> entity (e.g. "the Net") we should consider breaking up standards
> according to the degree the service on the network is "public" or
> "private."

The reason broadcast media (tv, radio) are more restricted than other media
(film, print) is not because they are more "public" but because they are
licensed by the government to use a scarce public resource -- the radio
spectrum.  Net bandwidth is neither public nor scarce.  Use all you want;
the private companies that own the fiber will just lay down more.

Changing the standard to "public" vs "private" would be damaging to
expression in media that are currently much less restricted than broadcast
television -- in most urban areas, for example, cable tv is very nearly as
ubiquitous (public?) as broadcast tv, and you can buy Playboy at any
newsstand or convenience store.

::: Lazlo (•••@••.•••;


Questions from moderator:

        Good points, which bring up two questions in my mind:

        1) The "right" to regulate TV may arise from scarcity, but doesn't
the _kind_ of content-restrictions arise not from scarcity, but from the
accessibility to children? (ie, the "public" aspect)

        2) If Bennahum has some details wrong, isn't he still right that a
more discriminating analysis of cyberspace usages would be desirable, and
help in the effort for more enlightened legislation?



 Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
   CyberJournal:  Cyberlib temporarily unavailable
   Cyber-Rights:  http,
 Materials may be reposted in their _entirety_ for non-commercial use.