Re: System administrators to be responsible for content [cr-95/11/07]


Sender: Fred Baube <•••@••.•••>

Surely sendmail reeled when thusly spake Henry Huang:
> From: Henry Huang <•••@••.•••>
> Subject: Re: System administrators to be help responsible for content  
> > In third case (Religious Technology Center v. NETCOM),
> > the Church of Scientology is suing a BBS operator and an Internet
> > access provide for allowing the unauthorized uploading of copyrighted
> > materials.
> This is really frightening as well.  Somebody needs to hit Clinton with
> a 2x4 and point out exactly WHAT sort of interests he's supporting.
> The CoS may well have a case that the guy who *uploaded* violated copyright,
> but they also have a vile habit of using copyright threats to intimidate,
> threaten, and silence their critics (among other things).

Just off the top of my head, without thoroughly
thinking things thru :-) , I would say that ..

It seems like in their "perfect CoS-safe world",
the CoS would have all sysops and all data carriers
monitor all Web pages and all data transfers for CoS
material.  Doing this in anything like a foolproof
manner, which would mean its being done *by people*
and not by automatic means, is wholly impractical,
being horrendously time-consuming and expensive.
BUT, it would also open the door to litigation like
you've never seen, to be targeted arbitrarily, and
a new Net regime of Either Monitor and Censor, Or
Else Be Sued And Die, Nobody Is Innocent.

Bad Omen #1: Remember the lawsuits against Prodigy and
(I think it was) Compuserve ?  To please the CoS and
their ilk, Net service providers would have to check
*everything*, and there would no longer be the idea
of a "common carrier".  In this scenario, call it
"Kill the Messenger", everyone would be liable.

Bad Omen #2: Kinko's (a nationwide photocopying chain)
has been targeted, regarding university professors and
the arguably fair use of portions of copyrighted materials
for coursework.  Cornell and other schools have caved in.

Would Net providers be let off the hook ?  Maybe so.
Then it wouldn't be the providers doing the monitoring
and censoring, it would be in the hands of bands of copy-
right posses (for example, CoS droids) scouring the Net.

In this scenario too, call it "A Hungry Lawyer on Every
Web Site", copyright violation might easily be in the
eye of the beholder, with the "solution" being quite
litigous and arbitrary and chilling.  "Fair use" might
get crushed in the bustle.

Everyone censoring themselves AND everyone else.

There's got to be a better way.

/Fred Baube

G'town U MSFS '88
P/T Autodidact
F/T Information Junkie

 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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