posted Nov 08, 2000

Who defines the rules for the Net ring?
Free Speech
11/8/2000; 11:34:57 AM

'WE ARE USED to thinking of censorship as something governments do. But on the Internet of late, censorship appears to be more of a private enterprise.In the last two weeks, we've looked at AT&T@Home's termination of several different Internet accounts that belonged to Wesley and Digital Convergence's proprietary claims on its CueCat; both actions demonstrate the newfound power of big companies to enforce commercial censorship. Although different situations in many respects, @Home and Digital Convergence both successfully used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get their rather dubious intellectual property claims upheld....

'One final, gloomy note: This is all happening without UCITA being the law in any of the relevant states. If you combine UCITA -- and its ability to enforce such things as shrinkwrap terms prohibiting product criticism and reverse engineering -- with the DMCA, what will we have? I fear it could be a form of censorship that will make the most despotic governments exceedingly envious.'

p.s.: No election news!


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