3 thoughts on “p2p and Free Speech

  1. This is a very fun topic!

    There are, however, a few bits of misinformation which turn out to be very interesting trivia on their own.

    “Blacklist”, as a concept, is very old. However, the specific term probably dates from a list created by the British King Charles II of the 58 judges and court officers involved in the case his father King Charles in 1649, leading to his father’s execution. On Charles II’s restoration in 1660 13 members of the list were executed, 25 imprisoned for life, the balance escaped.

    HTTP, the protocol which allows us all to publish webpages, instructs browsers what files to download and how to display the contents of those files. Yes, all of the web is about downloading files – every image, every bit of text you read online, and oh so much more. It’s also about uploading. When I click the submit button, my comment will be uploaded to your server. Every e-mail you send, every flash movie you watch, every operating system update check involves uploading and downloading, and every upload or download is legal _as_a_process_. You can no more suggest downloading illegal than you could say making a phone call is illegal since some phone calls are used to scam money.

    The biggest problem with this ruling is it assumes that a technical fix (filtering) can solve a legal problem (unfettered intellectual property rights) and that IP rights, specifically limited in the US Constitution, should trump innovation. The best ‘solution’ to this proposed fix would be to publish the black-listed terms – instantly they would no longer be used by p2p networks, and thus neutralized. But not only will isohunt be required to censor content based on these terms, but they will not be allowed to publish the list of terms they are being required to filter on, a much more serious form of censorship.

  2. We all have our stories about the ‘evils” encountered when trying to protect against spam, porn, etc. No, technology is never perfect, nor will it be able to solve the problem of the existence of people who want to access your computer and interfere with your freedom to access the net unimpeded. But, the root of the problem is not the technology but that evil mind itself that desires to do these things. It seems that we are always being challenged to “headoff evil at the pass”. Sometimes we’re riding mules instead of mustangs.

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