Nethead/Bellhead/Ushead

Nethead/Bellhead/Ushead

: David Weinberger is blogging Susan Crawford’s Nethead/Bellhead conference at the Cardoza School of Law in NY; I just got here (and probably won’t understand much of what is happening, which is why I begged out of a panel here). David has this gonzo, socko summary of what David Isenberg said in a panel I unfortunately missed (my emphases):

Isenberg says that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of the press. Suppose Congress makes a law that makes it a million times more expensive to own a printing press. Maybe the hypothetical law regulates press prices directly, controls the price of paper, etc. Doesn’t matter. It’d be unconstitutional. Suppose the law made presses only twice as expensive…Now that we’ve established what telcom regulation is, we’re just arguing about the price. “So, when I see Americans struggling with crippled kilobit systems when gigabit is available, I want to call the police.” Likewise, spectrum that is owned when it doesn’t have to be owned, broadcast flag, deep packet inspection without a warrant, I want to punish the criminals who are denying me my constitutional right. The Internet puts a printing press in everyone’s house. But it’s more than that. It’s freedom of assembly: The Internet is group-forming…The duty of the Congress and the FCC if they take the First Amendment seriously is to remove whatever” stands between the user and the use of the Internet. “We’re rapidly becoming a third world connectivity nation.” [Whooo! Go David!]

  • Jimbo

    Excellent note. Not many people realize that as the FCC and Congress erode our electronic freedoms they are really making a move against our constitutionally protected freedoms. Corporations are unwilling to adapt to the changing reality that technology brings so they attempt to change the rules in their favor. This goes hand in hand with problems like copyright extension and software patents.

  • Mike

    I’m a little in the dark about all this. How exactly are congress and the FCC eroding our electronic freedoms? And what should they be doing to remove whatever stands between the user and the use of the internet?

  • Jimbo

    Broadcast flag. Digital (HDTV) equipment will be required to “respect” a broadcast flag – that is if the broadcaster doesn’t want you making a digital copy of their boradcast, your TIVO or digital vcr is forced to not do it. So much for fair use of the material that is broadcast over the public airwaves. You had the right to record a show with your VCR, once it’s digital that right will be gone.

  • Tim

    “The duty of the Congress and the FCC if they take the First Amendment seriously is to remove whatever” stands between the user and the use of the Internet. “We’re rapidly becoming a third world connectivity nation.” ”
    Not any more that the duty of the Congress is to make sure that every person has a printing machine, or a computer and printer.