Category Archives: Networks

Free Speech…for free?

Reading Ch. 12 in your Lessig book share your thoughts about the following. Explain what Lessig says, then provide your arguments and examples:

  1. There are modalities of both regulation and protection…[that] function both as constraints on behavior and as protections against other constraints. (p. 234).
  2. But on top of this list of protectors of speech in cyberspace is (once again) architecture. Relative anonymity, decentralized distribution, multiple points of access, no necessary tie to geography, no simple system to identify content, tools of encryption–all these features and consequences of the Internet protocol make it difficult to control speech in cyberspace. The architecture of cyberspace is the real protector of speech in cyberspace; it is the real “First Amendment in cyberspace,” (p. 236, para 3’ish).
  3. Regulations of Speech: Publication: give a current example from the last couple of years illustrating this tension here. What is the tension? What is the government’s position (p. 239)? What is prior restraint? (p. 239)….Thus the architecture of the Net, Abrams suggested, eliminates the need for the constitutional protection. (p. 241).
  4. Regulations of Speech: Spam and Porn: What is pam? (p. 245). Regardless of personal feelings, should law support spam? (p. 246) How is spam regulated extensively? (p. 246). How is porn regulated (p. 246, bottom)? Obscenity? (p. 247).
  5. Thus as with porn, a different architectural constraint means a radically different regulation of behavior. Both porn and spam are…regulated in real space; in cyberspace, this difference in architecture means neither is effectively regulated at all. (p. 249). How so…
  6. Regulating Net-Porn: p. 251: What id Ginsberg establish?
  7. Page 253: What is the <H2M> tag? What does it do for porn?
  8. Page 255: What is the ACLU’s concern? What do you think?
  9. P. 257: What’s the deal with the ratings and the filtering? How does it impact Freedom of Speech?
  10. p. 258: Between the filtering regime and the H2M+KMB solution, private zoning of speech, which would you prefer? Consider the arguments at bottom of p. 258 in your response and tell us what you feel, ultimately?
  11. What does Lessig argue vis a vis point 10? See page 260, bottom half.
  12. Page 262: Most of feel the law can’t be too effective at regulating spam. How so? What should the regulation be? What does Lessig advocate? p. 262.
  13. Regulations of speech: Free culture: What is the role of copies in digital space vs. real life space? (p. 268).
  14. Should First Amendment values have a role in this world beyond the minimal protections accorded to the idea/expression distinction and its relationship with “fair use”?
  15. Regulations of Free Speech: Distribution: p. 272, bottom para: How does WiFi example illustrate how spectrum works? p. 274: Spectrum allocated v. spectrum shared architectures: Which do you prefer and why? Explain both…

Culture, Inc.

From your syllabus reading for Mach 30, reading Kim McLeod’s “Freedom of Expression,” Chapter 4 (Culture, Inc), share your thoughts on the following snippets extracted from the chapter. Provide the arguments made by the chapter for each point in a sentence or two, the examples the author chooses, then either support or argue against these in your own claim and providing examples of your own (about 5–7  sentences of your thoughts worth for each point below):

  1. Missy’s work is “akin to a hyper-hyperlinked Web page that sends you zooming from one clickable reference to the next…” (p. 172)
  2. Joyce used literature like a library, periodically checking out and inserting into his writing, ideas, and sentences that interested him…the irony [is that Joyce, beneficiary of his grampa’s] copyrights, regularly uses copyright to prevent his ancestor’s words from being quoted in films, plays, and scholarly works.
  3. Hip-hop broadcasts its message far and wide, but in code” (p. 175).
  4. Referencing pop culture helps define our identities and cultural preferences. It also provides us with a kind of grammar and syntax that structures our everyday talk. (p. 178, last para).
  5. Companies want us to feel comfortable with their intellectual properties and their brands, for them to feel like our “friends.” But they are extremely needy, attention-seeking, and money-draining friends.” (p. 180, 3rd para). Debate referencing the arguments on p. 179.
  6. When simply wearing a competitor’s logo to a corporate-sanctioned school event is considered a subversive act, it’s much harder for freedom of expression to be a tenable concept. (p. 182).
  7. Companies such as Nike want fans to use their trademarks, but in approved ways. As soon as critically minded citizens subvert those uses, the corporations lash back in the form of cease-and-desist letters. (p. 183, bottom para).
  8. The few places where biting satire is safe from the threat of intellectual-property litigation are areas…like The Daily Show… and The Onion, a fake newspaper (both of which, interestingly, tend to be more influential and pointed than many legitimate news sources). (p. 184, top para)
  9. Most of us associate satire with…freedom of expression; genuine satire doesn’t require permission from trademark lawyers. (p. 190).
  10. Product placement in films and video games? (p. 194). Has their use ever been subverted for other purposes?
  11. Media piracy doesn’t always have to express an overtly political or high-minded statement; it needs only to be a creative act, even of the most trivial kind. (p. 205, bottom para).
  12. By threatening ISPs and search engines, intellectual-property owners can simply make you disappear if they do not like what you have to say, something that was much more difficult in a nondigital world. (p. 213, bottom para).
  13. Under the DMCA, the decision about what is fair use is shifted to intellectual-property owners, and they aren’t necessarily fair and balanced. (p. 214, second last para)
  14. Search engines are potentially liable under the law for simply linking users to web sites, though they, too, can avoid lawsuits if they cave in to the demands of overzealous copyright bozos. (p. 215, last para).
  15. Even when it works against their particular interests, intellectual-property activists acknowledge the importance of cultivating open flows of information. (p. 222, middle para).

Group Decision-Making

What are, in your opinion, three key take-aways asserted in Talbott’s “Future Does Not Compute,”chapter 10? How do they matter today? What might they look like in the future? Share your thoughts before Thursday, March 2, 2017’s class as a reply to this post.