This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2006


Three links to news stories I noticed yesterday wanting to comment on, but then never had time. I figured I’d still pass along the links.

Pro-Taliban Speech Constitutionally Protected, Criticisms of Homosexuality Unprotected (Volokh)

My MiniTake: All forms of speech should be protected, regardless of how it may offend some people, including in many cases myself. This is speech in a public school, which is traditionally more regulated than just regular old speech, but I still think vast deference should be given to the right to be offensive. The desire lately to sanitize and protect people (including kids) from being offended is itself offensive.

(Sidetrack: Having said the above, I have not looked at the actual details of the court case and of course am not doing the lawyer thing, so I can’t say if I feel the judge acted correctly… as a very important general principle, it is very often that the correct decision in a court case is one that would result in an incorrect policy… but I would still believe the court decision is correct… one is about interpreting what the law is, the other is about determining what the law should be, and they are completely different questions.)

Coalition Sounds Off on Net Neutrality Legislation (SlashDot)

My MiniTake: Net Neutrality is a good thing. It is the right policy. However, government has no business regulating this one way or the other. The market should decide. If the major telcos decide to introduce tiered service, it would be a bad thing for the public in my opinion. But they own the wires, and they should have that right. Hopefully if they try they will fail, or other companies will provide alternatives. But it is their stuff and they should be able to do whatever the hell they want to with it, even if it isn’t the “best thing” as determined by some measure of public good.

The Bill the Hollywood cartels don’t want you to see (IPac)

My MiniTake: Intellectual propery rights need to be rolled back, not strengthened. The idea of IP, both copyright and patent, was to incentivise creators to create more than they would otherwise by providing LIMITED protection of their work from being exploited by others commercially for some period of time. Over the last 50 years this has been extended and expanded over and over again. At this point a very strong argument can be made that these laws and regulations are no longer serving their purpose of encoraging creativity and invention, but instead are outright stifling those tendancies by wrapping everything in rules and lock boxes. This law would be a huge mistake, and a huge further curtailment of individual rights with no balancing benefit other than helping to prop up the failed business model of the entertainment cartels. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if this passed with bipartisan almost unanimous support. That seems to be the trend.

Hmmm, I guess I ended up saying most of what I wanted to say anyway.