Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: TV & the First Amendment

Author:Seth Gordon
Posted:10/26/1999; 10:01:57 AM
Topic:TV & the First Amendment
Msg #:12360 (In response to 12262)
Prev/Next:12359 / 12363

If 3V could directly cause a denial-of-service attack against someone's Web site, that would analogous to using loudspeakers to drown out a political rally. Shouting people down is an attack against the communications medium. That medium is the collection of data-transfer protocols used by the Internet; if you prevent someone from communicating using those protocols (through a denial-of-service attack, mailbombing, or spurious postings to a netnews group), then you are drowning that person out.

You seem to believe that "a Web page" is a communications medium, and therefore, 3V is attacking the communications medium by allowing third parties to annotate your Web pages. But what is "a Web page"?

Is a Web page the HTML (or whatever) file transmitted from your server to the reader's machine? 3V doesn't modify the file on your server or interfere with that transmission. In that sense, 3V is not attacking your Web pages.

Is a Web page the image displayed on your browser? Once I've downloaded the file from your server, I can't exhibit or redistribute it without your permission, but copyright law protects my right to do just about everything else with it. In that sense, 3V is a legitimate tool that I may apply to your Web pages. By the same token, if I choose, I may read your Web pages using lynx instead of Netscape, even if that means not seeing your graphics; I can use WWWOFFLE to pre-load all the pages linked from yours, even if that distorts your click-through statistics.

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