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

Re: TV, radio, and the First Amendment

Author:Seth Gordon
Posted:10/26/1999; 12:58:13 PM
Topic:TV & the First Amendment
Msg #:12377 (In response to 12376)
Prev/Next:12376 / 12378

You portable heckling box does not take place on top of the speech as Third Voice takes place right on top of (or better, in) the webpage. You're not in the speech, you're on the radio. It's not comparable.

It's perfectly comparable. Both the commentator/heckler and the speaker are aiming for the same target -- your ear. Both the 3V annotations and the page being annotated are aiming for the same target -- your browser's window.

In their own words, they give you a way to post a note on a web page, which happens to be the webmasters soap box, not yours.

Your server and the files on it are your soap box. Once they reach my computer, I (and my tools) can do any lawful thing I want with them, even if the result does not resemble the page you wanted me to see.

I'm reminded of a book I got years and years ago, Soviet Military Power: The Pentagon's Propaganda Document, Annotated and Corrected. The authors took a government publication, Soviet Military Power, surrounded copies of its pages with critical remarks, and republished it. (Under the sections of copyright law that apply to US government documents, this was entirely legal.) If the book had simply been a list of alleged errors and exaggerations in Soviet Military Power, without presenting them as annotations, it probably wouldn't have sold as well. By re-displaying the document in a form that the Pentagon did not appreciate, were the annotation authors trampling on some moral right that the Pentagon had?

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