Law in the Internet Society

View   r4  >  r3  >  r2  >  r1
TWikiGuestSecondEssay 4 - 11 Dec 2016 - Main.LauraZhang
Line: 1 to 1
 
META TOPICPARENT name="WebPreferences"
Changed:
<
<
Intro
>
>

Introduction

 
Changed:
<
<
It was not a long time ago when we thought of the internet as a place to remain anonymous. Our social media accounts offered ways of masking our identities with weird nicknames. We could fill the gaps with false information and yet nobody could say anything, because we thought nobody could find out who we were, where we lived, which school we were going to or what was the next thing we would more likely to buy online. Today net is the place where anonymity is dead. In contrast, people work on finding ways to hide their profiles, preferences, likes an dislikes while browsing in the internet. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter paved the way for this "de-anonymization" and it seems like there is no turning back.
>
>
When we talk about technological innovation and the value a new piece of technology adds to society, the most common concept brought to the table is efficiency. Students learning their first programming language are immediately taught that the run-time of algorithms and the space utilized are the two defining factors of optimal code for any given situation. We want to expend minimal time and minimal effort for the sake of maximum results. In today’s neoliberal society, the business landscape is not defined by multiple values. Rather, it holds only one value paramount – efficiency. With technology’s rapid advancements, we are achieving gains in efficiency too quickly. The pleasure centers in our brains are addicted to progress, and our appetites have been rewarded again and again with tangible gains in efficiency through the advancement of technology. Our obsession with efficiency and convenience has pushed us to focus blindly on advancing efficiency at the expense of all other values.
 
Changed:
<
<
When the net knows your pregnancy before you do
>
>

Eschewing Human Connection

 
Changed:
<
<
In 2014, Princeton sociologist, Janet Vertesi run a test to see whether it was possible to hide her pregnancy from the internet. She told every family member not to contact her about it through any technological means. Maybe shutting down her social media accounts would have made it easier, but she wanted to see the possibility to remain anonymous while she was actually online. Despite the warnings, one of her relatives sent her a private Facebook message, assuming it could not be traced down by the data-mining technology. She immediately deleted the message and "unfriended" that relative as she was aware that Facebook could also collect data through private messages.
>
>
Once upon a time, kids ran around yards and biked around the block with their friends after school. Time spent playing with kids was gradually replaced with hours talking on the phone with friends, which still facilitated some level of human connection. By 1999, phone calls were replaced with email, games, and surfing the internet in other ways. Email emphasizes the convenience of getting to respond to things on your own time. The kid is not forced into interaction in the same way that phone calls and in-person interactions demand. Instant gratification in the form of web games, too, is too convenient – we can click a few buttons and the thing we want is right there. Other activities such as physical exercise, enjoying real snow, playing with friends seem to require too much effort by comparison. The crazy convenience of technology taps into our laziest urges and makes other options seem far less appealing, even if these other options would eventually bring far more long-term gratification.
 
Changed:
<
<
She made her purchases with cash and also did not buy anything with her credit card online. Instead, she created an alternative mail account, did the shopping with pre-paid gift cards and sent it to a shared locker of Amazon. She even bought prenatal vitamins in cash, so as to make sure that no one could even relate the idea of her getting pregnant sooner or later. However, her efforts to remain anonymous made her look like a criminal. When she wanted to continue shopping with a pre-paid card she was warned by Rite Aid that if the transaction excessed a certain amount, they would report it to the authorities.
>
>

Information Overload

 
Changed:
<
<
Vertesi's ultimate aim in this project is to show that our personal lives are monetized and monitored, yet we often take it for granted. On to that account, in an age of constant surveillance, how is privacy structured? Is it possible to hide from big data or is it possible to fool it? These questions are too broad to answer and concerns a wide range of disciplines, but proposing the idea of living in a digital panopticon where anonymity is disappeared, would be one way to start thinking about them. Given the broad analysis on surveillance regimes by scholars like Foucault and recent findings on "de-anonymization"; I will try to show that opting-out is not possible.
>
>
In 2002, Angela Lewis in a First Monday article observed “I also find that there is a tendency for some people - and children in particular - to view any information coming from the computer as having an intrinsic worth above other sources (e.g. books) specifically because it is online, and therefore somehow more current or valuable.” The information that comes to us from the mediums of greatest efficiency (internet sources) is now prioritized as carrying the most accuracy and importance. Never mind the reputation of the sources or the thoroughness of the fact-checking – we want our information now, and we hold the fastest, most current sources to be the best.
 
Changed:
<
<
Digital Panopticon and Anonymity
>
>
The problem with this is not the individual pieces of information themselves. The internet is home to a vast amount of truth, and it is incredible that these truths are now available to us at our fingertips. The difficulty at hand is now our lack of ability and motivation to separate truth from falsehood. Lewis speaks of cyber-overload – the phenomenon of having an over-supply of information. The human attention span cannot handle sifting through the expanse of information in front of us. It is more appealing and immediately gratifying to consume new information rather than to go through the pains of fact-checking the old. The internet offers an unprecedented opportunity for people to publish whatever bits of information they desire, and they may choose from any number of sites from which to publish that do not bother to check the accuracy of such information.
 
Changed:
<
<
Weber's iron cage proposes the idea that in modern times rationalization and bureaucratization create institutions that seek maximum efficiency. Foucault advocates a parallel theory with panopticon that dehumanization is a result of advance forms of technologies and disciplines. Rationalization, for Foucault, is the pursuit of controlling human life with constant surveillance and calculation. Therefore, as rationalization occupies every aspect of human life, technology becomes capable of producing more pervasive means of control.
>
>
The convenience of the internet has also lead people to forget that the world contains a vast amount of information still inaccessible through the web. They have deemed this information too inconvenient to access, and therefore they will not bother learning from these sources. With these mediums of immense convenience and efficiency, it is no wonder that our baseline expectations of efficiency have drastically increased. When it comes to retrieving and analyzing information, we have no patience for taking extra steps to ensure we are learning truths.
 
Changed:
<
<
The panopticon of today is the internet, as it constantly observes behavior, exerts its power over it and commodifies human attention. The net violates the boundaries of private sphere and through conscious or unconscious participation it collects tremendous amounts of data to ensure market efficiency. However, assuring efficacy and privacy simultaneously are at odds with each other. One of them should take over the other if one wants to survive. As in the case of Vertesi, the internet had to find out about her pregnancy, since a pregnant women is worth three times more than an ordinary individual. The reason is, a future mother is highly valuable if she needs to buy diapers, because it will affect her long-term consumption patterns. Vertesi could only hide her secret for 7 months until Target and American Baby Life managed to find out about her situation, but realized that isolation efforts were time consuming and could even be risky.
>
>

Fake News and Facebook

 
Changed:
<
<
The Illusion of Privacy
>
>
Lewis’s article was written in 2002, more than a decade before the 2016 election. She had not been exposed to the news divide that happens on facebook today, nor did she see the massive influx of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton-related “fake news” articles. Even so, as early as 2002, she cautioned “We cannot assume that just because we found some information on the Internet, that it somehow makes it automatically real, right or a sound source of knowledge. Web sites are designed to sell a message to us as potential consumers of a point of view, a product or a concept - it is more a marketing than an information age in that respect.” Facebook’s newsfeed algorithms have honed in on what news we agree with and show us only that. Macedonian teenagers have discovered that if they write articles with incendiary headlines and completely false events, they can earn a ridiculous amount of money through foot traffic on their webpages because their articles are shared on facebook. The “fake news” phenomenon highlights the fact that many people encountering quite shocking news don’t even bother to do a cursory google search anymore – they will simply take the information as true.
 
Changed:
<
<
The participant in the net continuously leaves his digital footprints behind and the net makes sure that every photo, mail, video is attributed to its source whether the source wants it or not. Even though users try to mask their information somehow, technologies often find new ways to "de-anonymize" every single data. As the law professor Ohm states; "...the re-identification science makes the claims of privacy an illusion as by mixing and matching several sources of data, it is possible to reach the private...almost all information can be personal when combined with enough numbers of relevant data...". Therefore, the net has conquered our personal sphere and it is not possible to guarantee privacy for its users as merging various data sources can destroy the barriers of privacy.
>
>

Conclusion

 
Changed:
<
<
Conclusion

The internet overall repurposes the understanding of privacy and redistributes it in order to capitalize and modify behaviour for profit. Digital platforms that are connecting us electronically provide several spaces for all sorts of transactions in order to know who says what and where. It is alarming in the sense that it challenges notions of privacy, freedom and trust. We should be aware that anything we do on the net will never cease to exist. The technology of today is worrisome and regulators need to implement more efficient policies that weight harm against benefit and privacy against efficacy.

References

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/428150/what-facebook-knows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUDwyBYbWjM

http://www.shoshanazuboff.com/books/in-the-age-of-the-smart-machine/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/04/29/you-can-hide-your-pregnancy-online-but-youll-feel-like-a-criminal/#1de3a74a36c4

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/09/your-secrets-live-online-in-databases-of-ruin/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/06/15/data-mining-ceo-says-he-pays-for-burgers-in-cash-to-avoid-junk-food-purchases-being-tracked/#6d7599ad36a0

http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/under/110597under-wayner.html

>
>
Our society’s increasing obsession with efficiency, spurred on by the conveniences of the internet, has led us to ignore other aspects of our lives that carry importance. We think this increasing efficiency has lead us to have more control over our time. After all, if more tasks can be done in less time, doesn’t that mean we have more time for leisure and more freedom to do what we want? Ironically, that is the opposite of what has happened. We have become addicts of and slaves to the maximization of efficiency. Our lives revolve around answering text messages as soon as possible and running programs as soon as they have loaded.

TWikiGuestSecondEssay 3 - 08 Dec 2016 - Main.MerveKirmaci
Line: 1 to 1
 
META TOPICPARENT name="WebPreferences"
Changed:
<
<
*Everything That Can Be Shared for Free, Should be Shared For Free*
Center text
>
>
Intro
 
Changed:
<
<
Technology is blurring the line of property laws. A teenager can easily send a copy of the song of her favorite artist to her friends; college students can download copies of textbooks for free; anyone can distribute the newest Hollywood movies on the internet. Publishers and movie distributors do not seem to be able defend their property rights in books, music and movies, despite their efforts in lobbying the authorities in China, Korea and United States to enforce the laws.
>
>
It was not a long time ago when we thought of the internet as a place to remain anonymous. Our social media accounts offered ways of masking our identities with weird nicknames. We could fill the gaps with false information and yet nobody could say anything, because we thought nobody could find out who we were, where we lived, which school we were going to or what was the next thing we would more likely to buy online. Today net is the place where anonymity is dead. In contrast, people work on finding ways to hide their profiles, preferences, likes an dislikes while browsing in the internet. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter paved the way for this "de-anonymization" and it seems like there is no turning back.
 
Changed:
<
<
As the technology makes book, music and movies extremely accessible, copyright and the patent laws turn into hurdles on the road to the democratization of access to knowledge. Knowledge sharing on the internet, for the first time in the human history, reduces the costs of learning to zero.
>
>
When the net knows your pregnancy before you do
 
Changed:
<
<
Before the Sui Dynasty in ancient China, the selection of officers were done through Chaju (recommendations for offices). A prerequisite of office appointments is to be knowledgeable of the Confucius Classics (Liujing). Even though there were only six books to be mastered, the books were written on bamboos, which makes books expensive to maintain and to reproduce. Only a handful of prestigious families had the resources to teach their children about the classics, which, in return, ensure all important positions were taken by these families. These families arranged marriages among themselves, established the monopoly of power for over a thousand years. To give an example of how powerful these families were, Emperor Tangwenzong once asked his chancellor to marry his granddaughter to the crown prince. The chancellor rejected and married his granddaughter to a man of the Cui family. The Emperor sighed “my family has possessed the crown for 200 years, and still cannot not match the families of Cui and Lu.”
>
>
In 2014, Princeton sociologist, Janet Vertesi run a test to see whether it was possible to hide her pregnancy from the internet. She told every family member not to contact her about it through any technological means. Maybe shutting down her social media accounts would have made it easier, but she wanted to see the possibility to remain anonymous while she was actually online. Despite the warnings, one of her relatives sent her a private Facebook message, assuming it could not be traced down by the data-mining technology. She immediately deleted the message and "unfriended" that relative as she was aware that Facebook could also collect data through private messages.
 
Changed:
<
<
What came to destroy the monopoly was the invention of paper. Full rooms of bamboo books were replaced by paper copies that could be easily transported and transferred. Papers were also cheap to produce. Any landowners who were able to feed their families, could afford to educate their children. Offices started to be filled by people of poor upbringing. The few families that had dictated the politics for over a thousand years were forgotten.
>
>
She made her purchases with cash and also did not buy anything with her credit card online. Instead, she created an alternative mail account, did the shopping with pre-paid gift cards and sent it to a shared locker of Amazon. She even bought prenatal vitamins in cash, so as to make sure that no one could even relate the idea of her getting pregnant sooner or later. However, her efforts to remain anonymous made her look like a criminal. When she wanted to continue shopping with a pre-paid card she was warned by Rite Aid that if the transaction excessed a certain amount, they would report it to the authorities.
 
Changed:
<
<
Now comes the age that knowledge costs zero. So close we are to free sharing of knowledge through digital copies and online lectures, yet we let copyrights stand in the way. Property is the sole and despotic dominion over a thing. Personal property rules were developed over a long period of time for legitimate reasons. Land was the most important form of property. Property rights solve the problem of common property. When a community owns a forest, individuals have incentives to take as must as he can from the land. By doing so, he externalize most of the costs, and obtain all the benefits. If everyone does that in the community, the resources will be depleted quickly, and the future generations’ interest will be harm. This concern does not apply to knowledge. Sharing knowledge does not diminish the knowledge or deprive the future generations’ ability to access knowledge. Sharing knowledge actually creates more knowledge and makes knowledge more accessible to future generations.
>
>
Vertesi's ultimate aim in this project is to show that our personal lives are monetized and monitored, yet we often take it for granted. On to that account, in an age of constant surveillance, how is privacy structured? Is it possible to hide from big data or is it possible to fool it? These questions are too broad to answer and concerns a wide range of disciplines, but proposing the idea of living in a digital panopticon where anonymity is disappeared, would be one way to start thinking about them. Given the broad analysis on surveillance regimes by scholars like Foucault and recent findings on "de-anonymization"; I will try to show that opting-out is not possible.
 
Changed:
<
<
Property rights give the owner the sole discretion to price his property. The presumption is that people are rational, and the market will function to ensure efficient distribution of resources. This theory only works if resources are scarce, so that resource can be possessed by the people who value it the most. Knowledge lacks the nature of scarcity. When knowledge can be distributed at cost at zero, any distribution will be efficient. The owner of intellectual property should not have the right to price knowledge however he wants.
>
>
Digital Panopticon and Anonymity
 
Changed:
<
<
Property rights are in rem rights. For example, when a property has an owner, you only need to contract with the owner in order to receive the permission to build a dam. Otherwise, you have to contract with everyone on this land to build the dam. In contrast, one’s use of knowledge does not affect another’s ability to use the knowledge. You do not need to contract with everyone in the world to use some knowledge in exclusion of other users. Hence, there should be no in rem rights in intellectual property.
>
>
Weber's iron cage proposes the idea that in modern times rationalization and bureaucratization create institutions that seek maximum efficiency. Foucault advocates a parallel theory with panopticon that dehumanization is a result of advance forms of technologies and disciplines. Rationalization, for Foucault, is the pursuit of controlling human life with constant surveillance and calculation. Therefore, as rationalization occupies every aspect of human life, technology becomes capable of producing more pervasive means of control.
 
Changed:
<
<
In order for anything to constitute property, it must be scarce. Intellectual property lacks the nature of scarcity, and property rights should not apply. The argument that absence of protection of intellectual property will discourage people from creating can be addressed in two parts. First, there is no evidence that people lacked the incentive to create when there was no intellectual property laws. Second, even if we want to encourage people to create by making such creation profitable, the court is perfectly capable of using liability rule to price any creation. If the Delaware court is capable of determining what price is fair for a stock, courts are capable of deciding what price is fair for a book.
>
>
The panopticon of today is the internet, as it constantly observes behavior, exerts its power over it and commodifies human attention. The net violates the boundaries of private sphere and through conscious or unconscious participation it collects tremendous amounts of data to ensure market efficiency. However, assuring efficacy and privacy simultaneously are at odds with each other. One of them should take over the other if one wants to survive. As in the case of Vertesi, the internet had to find out about her pregnancy, since a pregnant women is worth three times more than an ordinary individual. The reason is, a future mother is highly valuable if she needs to buy diapers, because it will affect her long-term consumption patterns. Vertesi could only hide her secret for 7 months until Target and American Baby Life managed to find out about her situation, but realized that isolation efforts were time consuming and could even be risky.
 
Deleted:
<
<
The history of China showed that the power was dispersed after the access of knowledge became dispersed. First time in human history, the powerful and the privileged are losing control of who should be educated and how. As the cost of knowledge sharing approximates zero, intellectual property laws become the only way to artificially inflate the price of education to prevent access to knowledge for free, for all, and forever. Everything that can be shared for free, should be shared for free.
 \ No newline at end of file
Added:
>
>
The Illusion of Privacy

The participant in the net continuously leaves his digital footprints behind and the net makes sure that every photo, mail, video is attributed to its source whether the source wants it or not. Even though users try to mask their information somehow, technologies often find new ways to "de-anonymize" every single data. As the law professor Ohm states; "...the re-identification science makes the claims of privacy an illusion as by mixing and matching several sources of data, it is possible to reach the private...almost all information can be personal when combined with enough numbers of relevant data...". Therefore, the net has conquered our personal sphere and it is not possible to guarantee privacy for its users as merging various data sources can destroy the barriers of privacy.

Conclusion

The internet overall repurposes the understanding of privacy and redistributes it in order to capitalize and modify behaviour for profit. Digital platforms that are connecting us electronically provide several spaces for all sorts of transactions in order to know who says what and where. It is alarming in the sense that it challenges notions of privacy, freedom and trust. We should be aware that anything we do on the net will never cease to exist. The technology of today is worrisome and regulators need to implement more efficient policies that weight harm against benefit and privacy against efficacy.

References

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/428150/what-facebook-knows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUDwyBYbWjM

http://www.shoshanazuboff.com/books/in-the-age-of-the-smart-machine/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/04/29/you-can-hide-your-pregnancy-online-but-youll-feel-like-a-criminal/#1de3a74a36c4

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/09/your-secrets-live-online-in-databases-of-ruin/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/06/15/data-mining-ceo-says-he-pays-for-burgers-in-cash-to-avoid-junk-food-purchases-being-tracked/#6d7599ad36a0

http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/under/110597under-wayner.html


TWikiGuestSecondEssay 2 - 16 Dec 2015 - Main.LianchenLiu
Line: 1 to 1
 
META TOPICPARENT name="WebPreferences"
Added:
>
>
*Everything That Can Be Shared for Free, Should be Shared For Free*
Center text
 
Changed:
<
<
-- StephenHorton - 29 Dec 2014
>
>
Technology is blurring the line of property laws. A teenager can easily send a copy of the song of her favorite artist to her friends; college students can download copies of textbooks for free; anyone can distribute the newest Hollywood movies on the internet. Publishers and movie distributors do not seem to be able defend their property rights in books, music and movies, despite their efforts in lobbying the authorities in China, Korea and United States to enforce the laws.
 
Changed:
<
<
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Elonis v. United States on December 1, 2014, which has opened up a debate about the issue of free speech on the Internet. In that case, defendant Anthony Elonis posted violent rap lyrics about murdering his wife on Facebook. He was prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. 875(c), which states that “[w]hoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” In this essay, I review Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence and evaluate the merits of Elonis’s argument.
>
>
As the technology makes book, music and movies extremely accessible, copyright and the patent laws turn into hurdles on the road to the democratization of access to knowledge. Knowledge sharing on the internet, for the first time in the human history, reduces the costs of learning to zero.
 
Added:
>
>
Before the Sui Dynasty in ancient China, the selection of officers were done through Chaju (recommendations for offices). A prerequisite of office appointments is to be knowledgeable of the Confucius Classics (Liujing). Even though there were only six books to be mastered, the books were written on bamboos, which makes books expensive to maintain and to reproduce. Only a handful of prestigious families had the resources to teach their children about the classics, which, in return, ensure all important positions were taken by these families. These families arranged marriages among themselves, established the monopoly of power for over a thousand years. To give an example of how powerful these families were, Emperor Tangwenzong once asked his chancellor to marry his granddaughter to the crown prince. The chancellor rejected and married his granddaughter to a man of the Cui family. The Emperor sighed “my family has possessed the crown for 200 years, and still cannot not match the families of Cui and Lu.”
 
Changed:
<
<

Supreme Court First Amendment Jurisprudence

>
>
What came to destroy the monopoly was the invention of paper. Full rooms of bamboo books were replaced by paper copies that could be easily transported and transferred. Papers were also cheap to produce. Any landowners who were able to feed their families, could afford to educate their children. Offices started to be filled by people of poor upbringing. The few families that had dictated the politics for over a thousand years were forgotten.
 
Changed:
<
<
It is clear that the First Amendment does not provide unlimited protection for all things spoken, written, or otherwise expressed. For instance, in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), Justice Holmes, writing for the majority, famously wrote, “[t]he most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic… The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” Schenck remains a driving principle behind free speech jurisprudence, but was limited in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). That case held that it is an infringement of First Amendment speech rights to punish speech unless the speech “is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Id. at 447.
>
>
Now comes the age that knowledge costs zero. So close we are to free sharing of knowledge through digital copies and online lectures, yet we let copyrights stand in the way. Property is the sole and despotic dominion over a thing. Personal property rules were developed over a long period of time for legitimate reasons. Land was the most important form of property. Property rights solve the problem of common property. When a community owns a forest, individuals have incentives to take as must as he can from the land. By doing so, he externalize most of the costs, and obtain all the benefits. If everyone does that in the community, the resources will be depleted quickly, and the future generations’ interest will be harm. This concern does not apply to knowledge. Sharing knowledge does not diminish the knowledge or deprive the future generations’ ability to access knowledge. Sharing knowledge actually creates more knowledge and makes knowledge more accessible to future generations.
 
Changed:
<
<
However, the Supreme Court has said that, along with incitement speech, government may impinge on speech that constitutes a “true threat.” In Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003), the majority held that “[t]rue threats encompass those statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.” Id. at 359 (internal quotation marks omitted).
>
>
Property rights give the owner the sole discretion to price his property. The presumption is that people are rational, and the market will function to ensure efficient distribution of resources. This theory only works if resources are scarce, so that resource can be possessed by the people who value it the most. Knowledge lacks the nature of scarcity. When knowledge can be distributed at cost at zero, any distribution will be efficient. The owner of intellectual property should not have the right to price knowledge however he wants.
 
Added:
>
>
Property rights are in rem rights. For example, when a property has an owner, you only need to contract with the owner in order to receive the permission to build a dam. Otherwise, you have to contract with everyone on this land to build the dam. In contrast, one’s use of knowledge does not affect another’s ability to use the knowledge. You do not need to contract with everyone in the world to use some knowledge in exclusion of other users. Hence, there should be no in rem rights in intellectual property.
 
Changed:
<
<

Elonis’s Case

>
>
In order for anything to constitute property, it must be scarce. Intellectual property lacks the nature of scarcity, and property rights should not apply. The argument that absence of protection of intellectual property will discourage people from creating can be addressed in two parts. First, there is no evidence that people lacked the incentive to create when there was no intellectual property laws. Second, even if we want to encourage people to create by making such creation profitable, the court is perfectly capable of using liability rule to price any creation. If the Delaware court is capable of determining what price is fair for a stock, courts are capable of deciding what price is fair for a book.
 
Changed:
<
<
Elonis’s case turns on the application of the true threat doctrine. As is apparent, the definition from Virginia v. Black leaves something to be desired in terms of clarity. Elonis is arguing that the federal statute he was prosecuted under requires the government to prove his subjective intent to threaten. The government, on the other hand, maintains that proof of subjective intent is next to impossible to prove and would swallow the true threat exception altogether. Rather, they argue that they only must prove that a reasonable person would regard Elonis’s speech as threatening.

The former position is the correct one. Our legal system has required substantive intent for criminal liability since the beginning of our common law tradition, rather than simple negligence. See e.g., Holmes, The Common Law (1881). Moreover, when a criminal statute implicates a constitutional right, we must allow for a certain margin of error, if you will, in order to avoid a chilling effect on protected speech. People may choose to forgo making protected speech because they are concerned that they may find themselves on the other side of the contours of protection. Democracy thrives on differences of opinion and public discourse, so allowing for an adequate margin of error is preferable as an imprecise means to a desired end.

Substantively, Elonis’s statements were abhorrent and no one is defending the statements themselves. But, it is when we disagree with a speaker’s viewpoint that the civil liberties that this country was founded on are most crucial. Moreover, while it may seem like violent language like Elonis’s has no value whatsoever, as was suggested by Justice Scalia in oral arguments, infringing on Elonis’s right to express himself in this case will have far-reaching consequences on art speech (even if reasonable people disagree about whether statements like the ones in this case could ever be considered art) and political speech. As was pointed out by the Supreme Court itself, “[t]he language of the political arena,” in particular, “is often vituperative, abusive, and inexact,” and “may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” Watts v. United States, 394 U.S. 705, 708 (1969).

Furthermore, speech on the Internet should be particularly threatening in order t justify government censorship. The Internet was founded on the idea of dissemination of information and is inherently the primary vehicle of democracy in this country: “[t]hrough the use of chat rooms, any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer.” Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844, 870 (1997). The Supreme Court has had trouble adapting to 21st Century technology, but even without understanding the architecture of the Net, it is easy to see the value in allowing speech to remain largely unfettered in a context where anyone in the world can communicate with anyone else.

A subjective intent requirement, as argued for by Elonis, is necessary to protect First Amendment rights in general, and Internet speech in particular.

 
<--/commentPlugin-->
>
>
The history of China showed that the power was dispersed after the access of knowledge became dispersed. First time in human history, the powerful and the privileged are losing control of who should be educated and how. As the cost of knowledge sharing approximates zero, intellectual property laws become the only way to artificially inflate the price of education to prevent access to knowledge for free, for all, and forever. Everything that can be shared for free, should be shared for free.
 \ No newline at end of file

TWikiGuestSecondEssay 1 - 29 Dec 2014 - Main.StephenHorton
Line: 1 to 1
Added:
>
>
META TOPICPARENT name="WebPreferences"

-- StephenHorton - 29 Dec 2014

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Elonis v. United States on December 1, 2014, which has opened up a debate about the issue of free speech on the Internet. In that case, defendant Anthony Elonis posted violent rap lyrics about murdering his wife on Facebook. He was prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. 875(c), which states that “[w]hoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” In this essay, I review Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence and evaluate the merits of Elonis’s argument.

Supreme Court First Amendment Jurisprudence

It is clear that the First Amendment does not provide unlimited protection for all things spoken, written, or otherwise expressed. For instance, in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), Justice Holmes, writing for the majority, famously wrote, “[t]he most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic… The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” Schenck remains a driving principle behind free speech jurisprudence, but was limited in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). That case held that it is an infringement of First Amendment speech rights to punish speech unless the speech “is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Id. at 447.

However, the Supreme Court has said that, along with incitement speech, government may impinge on speech that constitutes a “true threat.” In Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003), the majority held that “[t]rue threats encompass those statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.” Id. at 359 (internal quotation marks omitted).

Elonis’s Case

Elonis’s case turns on the application of the true threat doctrine. As is apparent, the definition from Virginia v. Black leaves something to be desired in terms of clarity. Elonis is arguing that the federal statute he was prosecuted under requires the government to prove his subjective intent to threaten. The government, on the other hand, maintains that proof of subjective intent is next to impossible to prove and would swallow the true threat exception altogether. Rather, they argue that they only must prove that a reasonable person would regard Elonis’s speech as threatening.

The former position is the correct one. Our legal system has required substantive intent for criminal liability since the beginning of our common law tradition, rather than simple negligence. See e.g., Holmes, The Common Law (1881). Moreover, when a criminal statute implicates a constitutional right, we must allow for a certain margin of error, if you will, in order to avoid a chilling effect on protected speech. People may choose to forgo making protected speech because they are concerned that they may find themselves on the other side of the contours of protection. Democracy thrives on differences of opinion and public discourse, so allowing for an adequate margin of error is preferable as an imprecise means to a desired end.

Substantively, Elonis’s statements were abhorrent and no one is defending the statements themselves. But, it is when we disagree with a speaker’s viewpoint that the civil liberties that this country was founded on are most crucial. Moreover, while it may seem like violent language like Elonis’s has no value whatsoever, as was suggested by Justice Scalia in oral arguments, infringing on Elonis’s right to express himself in this case will have far-reaching consequences on art speech (even if reasonable people disagree about whether statements like the ones in this case could ever be considered art) and political speech. As was pointed out by the Supreme Court itself, “[t]he language of the political arena,” in particular, “is often vituperative, abusive, and inexact,” and “may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” Watts v. United States, 394 U.S. 705, 708 (1969).

Furthermore, speech on the Internet should be particularly threatening in order t justify government censorship. The Internet was founded on the idea of dissemination of information and is inherently the primary vehicle of democracy in this country: “[t]hrough the use of chat rooms, any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer.” Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844, 870 (1997). The Supreme Court has had trouble adapting to 21st Century technology, but even without understanding the architecture of the Net, it is easy to see the value in allowing speech to remain largely unfettered in a context where anyone in the world can communicate with anyone else.

A subjective intent requirement, as argued for by Elonis, is necessary to protect First Amendment rights in general, and Internet speech in particular.

 
<--/commentPlugin-->

Revision 4r4 - 11 Dec 2016 - 17:14:29 - LauraZhang
Revision 3r3 - 08 Dec 2016 - 17:21:38 - MerveKirmaci
Revision 2r2 - 16 Dec 2015 - 05:34:25 - LianchenLiu
Revision 1r1 - 29 Dec 2014 - 19:55:53 - StephenHorton
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM