"You cannot guarantee freedom of speech and enforce copyright law".
From a technical POV this is obviously true.
Clarke has never offered a substantive explanation for why it would be true.
According to Clarke:
enforcement of [copyright] requires monitoring of communications, and you cannot be guaranteed free speech if someone is monitoring everything you say.
The word monitoring is intentionally misleading. There is neither requirement nor great effort to monitor for copyright violations, mere discovery has always been good enough.
Moreover, it seems to me that any attempt to monitor my private life would be invasive and likely found illegal.
Even if legal, no amount of monitoring prevents the exercise of free speech where it exists. "We heard you say Linux!" "So what, free speech. Linux, Linux, Linux." As for public speech, well, it's meant to be heard ("monitored"). If no one listened to you, free speech wouldnt be useful.
I also dont see how a
a copyright on my words silences yours. It's your free speech that's at issue, not mine. If I want you to say my mind, I'll give you that permission.
As it turns out, Clarke arrived at his free speech conclusion in order to justify Freenet. From a feed interview:
CLARKE: Okay. Let me clarify. I do think that copyright is a bad thing, but my initial motivation was not copyright. First, people started saying to me, "Hey, this could be used to distribute stuff without enforcing copyright." Then people started to say, "This can be used to distribute material without enforcing copyright, therefore, it shouldn't be allowed." And that put me in the situation where I had to justify what Freenet did. So yes, I did come to the conclusion that copyright was a bad thing, but that was not the initial motivation behind Freenet.
LOCKE: It seems like the initial motivation was free speech: unbounded ability to publish.
And thus free speech was redefined to mean the "unbounded ability to publish."
That isnt free speech. Free speech is speech protected from censorship. The "unbounded ability to publish" is not a protection against censorship, it is a rejection of
the fact that holders of copyright material would like to have some input in how their material is used and distributed. Artists can continue to have rights and you can continue to speak your own mind, just like free speech intended.
The best you can say for freenet is that it can be used to circumvent censorship where it exists. That is very useful. But that does not mean (a) that censorship is necessarily immoral or illegal; (b) that freenet is necessary for free speech any more than it means that freenet is the only way to circumvent censorship.
Where free speech exists (most everywhere) freenet is a tool to circumvent copyright, not censorship. Where it doesnt exist, copyright is immaterial because copyright has nothing to do with censorship in the first place. Books arent censored because of their copyright.
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