[A2k] Question on Kathy Brown's Internet Rights Comments

Seth Johnson seth.p.johnson at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 15:03:17 PDT 2015


There's more to say on the topics in this article/commentary, but only
pointing to one thing that's useful to note at this point:

What -- exactly -- is a "content intermediary" -- such that such a
thing is not required or necessary to speak directly with others or
the world online?

We have to be careful about how we come up with and convey terms like
this.  The problem of copyright online (which makes everything
"content" as soon as it's "fixated") is not something we've solved --
it's something that needs to be discussed.

We've created a space for that discussion, but that discussion is not
proceeding well.  Plus that space actually only exists locally (as in
the DMCA's protections for online providers) -- something folks are
not attentive enough to, in that a conceptual distinction in the
international arena between "content" and "Internet" doesn't protect
you, and in fact the Information Society is already defined so the
policy space for "content" doesn't converge with "Internet".

Which means that policy is still in place, ready to impact us on the
Internet, while we have so far failed to move a discussion forward
that addresses how that policy and the Internet will actually
interact.  -- *And* that policy can thus be developed without actually
engaging on that question properly.

In addition -- completely independent of Kathy's comments I'm linking
to above -- we're seeing lots of phenomena suggesting pieces of an
approach not so much being developed with full deliberation as staged
for release in dribs and drabs (and body blows, too -- remember that
transnational SWAT team that was sent against MEGA?). That's the sort
of thing to watch out for.  What we have internationally is -- so far
-- something we have to wait on til it's sprung on us.


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