January 09, 2005
Free speech = communism?

It would seem Bill Gates thinks so. Completely oblivious to the very serious discussion on the serious impact on free speech commercial censorship via copyright control is having, Bill Gates calls anyone opposed to heavyhanded DRM 'communists'. I'm sure he also thinks all Europeans are communists, if for no other reason then for maintaining anti-trust lawsuits against Microsoft.
Sounds like he's ready to run for office as yet another republican scaremonger next to Arnold 'Girlie Men' Schwarzenegger and Dick 'why don't you go F*** yourself' Cheney and let's not forget FCC chairmain Michael 'Wardrobe Incident' Powell.

[UPDATE, cognitive typo fixed]
In offline comments it was suggested that the actions of the FCC (introduction of broad censorship including crackdowns on Howard Stern and others on the pretense of the superbowl 'wardrobe incident') were not on the same scale as these other attacks on basic freedoms. I think it is just as bad. Free speech is also for swearing assholes, furthermore, the lines between form and content are blurry. Form, including obscenities, occasionally speaks volumes. One person's moral complaints is another person's political message.

I just added Counterculture Through the Ages to my latest amazon order as an antidote to this kind of thinking. Anybody know if Ken Goffmann is related to Erving Goffmann?

Posted by Claus at January 09, 2005 10:32 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments (post your own)


I wasn't suggesting that the FCC wasn't as bad and restrictive as others on your list.
My comments -- "he's the wrong one to pick on" (or something along those lines) -- were fully minded on Michael Powell, specifically. While his agency might be catering to a screwed political agenda, my impressions of him is that he is a rather clued-in individual, and not one who'd be the first to regulate any market or crack down on the freedom of speach.

While he doesn't address the nipple incident per se, have a read at:

Posted by: Nikolaj Nyholm on January 10, 2005 1:47 PM

Fair point, and I'll grant you that Powell's approach to VOIP ("Plain Old Telephony is over") was to the point and early enough.
But he was right there in front driving this new censorship via claims to public decency (a joke in a multi-channel TV world).

Posted by: Claus on January 10, 2005 1:49 PM
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