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Web site licenses? Hah - they're already here!
May 17th 2000, 03:18 CEST by andy

Something that got kicked up in a recent thread was the idea of governments licensing people to run web sites. And, of course, governments being able to revoke those licenses when people step out of line.

While government licensing is surely a long way off, you may be shocked to learn that legal procedures are already in place to close web sites. But who makes the decision? Gosh, it's a private company!



If you run a web site and registered your domain name through the leading registrar, Network Solutions, you may find that you are bound by this clause:

19. REVOCATION. [...] You agree that we may terminate our service(s), including our domain name registration services, in the event that you use such service(s) for any improper purpose, as determined in our sole discretion. [...] We will not refund any fees paid by you if we terminate your services.

This part of the revocation clause was introduced in November of last year. If you registered your domain name with Network Solutions since then, you are bound by the clause. If you registered it before then, you will be bound by the clause should you choose to renew your registration.

The legalities of this clause have already been tested successfully in court. In April of this year the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that a domain name is provided as part of a service and remains the property of the registrar. As the registrar is able to withdraw its service at any time, it is also able to withdraw use of the domain name.

Think you can just move your domain name services to a different company? Network Solutions has got that nicely tied up too:

23. NON-ASSIGNMENT. Your rights under this Agreement are not assignable. Any attempt by you to assign your rights shall render this Agreement voidable at our option.

As use of the domain name is provided as part of the agreement, trying to move your domain name to a different company would constitute an attempt to assign your rights to a third party. Network Solutions would have the option of terminating its service and, if they did so, you would lose your domain name.

Although this is the most extreme example of a domain registrar trying to retain more rights than they sensibly should, other companies have caught on to the idea.

EasySpace, the only ICANN-accredited registrar in Britain, has a clause in its registration agreement stating that domain services can be withdrawn in the event of a dispute over ownership.

Along with the Californian registration company Internet Domain Registrars, EasySpace also prevents customers from transferring their domain name to a new owner without prior written permission.

On a similar note, the British service provider Freenetname, which gives customers a free .co.uk domain name and web space, was accused earlier this year of 'hijacking' hosted sites as soon as they became popular, especially small business sites.

Several people reported their sites being closed by Freenetname, with the company claiming that fraudulent sign-up details had been given, something that was strongly disputed. In the end customers had to either pay 94 to have their site reinstated, or lose their domain name.

Those who went so far as to accuse Freenetname of lying about the false sign-up details pointed out that the only people whose sites were closed were those who either used advertising or included their URL on business cards or company letterheads. In other words, the people who were most likely to hand over the cash. Freenetname denied any wrong-doing, but did not explain why less popular sites with blatantly false sign-up details were allowed to continue.

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#1 by "Jafd"
2000-05-17 03:27:13
jafd@whatthefuck.com
"any improper purpose, as determined in our sole discretion."

This is the most disturbing clause I've read all year. Yuck.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "G-Man"
2000-05-17 03:32:54
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
Interesting... but Network Solutions is not the only domain name registrar out there. Not for a while now. Also it is extremely probable that the current domain name system will NOT be in place in a few years (5-10), or will at least be fragmented somewhat. Dot-branding, limited-interface internet enabled devices (e.g WAP phones), ubiquitous computing, ipv6, and intelligent agents will all play a large role in determining the next iteration of determining internet destinations, and remapping the structure of the web.

Also not have a domain name does nothing to deprive you of your right to server data. It just deprives you of some of the ease of use. No reason I can't bookmark an ip address, or doubleclick a shortcut to get to PlanetCrap. The pain of these intermediate steps (some would say obstacles) between a consumer and his money are rather rapidly being removed.

 - [g.man]

so i'm not first<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#3 by "G-Man"
2000-05-17 03:37:15
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
Andy

I forgot to mention this earlier, but this is what I consider a "good" topic.

Compare and contrast.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Desiato"
2000-05-17 03:40:42
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
For that *EXACT REASON* I registered through a foreign Domain registrar.

That's the cool thing about the internet, you have a choice.

Oh wait -- you wanted licenses and centralized control....guess you'd have to register with Network Solutions then...

Heh.


Desiato
#5 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 03:45:09
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#4</b>, Desiato:
<QUOTE>
you wanted licenses and <b>centralized</b> control
</QUOTE>
Nope. :)
#6 by "Phayyde"
2000-05-17 04:13:50
phayyde@chaosnow.com http://chaosnow.com/
Reading a similar <a href="http://slashdot.org/askslashdot/00/05/13/2117259.shtml" target="_new">story on /.</a>, I found reports from many people saying that transferring their domains from NSI was painless, intuitive, quick and easy.  Let's hope the situation stays this way.
#7 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-05-17 04:17:52
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
Private companies do not have the authority to come into my home with a gun and tell me that I cannot say what they don't want me to say.

Government does not ask, request, or imply that you should do or not do something. Everything your government tells you to do or not do is backed up by the force of a gun.

Also, governments do not "compete" like private companies do. If I don't like the way the U.S. government is doing something, I can't just switch my citizenship over to the <i>other </i>U.S. government whose policies I prefer.

This is a long way off from having a handful of people with guns telling me what I can and cannot say/display on my website.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 04:18:50
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#6</b>, Phayyde:
<QUOTE>
Reading a similar story on /., I found reports from many people saying that transferring their domains from NSI was painless, intuitive, quick and easy. Let's hope the situation stays this way.
</QUOTE>
Whereas I looked at the same story and many people were saying that transferring from NSI was damn near impossible. One person said he'd been trying to transfer for months.
#9 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-05-17 04:28:50
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<b>#8</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>#6, Phayyde:


Reading a similar story on /., I found reports from many people saying that transferring their domains from NSI was painless, intuitive, quick and easy. Let's hope the situation stays this way.


Whereas I looked at the same story and many people were saying that transferring from NSI was damn near impossible. One person said he'd been trying to transfer for months. </QUOTE>

Wait, aren't these rumors? ;-)

BTW Andy just to be clear: being an idealist, I agree with the concept you're talking about, but any implementation by humans will not come anywhere near that ideal.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#10 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 04:37:52
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#7</b>, Serpwidgets:
<QUOTE>
Private companies do not have the authority to come into my home with a gun and tell me that I cannot say what they don't want me to say.
</QUOTE>
No, but as of next year digital media companies will be able to have you fined and/or imprisoned for saying what they don't want you to say. Probably only in extreme cases, but the process <b>will</b> be there.
<QUOTE>
Wait, aren't these rumors? ;-)
</QUOTE>
No, they are testimonials. Great big hairy ones.
#11 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-05-17 04:40:59
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<b>#10</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>No, but as of next year digital media companies will be able to have you fined and/or imprisoned for saying what they don't want you to say. Probably only in extreme cases, but the process will be there. </QUOTE>

This is most intriguing, Captain! Is this a UK thing? Got any articles or links where I can read up in this? TIA<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "None-1a"
2000-05-17 04:45:48
none1a@home.com
I think the main reason for the clause in Network Solutions agreement was to prevent squating (you know sitting on a domain name you just know some one will used then charging insane amounts to transfer the name), not out and out control over the sites. I'd be damn near impossible for NS to look at sites regesterd with them for violations, while having the clause gives them a wayout when some one reports squating to them.

As for licensing people to run websites, while this may be a great way to stop the idiots from posting sites (if I see one more damn site that says nothing but I'm a 13 year old girl with nothing much to say so here's some pictures of my stuffed animals I'm going to kill some one*) with the problems the gov's caused with there damn Clild protection thing (where no one under 18 can give any personal infomation including e-mail addresses out with out first getting writen premision from there folks) do you really think they want to try getting into the web control biz again after all they've got the crap kicked out of them a few times fro trying this (CDA anyone).

*O I ran across just that type of site while doing the Geocities community leader thing, each site was reported for child endagerment (less because I was acctauly consered some pedifile would find that site then I just wanted to see that crap gone).
#13 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 04:57:59
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#11</b>, Serpwidgets:
<QUOTE>
This is most intriguing, Captain! Is this a UK thing?
</QUOTE>
No, thank God. We actually pay attention to what our government is doing over here!
<QUOTE>
Got any articles or links where I can read up in this? TIA
</QUOTE>
Have a look at <a href="http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/ulc/ucita/ucita200.txt">this bastard</a>. Enjoy. :)

BTW, it looks like I've been slipping behind the times a little, either that or things are moving reeeally fast. I said the other day that UCITA had been introduced (for 2001) in Virginia. It has also been introduced (for this year) in Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois and Oklahoma. Eek.

Is "District of Columbia" Washington? I know there's Washington DC, but are they the same thing?
#14 by "G-Man"
2000-05-17 05:02:25
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#11</b> "Serpwidgets" wrote...
<QUOTE>#10 "Andy" wrote...

No, but as of next year digital media companies will be able to have you fined and/or imprisoned for saying what they don't want you to say. Probably only in extreme cases, but the process will be there.


This is most intriguing, Captain! Is this a UK thing? Got any articles or links where I can read up in this? TIA</QUOTE>
Amazing that after all the hullaballo there is someone who still hasn't heard of the <a href="http://www.eff.org/pub/Intellectual_property/DMCA/">Digital Millenium Copyright Act</a>.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 05:09:47
andy@planetcrap.com
G-Man, what is the relevance of the DMCA? (In relation to the comments you quoted, I mean.)
#16 by "None-1a"
2000-05-17 05:15:32
none1a@home.com
Yes Andy District of Columbia is the same as Washington DC, using the full DC creates less confusion for newscasters and morons wathing the news (who ironicaly have a lot of stupidity in common with the newscasters).

Also some one should tell these state govs (or little gov morons) that not signing the UCITA into law will not cause them to lose 'e-commerce' revanue, after all these stupid little gov morons aren't getting money from out of state net sales anyway. (for anyone that doesn't know the UCITA the tactic the BSA is using to get states to pass the thing is to say they'll lose all software sales if it's not signed, a form of blackmail)
#17 by "G-Man"
2000-05-17 05:17:36
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#15</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>G-Man, what is the relevance of the DMCA? (In relation to the comments you quoted, I mean.) </QUOTE>

<quote>No, but as of next year digital media companies will be able to have you fined and/or imprisoned for saying what they don't want you to say.</quote>
Under the DMCA you can be sued and fined (possibly imprisoned?) for saying what they don't want you to say RIGHT NOW. Namely publishing content about how certain technology works, or even linking to or otherwise providing instructions as to how to find such content, is now illegal (though very likely unconstitutional and thus unenforcible).

This was directed at Serpwidgets who seemed unaware of the legislation since he expressed surprise at somewhat similar but imo less threatening legislation which had yet to even take effect. Your comments were included for completeness and to maintain the context of the discussion.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "G-Man"
2000-05-17 05:21:26
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
We're all here hitting refresh to respond to the latest response so we can respond to that response... why not just PCIRCHO?

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#19 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 05:24:39
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#18</b>, G-Man:
<QUOTE>
We're all here hitting refresh
</QUOTE>
Don't you use CrapSpy? You get a little flashing systray icon when someone has posted something.
<QUOTE>
why not just PCIRCHO?
</QUOTE>
Because this way comments get archived on the site, archived in CrapSpy, and people can easily catch up on the discussion.
#20 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-17 05:29:15
PC is officially no longer a game-related site.
 
hehe.  :)
#21 by "G-Man"
2000-05-17 05:30:37
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#19</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>#18, G-Man:
Don't you use CrapSpy? You get a little flashing systray icon when someone has posted something.</QUOTE>

Yeah I'm using CrapSpy but somehow "We're all here waiting for the little icon to blink" doesn't have that same magic.

<b>#19</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Because this way comments get archived on the site, archived in CrapSpy, and people can easily catch up on the discussion. </QUOTE>
Fair enough but PCv4 had better have real time voice chat (with archives)...

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-05-17 05:56:59
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<b>#14</b> "G-Man" wrote...
<QUOTE>Amazing that after all the hullaballo there is someone who still hasn't heard of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.</QUOTE>

Nope, it's news to me. I'd heard of something regarding "any site that mentions any illegal drugs or links to any site that does so" which pissed me off enough. This should be an interesting read, thanks.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-05-17 05:59:25
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<b>#16</b> "None-1a" wrote...
<QUOTE>(for anyone that doesn't know the UCITA the tactic the BSA is using to get states to pass the thing is to say they'll lose all software sales if it's not signed, a form of blackmail)</QUOTE>

Oh, that's ok, if that doesn't work out, the Federal Govt can always just strongarm the states into passing it anyway, the way they did when they made it so any state with a drinking age under 21 got no Fed Highway funds.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Seven Tacos"
2000-05-17 05:59:38
kurto@asgaard.usu.edu
A company being able to stop you from propagating their copyrighted work is very different from being able to stop you from saying something they don't like, which is the most obvious interpretation of:

<quote>No, but as of next year digital media companies will be able to have you fined and/or imprisoned for saying what they don't want you to say.</quote>
#25 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 06:07:58
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#22</b>, Serpwidgets:
<QUOTE><QUOTE>
#14 "G-Man" wrote...
Amazing that after all the hullaballo there is someone who still hasn't heard of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
</QUOTE>
Nope, it's news to me. I'd heard of something regarding "any site that mentions any illegal drugs or links to any site that does so" which pissed me off enough. This should be an interesting read, thanks.
</QUOTE>
I don't know much about the DMCA so I can't comment on that, but as far as UCITA is concerned, it works like this:

The shrinkwrap/clickwrap license exists to protect the software vendor. The vendor can include a clause prohibiting public exposure of flaws in the product, because 'hiding' these flaws can be shown to be in the best interests of the vendor. If someone then goes ahead and exposes the flaws, it can be shown that doing so was potentially harmful to the vendor as sales may have been lost as a direct result. Under the terms of the EULA, the vendor can claim against the consumer.

That's the theory, anyway. It basically puts the reporting of flaws on the same level as piracy. Whether the flaw is a bug, a badly designed level or a missing sound effect is irrelevant.
#26 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 06:09:41
andy@planetcrap.com
#24 - ???
#27 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-05-17 06:17:01
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<b>#25</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>If someone then goes ahead and exposes the flaws, it can be shown that doing so was potentially harmful to the vendor as sales may have been lost as a direct result. Under the terms of the EULA, the vendor can claim against the consumer</QUOTE>

Will it then be the same for music CD's to be able have such a EULA on them so you can't say, "I didn't like that song" after you bought the CD?

If it does pass, I'll be glad to have them waste their money hauling me into court for pointing out bugs. They can have all (-$10,000) of my money...

I think the only realistic scenarios that will arise from this, however, are suits against magazines and such, as someone else had mentioned earlier.

I still don't like the premise, though. If you don't intend to enforce a law whenever it is broken, then it shouldn't be a law in the first place.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "G-Man"
2000-05-17 06:30:33
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#27</b> "Serpwidgets" wrote...
<QUOTE>I still don't like the premise, though. If you don't intend to enforce a law whenever it is broken, then it shouldn't be a law in the first place.</QUOTE>
US Legislature on the federal level, is more or less pretty good at this sort of thing... consider that out of 11,000 proposed amendments to the Constitution only a handful have been even passed by the Senate and House. Most of the laws which are blatantly unenforced, and are frequently the subject of ridicule, are on the State/County/Town level, where (in principle at least) legislators and officials are less accountable or experienced.

The only reasons that I think having widely unenforced laws is a Bad Thing, is because it discredits the laws that ARE enforced, and lends doubt in the legislative system. And under very rare circumstances officials and other agents of the government (DA's, judges, etc,.) can use these legal 'loopholes' for their personal advantage (furtherment of their goals).

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Jowr"
2000-05-17 06:59:44
Jowr@sdf.lonestar.org http://n/a
Hmm. I wonder why these laws arent deemed unconstitutional..i have my 1st ammendment right to say what i want. If i expose a bug, you cant send me to jail or fine me!
#30 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-17 10:24:19
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#22</b> "Serpwidgets" wrote...
<QUOTE>Nope, it's news to me. I'd heard of something regarding "any site that mentions any illegal drugs or links to any site that does so" which pissed me off enough. This should be an
interesting read, thanks.</QUOTE>

In Australia, if an Australian server links to porn, graphic violence or other "culturally unnacceptable" material they are given 24 hours to remove the material after which time the host is sent to jail for 10 years. Got to love these draconian measures :<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "RedLine"
2000-05-17 12:00:10
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
What is everyone getting so worked up about ?  This (UCITA and NSI) is just the digital equivlent of sueing for slander...

If I work for Company X, and I'm at a party in my neighbours garden and someone is badmouthing the Company with false statements, do I sue them for slander on behalf of the Company ?

On the other hand, if Newspaper Y prints false crap about the Company, you damn well bet the Company is gonna sue their ass off...

<B>Jeet</B> said on the "The Internet, Like Camelot, Is A Silly Place" thread:

<quote>Anybody hear about Tommy Hilfiger trashing African-American people on Oprah? Oprah booted his ass off the show faster than you can say "Rosa Parks, hop on board!" This has, subsequently, led to the plummeting of Tommy Hilfiger's stock. Serves him right, too. That bastard.

Only thing, is...it never happened. Hilfiger was never on Oprah. Oprah has never talked to Tommy. They've never even met. Ah, but some clever soul decided to plant this little moist nugget of a rumor on the Internet, and people ran with it.</quote>

Under these kind of terms, Tommy H. can have the nasty little website that started all that crap yanked faster than... well.. pretty fast at any rate.

Of course, the principal of the law, that it could be applied to you and I, not just to corporations is pretty disturbing, but there are other laws that give us our right to our free speech, so it is not cut-and-dried.

You tend to find practically gets in the way of patently stupid laws like these though.

[13] Andy

<quote>No, thank God. We actually pay attention to what our government is doing over here!</quote>

No, a few extremist fundamentalists do, and end up destroying a McDonalds and defacing a war rememberance statue.

If we really paid so much attention, would we have let the Gov' charge so much extra tax on petrol ?  Money that goes into central resources and not right back into the transport budget ?
#32 by "RedLine"
2000-05-17 12:04:29
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
I also find it ironic that in the other thread Andy was all for web licences, yet here he is all against legslation which he himself compares to those licences.  Could you just clarify your position here please Andy ?  Note that I am not trying to be a smart-ass here, I am genuinely interested to know what makes these two things different in your mind....
#33 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-05-17 12:12:48
Darkseid@captured.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
tum te tum

how many of you bothered to read your web hosting agreement ?

or your isp agreement ?

or maybe even your cellular contract ?


go ahead read em.

in most of them youll find that the company reserves the right to terminate your service at their discretion. Often this is tied in with 'no warning' and 'no refund'.

People are getting in a hoohah over mx records? Why when this is pretty much standard stuff in service contracts.


Ds
#34 by "RedLine"
2000-05-17 12:31:11
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
[33] Darkseid-[D!]

Heh actually I read very carefully the contract my of my webhost... if I do anything illegal there, pr0n, h4X0r1ng, w4r3z, (They actually specify explicitly) they can just delete me with no warning, explanation or refund, and quite rightly so.

For anything else, either them terminating my account, or me terminating it, there has to be written notice, and a refund will be given, if one is needed (Eg if I pay by the year and decide to cancel after 6 months)

But yeah, I would imagine a lot of companies do have the kind of agreement you describe, and I imagine at lot of people don't bother to read it either...
#35 by "legion88@yahoo.com"
2000-05-17 15:11:49
legion88@yahoo.com
I haven't read these laws (don't have the time) but from what I gather from Redline comments, it appears to be a law tailored towards people slandering each other, companies, whatever.  If that is the case, then that is a good thing--IF that is the case.

If you guys have the time, I encourage you to visit the newsgroups (e.g. Voodoo3) and count the number of times David Kirk was called a "liar" or the number of times NVIDIA was called lying during 1999 (Dejanews archives).  One of the reviewers of 3dfx hardware spent several months accusing Kirk of lying.  All he does is quote comments from Kirk and claims those comments were lies.  Not once did he show that those comments were indeed lies.

Would the law actually affect these people in the newsgroups?  I find it hard to believe it would be enforceable but let us PRETEND for a moment that it is.  Would the law affect these people?
#36 by "RedLine"
2000-05-17 16:34:02
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
[35] legion88

It appeared to me that the net result would be similar to slander/libel laws that are around now (But these tend not to give the specific powers required to deal with the digital form)... BUT... that's just my interpretation, don't take my word for it, check it out and see if you agree. ;-)
#37 by "legion88@yahoo.com"
2000-05-17 17:02:56
legion88@yahoo.com
Redline, I'll get to it if I get the time.

Anyway, Beyond3D appears to hate having people post views that they do not like.  Quite the opposite here in PlanetCrap.  At least two threads were deleted because one of the site maintainers did like some criticism of some sort.  Don't know what that was since it was deleted.  (I'm not the author of those threads if you were wondering.)

What do you guys think? I fully recongnize that what they did is legal and all that.  I'm talking about the ethical point of view.  Do you guys think it is ethical for someone to delete views they do not cater to in an effort to shape public opinion on something (like on graphics cards)?
#38 by "Andy"
2000-05-17 17:09:26
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#32</b>, RedLine:
<QUOTE>
I also find it ironic that in the other thread Andy was all for web licences, yet here he is all against legslation which he himself compares to those licences. Could you just clarify your position here please Andy ? Note that I am not trying to be a smart-ass here, I am genuinely interested to know what makes these two things different in your mind....
</QUOTE>
Having a democratically elected government applying licensing laws to web sites is not something that I find at all scary. I'd welcome it with open arms if it started tomorrow and I'd hand over my licence fee with no qualms at all.

The whole process would be backed up by policy boards, clearly defined terms and licences could only be revoked after due legal process. Revocation could be challenged through independent committees and/or the courts.

The only problem I have with the whole idea is that it hasn't happened already.

On the other hand, I do not want a non-democratically established, financially motivated private company deciding, at their sole discretion and with no process for appeal, if and when someone should have their web site closed.

(For the purpose of the discussion, I realise that withdrawing a domain doesn't close the web site, but it <i>would</i> get rid of a lot of visitors which is much the same thing.)
#39 by "RedLine"
2000-05-17 17:23:59
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
[38] Andy

Ah, now that makes perfect sense... actually I agree with what you said entirely (Relating specifically to #38), now I understand where you are coming from. ;-)
#40 by "Seven Tacos"
2000-05-17 17:56:04
kurto@asgaard.usu.edu
Why do you guys think that the government should license web sites? Why should I have to pay a tax/fee on what I want to say? I have no problem with regulations on some types of speech, but in general nobody has the right to tell me that I have to pay money in order to put up a website about my favorite gaming system.
#41 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-17 18:06:15
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#36</b> "RedLine" wrote...
<QUOTE>[35] legion88

It appeared to me that the net result would be similar to slander/libel laws that are around now (But these tend not to give the specific powers required to deal with the digital form)... BUT... that's just my interpretation, don't take my word for it, check it out and see if you agree. ;-) </QUOTE>

If you steal from children in the park on Saturdays and I tell everyone, thats ok because its the truth.  This is not the case for buying software in Virginia after 2001.  

You're software deletes my harddrive and I call you up for help.  You tell me to "fuck off" then hang up on me.  I tell everyone, now you are the victum and I have violated our agreement.  I don't think this would be constitutional, but thats the way the law reads to me.

V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "legion88@yahoo.com"
2000-05-17 18:08:35
legion88@yahoo.com
#40,

Does the newspapers have to pay a tax/fee for some license?  Do the magazines?  Do the radio stations?  TV stations?

If not, then why should the general public?  If so, then why should the public be any different?

And don't let the fact that there is a cost associated with this hypothetical situation shift the focus.  The issue is whether sites should have licenses, free or not.

As of right now, people have a free pass to slander any individual, any company at will.  Radio stations, up to a point, are free to express some wacky views (i.e. talk shows).  But when it comes to downright slander/libel, they have to pay the price.  We don't have that with the internet, do we?

Look at the newsgroups and message boards.  There is absolutely no accountability at all from what I can tell.  Now imagine these people have web sites.  I remember seeing one website claiming that one of the reviewers of FiringSquad was fabricating pics to make the Voodoo3's image quality look poor.
#43 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-17 18:08:53
rhiggi@home.com
Andy why don't you just start a topic on this?  I would be easier to have the converstation a little more "in one place".  Obviously some people still haven't heard.

V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "legion88@yahoo.com"
2000-05-17 18:20:37
legion88@yahoo.com
#41,

First, I can sue you for slander if you are going around accusing me of stealing from children.  Hypothetically speaking, of course.  If you can not prove what you claimed, then you are guilty of slander.  Accusing someone publically of a wrong-doing without being able to back it makes you guilty of slander.

Second,if the software case, the same thing applies.  You accused a company of a wrongdoing.  If you do not provide any evidence to back that up, then why would anyone believe you?  Because you dress funny, or what?  As far as the court is concerned, that is slander.
#45 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-17 18:33:51
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#44</b> "legion88@yahoo.com" wrote stuff

I have a feeling we're talking about different things.  Your talking about slander laws, I am not.

<quote>
Accusing someone publically of a wrong-doing without being able to back it makes you guilty of slander.
</quote>

Actually, I think that you have to prove I lied intentionally and you were <b>damaged</b> reputation, whatever in the process.  In my first example I didn't say I lied, I said you stole from children and I told other people, presumably including the authorities media and so on.  I'm not guilty of slander if I'm telling the truth and you were damaged.

My second example is something totally different.  I'm not talking about slander laws

Confused?  This is why it should be another topic, so people who come in half way through know whats going on......

V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#46 by "Seven Tacos"
2000-05-17 19:38:36
kurto@asgaard.usu.edu
#42 - <quote>Does the newspapers have to pay a tax/fee for some license? Do the magazines? Do the radio stations? TV stations?</quote>

TV and radio stations have to have a license because they are consuming a physically limited natural resource in a particular region: a frequency range. Magazines and Newspapers do not have to have a license to publish. They may need a license to do business, but so does any business.

People in general have the right to communicate, not a first ammendmant right, but a natural right we have because we can actually communicate. We have very carefully considered laws that regulate speech. Laws that are only allowed because they can be shown to actually prevent a deterioration of society.

Sure we may not like the fact that people put up information that is stupid, or even worse, blatantly misleading, but we really should have the right to speak it.
#47 by "None-1a"
2000-05-17 19:57:20
none1a@home.com
Serpwidgets way back in 23 you say the big gov morons could force the little gov morons into passing the law from what I've read the FTC is aggenst UCITA for taking away consumer rights. The bill is being pushed by the BSA (as in Business Software Association).

Also on web site licenes, Andy has made the remark that an elected goverment controling the licenes would scare him, one question what's the original idea (when proposed in the other thread) to do this to get rid of idiots posting crap on the web? Well the gov morons protect these same idiots after all 99.9% of the public are idiots and there the ones that vote.
#48 by "legion88@yahoo.com"
2000-05-17 20:00:27
legion88@yahoo.com
#46

Tacos wrote:

Sure we may not like the fact that people put up information that is stupid, or even worse, blatantly misleading, but we really should have the right to speak it.


So does that mean it is okay for some fool on some website to post up some lie about another person?  It seems like you are saying it is okay.


Here's an example.  A reviewer of 3dfx hardware last year has this "thing" for Tom Pabst.  He wrote an article and had it posted at a gaming site.  In that article, he claims a number of things of Pabst.  Here's two small samples.

a) two benchmarks were used
b) both benchmarks were CPU-limiting

The whole point of his article was to discredit Pabst for using one type of benchmark to showcase the TNT2 in his preview.  Other types of benchmarks, according to him, should be used.  The 3dfx supporter favored fill rate limiting benchmarks.  In his view, he claims that Pabst can not argue that the TNT2 is faster if no other type of benchmark is used.

The problem is that Pabst used more than two benchmarks; he used three.  So the guy can't count.

The next problem is that only one of the benchmarks was actually CPU-limiting.  The other was fill rate limiting although requires a 16MB card.  And the third benchmark was fill rate limiting for all the cards tested (TNT, Voodoo3, Rage 128, 125MHz TNT2) EXCEPT for the 150+MHz TNT2.

The 3dfx reviewer was complimented on a "well" written article as Pabst's credibility continued to be attacked.  Pabst runs a web site and I believe he makes money from it.  If his credibility is thrown for a loop, what do you think will happen to his income?  

For the love of a graphics card and company, this fool actually tried to hurt someone else' income.  This reviewer later worked on a contractual basis for 3dfxgamers starting around December 1999.
#49 by "None-1a"
2000-05-17 20:29:38
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
Opps in 47 that should have been would not, damn should have used Crapspy.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "None-1a"
2000-05-17 20:29:44
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
Opps in 47 that should have been would not, damn should have used Crapspy.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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