Let the wool be pulled off your eyes.
This proposal is an attempt to have the FCC act as the
agent of a fundamental subversion of the very foundation
of U.S. exclusive rights jurisprudence.
Unwilling to exercise their roles as the People's
representatives, U.S. legislators seek to establish a
precedent that violates the fundamental rights of free
citizens, by having the FCC endorse the principle of a
government-mandated universal form of content control.
They pretend that this is in accordance with the interest
of exclusive rights.
Not having the courage to directly enact Senator Fritz
Hollings' Consumer Broadband and Digital Television
Promotion Act, requiring that content control be built
into every digital processing device, including personal
computers, they have sought to establish its basic
premise by means of rulings by agencies which have no
jurisdiction in matters of exclusive rights policy.
The FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 02-230 is the
United States' deceptive means of implementing the World
Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) intent.
This organization of unelected representatives, in an
attempt to make exclusive rights policy for most of the
civilized world, proposes that the very elements of
published expressive works may be controlled by their
creators.
The American exclusive rights tradition has
traditionally upheld its Constitutional obligations to
its citizens' fundamental rights of free speech, free
press, and personal property, through a strict respect
for the distinction between expression and information.
In a free society, nobody can copyright information as
such. For this reason, the exclusive rights clause of
the U.S. Constitution implements numerous
qualifications that show the primacy of fundamental
rights over the exclusive rights that Congress is
given power to grant. For this reason as well,
copyright statute also includes a nebulous set of
"fair use" provisions.
There is no way to implement a standardized form of
universal content control, that respects free
citizens' fundamental right to use information
freely, regardless of its source; and that respects
the rights of free citizens to use information
technology to exercise those rights.
Any government-mandated form of universal content
control is theft. The rights of the public, of
free citizens in a free society to use information
and information technology in useful, productive
and flexible ways, are the fundamental stakes
brought to bear by those who propose that devices
for processing digital information be expropriated
from their rightful owners.
Hand this notion back to Congress. Tell our
statesmen to stand up and be held accountable, if it
is truly their intent to enact the principle that
the use of information technology is a privilege,
and not a fundamental human right.
Respectfully submitted,
Seth Johnson
Information Producers Initiative
275 Fort Washington Avenue
Suite 3C
New York, NY 10032
(212) 543-4265
December 6, 2002