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Re: [dvd-discuss] ClearChannel Plays It Safe
- To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] ClearChannel Plays It Safe
- From: Bryan Taylor <bryan_w_taylor(at)yahoo.com>
- Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 20:01:34 -0700 (PDT)
- In-Reply-To: <Pine.LNX.firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Reply-To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
--- Jeme A Brelin <email@example.com> wrote:
> > --- Jeme A Brelin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > But with responsibility does not come an obligation to use your
> > resources to communicate messages you don't want to communicate.
> What ELSE would responsibilty MEAN?
Responsibility means accountability and non-repudiation. If you do something,
you are responsible for it when you acknowledge and accept that you caused the
effects it produces.
The idea that you have an obligation to use your resources to communicate
messages against your will sounds more like involuntary servitude to me, which
violates the 13th amendment.
> > A private entitiy, such as a radio station has no legal or moral
> > obligation to communicate a message to your liking.
> The use of public resources brings the responsibility of public service.
What is the legal basis for this? Public service is an entirely voluntary
activity as far as I'm concerned. It might be admirable, but it certainly isn't
Due process of law requires whatever consideration must be given for use of
public resources to be specified unambiguously ahead of time. Often the public
service IS the use of the public resource.
What public resource is consumed by radio or TV? As far as I can tell, the use
of public frequencies to communicate doesn't require any public resources, and
it only increases the public's access to ideas. As I've said, the problem with
the FCC is their needless exclusion of small players from the AM and FM bands.
> > In fact, just the opposite, they have the right not to.
> They have the right to use the public airwaves, but not HOWEVER they see
> fit. Some of the restriction is legal and some is moral.
I think the rights to broadcast on a frequency are a ownable asset, not a
public resource. The government should be involved only to the extent needed to
assure that property rights are respected.
I have no doubt that companies use their broadcasting rights in a way that they
feel is moral. When you disagree, don't listen to them.
> But a corporation cannot be moral. It can ONLY make decisions based on
> what maximizes shareholder value. In the realm of commercial
> broadcasting, this means service to the sponsor, not to the public.
That's silly. Companies do things all the time purely for altruistic reasons.
You should examine some of the big checks that various corporations have
written this week to the Red Cross.
> Censorship is restricting the expression of others, no matter what the
If that's your definition, then most censorship is a good thing.
> Choosing not to place certain songs on the global satellite feed is one
> thing. Banning all local deejays and station managers from playing
> certain songs (at the risk of their jobs) is censorship. This is most
> true when the broadcaster has monopolistic or cartel control over a
> "market" or broadcast region.
The latter half of your statement is the real problem, and it's directly
attributable to the government. The first half of your statement is absurd. You
are saying that you cannot hire somebody to operate your electronics in a way
you want. DJ's voluntarily agree to select songs from the stations playlist in
exchange for pay. Failure to do this is breech of contract, which in addition
to justifying the loss of their job, should also entitle the radio station to
any actual damages caused, if applicable. DJ's who want playlist freedom can
negotiate for it in their contract.
> Each and every broadcast frequency is a public forum.
You are expressing a dissenting view about how things "should be". I hope that
you recognize that "as is", legally, this isn't true. Legally, the rights to
broadcast are an ownable private resource.
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