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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: "Harold Eaton" <haceaton(at)hotmail.com>
- Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 17:14:02 -0400
- Reply-To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
Bryan Taylor <email@example.com> wrote:
> > I argue that this has a bit broader meaning than you do. Sort of
> > like "fair use" has a broad meaning; Since you enjoy the narrow
> > requirements of public interest, I wonder why you don't equally
> > like the new shruken "fair use" that congress has given us for
> > digital copyrights.
>Because fair use is the balancing of copyright vs first amendment rights,
>isn't simply a policy decision. Broadcasting's public interest requirements
>simply a policy decision.
I guess you're just one of those people that think the 9th amendment
has no meaning. I argue that one of the unenumerated rights is the
right to transmit RF energy (within some bounds just like free speach
has its limits). Also the right to receive RF energy if it is incident
upon you. So for me, it is a constituional .
>First, there is no right to have the river flow in your direction, but
>if you want to insist that there is a massive government conspiracy to
>the rivers you could at least provide an example.
>You have totally lost me with talk about banning rainwater gathering. No
>owns the sky, so if water falls and you gather it, it's your water. Please,
>don't come up with some crazy scenario where the government grants
>exclusive use of the sky and ask me to justify it.
I use these "crazy examples" not because they are real, but because
your line of commerce power arguments and rational basis tests will
just as easily justify my crazy examples if they were real. Since you can't
seem to see that, I'll stop using analogies.
> > Strange that there used to be limitations on foreign ownership of
> > radio and television licenses, your modern view is taking hold now.
> > Imagine if the Taliban owned 97% of all radio and television stations
> > in this country. No reason not to want that huh! Free Markets can
> > do no wrong, after all.
>So you are arguing for massive government intervention in broadcasting so
>can avoid having radio and TV controlled by the Taliban. I think the
>illustrates that they fastest way to tyranny is to give the government
>control of the broadcasting channels. After all, I'm absolutely positive
>the Taliban consider their broadcasts 100% "public service". Those that
>disagree get a free trip to the soccer stadium.
>I hope you have better arguments than these preposterous scenarios.
Well, Australian ownership of nearly all of our mass media is a real
possibility. When I argue, I like to follow an idea to an extreme
point where it is possible to see unintended consequences etc. This
is not always useful and you don't seem to care for it, so I'll adopt
another strategy here too. If News Corp wins the conglomeration war
and owns, lets say 50% of mass-media market in this country it would
put Rupert in a very power position to influence legislation in this
country, yet federal law prohibits him from making campaign contributions.
Do you see any conflict here?
>I don't consider being successful at trade to be "power". There is no
>out there that can force you to buy its services. If you don't like what
>broadcasters offer, they are absolutely powerless to make you listen.
You and I have very different views at to what constitutes "power" as used
in the famous quote. Bill Gates has a lot more power than you or
I do, it's sad that you can't see that.
> > > [...] I recognize that here, I'm advocating a "should be" rather than
> > "as is". [...]
> > From the communications act of 1934:
>You cannot quote the law to justify a "should be" argument. I already said
>understand how the FCC operates. I also said I blame this method of
>for the filling of the airwaves with uniform drivel.
>Your quote says that broadcasting is licenced, not *permanently* owned. But
>licence is transferable (Clear Channel is one of two major companies buying
>them in large quantities), and a whole industry called "advertising" exists
>sell small scale use of the broadcasting right.
I quoted the law to refute your "property rights" argument to licenses. I
didn't bother to quote the part that prevents license transfers that are
contrary to the public interest, but it's in there too. Broadcast license
> > So there you go, a rather more limited right than a propery right.
> > Come to think of it, it's a bit like Copyrights - there origins were
> > theoretically designed to balance interests between those with the
> > and those of the public, but today it's not so well balanced in either
>The crucial difference is that the requirement to balance is Consitutional
>the case of Copyright. It's not in the case of broadcasting.
Yes it is. See above.
>I'm just curious what kind of programming content would satisfy your desire
>have "in the public public interest" programming. I really don't think the
>public would be too happy about having CSPAN on every channel. Of course,
>is available on cable, which isn't regulated by the FCC like broadcast.
Well the BBC does a hell of a good job, even at entertainment. Its news
reporting is on average way more balanced, goes into greater depth, and
covers more ranges of topics than any US based news service I can think of.
It is one example of broadcasting in the public interest. PBS is not as
good, but it is another example, particularly their childrens programing of
old (before they became adverts for merchandising).
>The original argument is about ClearChannel modifying it's playlist.
>every radio stations has had playlists for decades, and this mundane
>of editiorial discretion is the foundation of broadcasting. No matter what
>of twisted public service theory you come up with, I will never agree that
>there is some kind of public interest obligation to play the song "99 Red
Neither would I, but I think we'd be way better off if half the broadcast
licenses for radio and TV were reserved exclusively for non-profits such as
universities, etc. The unrestricted conglomeration
that's accelerating now is NOT a good thing.
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