Patrice Riemens on 17 Jul 2000 12:54:26 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] Re: shut down

The whole affair around the (hopefully temporary) closure of is a 
very vexing one. As far as Valentin Lacambre (Altern's founder and sole 
employee) is concerned, it is simple and fair enough, as Christine has very well 
explained. He is tired, he is fed up, and he is alone. We should all admire him 
for keeping up the good struggle for so long.

So no, it is not a question of playing the 'victim card' (however, that can be a 
valid method too: Liberation asked (rhetorically?) whether he was not 
'blackmailing' the public to have the law changed). 

Background to this unfortunate developments - which were, again, very well 
outlined by Christine in her posting - is the incredible imbroglio surrounding 
the law position and juridical status of the on-line domain, not only in France. 
The difficulties are indeed exacerbated in that country due to a propensity to 
regulate, compounded by an equal propensity to litigate. The same issues obtain 
for instance in the Netherlands too (cf xs4all's various tiffs with all sorts of 
parties), but are usually resolved 'pragmatically'. Yet the basic fact remain 
that the hybrid position of 'expressions' on the Net, in between personnal 
communication (which is free) and publication (which is regulated), has still 
not been properly formulated in law. This would entail, for instance, a serious 
discussion of the right to anonimity, which some people think is God-given (it 
is not), and others would want to abolish altogether (God forbids!). But 
instead, legislation is introduced where none is necessary, since previous law 
was quite clear (cf hackers issues, copyright, etc) whereas fundamental problems 
concerning eg the upholding of basic liberties are dodged. This all smacks of a 
hidden political agenda. 

Meanwhile, it would be probably very good if some sort of international 
successor to would come up, to take over the burden that Valentin was 
shouldering almost alone. But it might be even better, I am afraid, to start 
thinking seriously about communication and publication alternatives to the 
Internet itself... 


Nettime-bold mailing list