Craig Brozefsky on 15 Feb 2001 19:08:45 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Usenet archives sold?

"Paul Alfred" <> writes:

> "Say, that fancifully idealogical idea is swell!  Does anyone else have any 
> interest in doing the legwork to find some generous benefactor to foot the 
> bill so that we accomplish the exact same thing some capitalist entity is 
> going to accomplish anyway?"

It's not the exact same thing tho.  

For instance, do you expect to get access to the raw indexes and data
that makes up the archive?  Can you expect to be able to incorporate
it into your works without any additional restriction brought about by
Google's claim on copyright for the collection as a whole?  Can you
expect it to remain a accesable resource even if it becomes a
significant cost sink for Google?  Can you excercise influence over
it's organization, policy and maintenance without become a shareholder
in Google, or presenting them with a significant amount of funds?  Can
you expect the interface to retain accesability to those using
non-mainstream yet standards compliant access methods, the blind for
instance, like speech-to-text, or tty only.  Can you expect the
administrators and holders to have any sort of responsibility to the
public in general in terms of policy decisions?

You will get different answers to these questions depending upon
wether it's a wholly private endeavor by Google, or a public entity,
perhaps a non-profit organization.  I'm doubtful that a public,
government administrated, institution would be effective here, unless
it could be connected to an already established one with a good track
record for honoring citizens rights to freedom of speech, such as the
existing public library system.  The political climate is too
fascistic to allow such an entity to develop on it's own presently.

> This Usenet argument isn't an argument about Usenet, or copyright,
> or that kind of stuff.  It's just an expression of people's feelings
> toward capitalism.  If we're going to debate this, let's debate the
> relevant argument --- is capitalsim bad?  Does capitalism ruin the
> things that we like because it is capitalism?

I think that as a whole it is, but that doesn't mean the scope of the
issue has to be expanded to world revolution, and then dropped when
faced with the difficulty of that prospect.  There are alternatives,
and an important first step towards changing the world as a whole is
to identify these alternative solutions to the particular problems we
face day-to-day.

Craig Brozefsky                             <>
In the rich man's house there is nowhere to spit but in his face
					             -- Diogenes

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