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Re: NYT on Thing.net

  • From: Paul Wouters
  • Date: Mon Jan 13 13:28:19 2003

On Mon, 13 Jan 2003, Kurt Erik Lindqvist wrote:

> Just for the record, your story above is far from complete and not true 
> on all accounts. It is also a quite simplified version of what 
> happened. 

Perhaps Zenon (Whom I cc:ed just because he knows the details) can 
shed some more light on this.

> have got shot down by public opinion. There was quite a lot of press 
> articles on how horrible it was that these neo-nazi sites (which is 
> what they where) was allowed to be on the Internet without action from 
> the providers.

A court deemed it nasty but legal. Whom are the ISP's to go against a
court decision?
 
> This is a discussion you as ISP simply can't win.

I shouldn't be *in* the discussion as an ISP.
 
> Well, I can also see clear business reasons as to why I would deny a 
> client. If I had Coca-Cola as a customer and Pepsi-cola wanted to buy a 
> service, but Cola then threatens to leave, I should be in my full right 
> to deny Pepsi service.
 
> Well, if that is where the money flows in from, it's not that bad.

It is also where the lawsuits flow from. If you really are just
interested in the money, then be honest and also say that you don't
give a cent about your small customers, nor their freedom or civil
rights (which is what you and all other ISP's are forcing them to 
sign away)

> Yes? See my example above. I see no conflict in this. It's called a 
> free market.

It is *not* a free market. Imagine AOL blocking Greenpeace. Is this still
normal, and ethically and morally okay, because that earns AOL some extra
Shell bucks. Monetairy interests without any scupulous, which is what
you claim, is exact the end of free market, and the reigh of the Corporate
company.

> The problem comes when you for example enter into content. 

That is *exactly* why we do not enter into content. We ask the parties to
go to court and present us with a ruling. I am not a court, ruler, dictator, 
policeman, lawyer nor executioner. I am an ISP.
 
> If I as an 
> ISP removes content based on the assumption it's illegal (let's take TV 
> decoder information as example), I will do the role of the police and 
> courts. I have made the judgement. This in my view requires a request 
> from the police rather than doing this as you go buy.

Not the police, the courts. Yes, you should tell Astra to get a court
ruling against your customer. (Or if you would be a US company, ask for
a formal DMCA notice, and then ask for the eventual court ruling. If
there will be no legal action, as per DMCA, you reinstate the content,
which by then has gained immunity from DMCA notices from that party.

> This will 
> otherwise open the pandoras box you describe, where you would have to 
> judge what is illegal political content, child porn, etc.

In our 7 years of existence, we have never had to "rule" ourselves. And 
we do host some high profile website, such as the ones I've mentioned
before, Xenu.net and FlashBack magazine.

> Notice the difference between judging content and choosing connectivity 
> customers.

There is no difference. And if there is, the difference is only judged
by you. You are not a court. You can, and should not, rule.

Paul
-- 
God devised pigeons as a means of punishment for man. Probably after
the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha he wanted to make sure that people
would never again feel comfortable enough in a city to repeat the sins
committed there, and he created the pigeons as a means to make the city
dwellers' lives more miserable, as a constant reminder of their past sins.





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