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[FYI] Freenet: Will It Smash Copyright Law?


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Freenet: Will It Smash Copyright Law?  

By Kevin Featherly, Newsbytes  


20 Mar 2001, 2:44 PM CST  

This is an age, Ian Clarke says, when copyright laws and freedom of 
speech cannot coexist. One of them has to go. And, if he has anything 
to say about it, freedom of speech won't be the one.  


No Names, Please 

Perhaps the crux of Freenet's philosophy is the idea of anonymity. 
Clarke says anonymity is the essential element of unrestricted free 
speech. "If you cannot remain anonymous, then you can be punished for 
what you say, thus discouraging others from putting forward their 
opinions," he said.  

It's an idea that has many champions, but Esther Dyson, founding 
chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers 
(ICANN) is not one of them. While she too believes that copyrights 
may need to go, replaced by such things as paid public appearances by 
writers and the like, in her book "Release 2.0," Dyson expresses 
reservations about encouraging the use of anonymity in online 

"When people operate anonymously," Dyson writes, "there's no 
incentive to tell the truth; dishonest people easily betray others 
for their own gain. … Overall, everyone is worse off on average."  


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