Ed Felten has a typically-thoughtful post on the newly-passed Family Movie Act (one section of the mini-omnibus copyright bill just approved) and why it’s not a pro-censorship measure.
I was just finishing the initial draft of a “(C)3” essay for the next C&I, which includes a discussion of the copyright bill of which FMA is part. While I didn’t go as far as Felten (who calls FMA a pro-free-speech act, since it explicitly allows a form of speech that might otherwise be prohibited), I did conclude that FMA is a good thing–except that I don’t believe it should have been necessary. Note that FMA allows companies to market devices that let people explicitly choose to watch a modified version of a DVD they legally possess, without permanently altering the DVD and with an explicit “This motion picture has been modified…” screen.
Charles W. Bailey Jr. also discusses FMA at his (scoop?) brand-new weblog. Read the comments as well as the post: I take a favorable view of FMA, and Charles responds with a typically-thoughtful commentary (there’s that typically-thoughtful again!).
I have to say that the comments on Ed Felten’s posting are a strangely mixed lot, most of which have in common that they couldn’t be bothered to read the very-short FMA and understand that it’s pretty narrow.
Anyway, I don’t think the discussion will end here. Ed Felten provides thoughtful pro-FMA commentary. Charles provides thoughtful nervous-about-FMA commentary. And I’ll try to synthesize some of this early commentary in the final version of my essay, no thoughtfulness claimed. Watch for it in, oh, 7 to 12 days.
So I guess I am doing some traditional blogging–although I hope to avoid “Neat post here: Read it” echo-chamber posts. (“Heck, Walt, you’re so verbose that would never occur to you anyway.”)