January 26, 2004

Cites & Insights - February 2004

Walt Crawford's library 'zine (not blog) "Cites & Insights" has come out with the February 2004 issue, just a short time after the extensive Midwinter 2004 edition (which I mentioned earlier). It's an amazing amount of writing, covering a wide range of material: Early vs. late adopter psychology, equipment reviews and PC benchmarks, articles about Google and portals, copyright and compulsory licensing, and more. Part of the "more" is reactions to the previous issue, and I figure in there (links mine, and my emphasis added to the last statement below):

Seth Finkelstein, January 7

Finkelstein also makes me nervous by calling the Glossary Special a "handbook/reference/scorecard for the players and controversies in these topics." His direct note covered more ground:

COPA isn't really a predecessor to CIPA; it has a very different history and is a criminal law rather than a funding-based mandate. COPA is a direct successor to CDA, the Communications Decency Act. He's right, of course: I was thinking of it as a predecessor in Congress' ongoing attempts to censor the Internet.

"Harmful to children" in one definition was simply wrong--"harmful to minors" is the right phrase, and as I've noted at some length, 16-year-olds are not "children" in any meaningful sense. As Finkelstein notes, "Under CIPA, a 16-year-old might be prevented from researching sexual material to the sex he's already having!"

Finkelstein is dubious about my assertion that the Supreme Court "gutted [CIPA] for adults." "Whatever the justices expect in theory tends to be a world away from practice." That's true, and an important nuance.

Finkelstein would have liked a stronger statement about the problems in censorware research. I failed to say that the Censorware Project website was hijacked by another participant, but I don't doubt Finkelstein's historical record (readily available at his website). He's right: "Hijacking the Censorware Project website is wrong. It's utterly reprehensible." To the extent that I trivialized that, my apologies. Sometimes I'm too nonconfrontational for my own good, or for the good of those who do important work.

Thank you.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware , copyblight , legal | on January 26, 2004 11:48 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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You're welcome.

After reading your post yesterday, I was thinking that my followup may still be too weak. I may yet do a followup with some of the "other people's statements" that you included in that post.

Amazing amount of writing? I guess I'm delighted, unless you mean logorrhea: I thought this was a slightly "lean" issue in some ways, since it doesn't include any of the usual topical essays. On the other hand, it is stronger on perspectives than some...and, to my delight, the "way we're wired" perspective has morphed into a "disContent" column, which I get paid for. (Very different focus, but using the Joi Ito as quoted by Jenny Levine as quoted by Walt Crawford comment as a springboard for a discussion of context and content.)

Posted by: Walt Crawford at January 27, 2004 11:39 AM