Electronic commerce and free speech

Ethics and Information Technology 1 (3):213-225 (1999)
Abstract
For commercial purveyors of digital speech, information and entertainment, the biggest threat posed by the Internet isn''t the threat of piracy, but the threat posed by free speech -- speech that doesn''t cost any money. Free speech has the potential to squeeze out expensive speech. A glut of high quality free stuff has the potential to run companies in the business of selling speech out of business. We haven''t had to worry about this before, because speaking in a meaningful way to a large audience was expensive, and people couldn''t afford to do serious mass speaking for free for very long. The Internet has made it much cheaper. It doesn''t take much to give out information to the whole world, every day, for free, for years. And people do. If we are trying to increase the abundant dissemination of information, free speech is good. If we are trying to increase commerce in information, free speech is arguably bad, in that it competes with pay speech. Information merchants would obviously prefer that the only speech in the marketplace be pay speech. In the past two years, commercial content owners have scored significant progress in herding free speakers off the Net. There''s an important synergy between persuading the government to give your industry some friendly new laws or regulations, and using new and old legal tools to make life more difficult or expensive for inconvenient competitors who aren''t necessarily doing anything illegal. Recently, businesses have been able to combine the two strategies to make the Internet a much safer place to sell speech, by making the Internet a less friendly, more dangerous place to give away speech for free.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,005
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

5 ( #226,261 of 1,101,125 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #115,950 of 1,101,125 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.