The Agenda

Tim Lee on the Campaign for Liberty’s Internet Manifesto

Tim Lee of Ars Technica notes that there is a very strange passage in the Campaign for Liberty’s new Internet freedom manifesto. The libertarian group, which grew out of the Ron Paul movement, associates expansion of the public domain with “Internet collectivism.” A Campaign for Liberty spokesman, Matt Hawes, sought to reassure Tim by telling him that the group had a narrow target in mind:

“We think the public domain is a terrific part of the Internet,” he told us. Rather, he said, the group was worried that “Internet collectivists” would use the phrase “public domain” as “code for getting the government more involved” in copyright issues.

Tim ends his post by observing that advocates of an open Internet will have to build an ideologically diverse coalition. 

And with that in mind, I thought I’d mention that I am one of the signers — along with my erstwhile co-author Patrick Ruffini — of the Declaration of Internet Freedom, a document that aims to unite an ideologically diverse coalition around a set of very broad principles. One can imagine implementing these principles in a wide variety of ways, and I imagine Patrick and I would favor a more market-oriented approach than some of our fellow signers. There are, suffice it to say, many different views regarding how we should “promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.” Which is to say that the declaration is a starting point for discussion. It is certainly not an end point.


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