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<nettime> [The Thing is On Message] Know your Rights, know the Law
Lachlan Brown on Fri, 27 Dec 2002 12:30:42 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> [The Thing is On Message] Know your Rights, know the Law



Too bad about The Thing being booted from
the Internet for carrying subversive ideas
and irritating people and that. I hate this 
sort of thing not that I have any experience 
of it myself of course. 

I note Undercurrents (are the cats becoming rats
and deserting the ship?) are already casting 
about for an alternative list provider, like AS IF! 
Have coalitionary politics completely bitten the dust?
Hows about making a stand ppl?

Has New York City completely lost the plot?

Legally speaking Verio are quite wrong to
put The Thing under threat or sanction for use
or content. Verio provide a utility (like the phone
company, like the electricity company, like the gas 
company) they are not responsible for content or use.
The Thing as a legal entity is legally responsible 
for content at The Thing. The Directors personally liable
for use and content as carriers at the Thing. 

The legalities are quite interesting. Verio can pull the 
service IF the terms of use are breached
but threatening to pull the service under legal threat from
Dow...? Legally fraught for Verio in two instances: 
Verio has put itself at risk of suit from The Thing 
and Dow at the same time. From The Thing because to suggest 
this sanction is unreasonable and in any case could only be acheived through an order of a Civil Court with respect to
a breach of terms and conditions. Verio has put itself at 
risk of suit from Dow because Verio seems to suggest to
Dow that it has more legal responsibility over alternative 
media and communications than it actually does, and 
could be seen to be misleading Dow in this respect. 

Surely in addition arn't the fourth and fifth ammendments
of the US constitution compromised here?

Let Dow take its complaint to The Thing, not apply undue 
pressure upon Verio, a utility provider. It's like one 
business competitor levering power over another business 
competitor by pressuring a third company,  the Water company 
or the Gas company to bring about a sanction to hinder a 
newspaper business production and distribution. It's simply 
not on.

The Thing is On Message, it is fulfilling its published 
mandate. Its publications are in the interests of the public 
as well as fulfilling The Things contract with its membership.
Dow is wholly out of order, and Verio is mistaken in the extent
of its powers and responsibilities.

The threat of sanction on Feb 28th is unsound, unwise and
unlikely to be successful.


Lachlan Brown

Toronto
(416) 666 1452

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