Techdirt Reading List: Free Speech: Ten Principles For A Connected World

from the free-speech-ain't-free dept

We’re back again with another in our weekly reading list posts of books we think our community will find interesting and thought provoking. Once again, buying the book via the Amazon links in this story also helps support Techdirt.

Obviously a recurring theme here on Techdirt is the issue of free speech, and I’m frequently interested in discussions on the topic. Just a few weeks ago, for example, we wrote about the book No Law: Intellectual Property in the Image of an Absolute First Amendment. So I was intrigued this week when I ran across a thoughtful review of a new book by Timothy Garton Ash, entitled Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World. And when I saw the book mentioned again almost immediately, I figured I ought to pick up a copy.

I haven’t read it yet, but based on what I’ve skimmed and the various reviews I’ve read (including a good one in the NY Times), it definitely seems like a worthwhile read. It pushes back on some of the current trend of people (and, all too frequently, students) trying to silence speech they don’t want to hear in various places, while noting the awkwardness of how folks for whom freedom of speech was seen as so important in past decades are turning around and seeking to block people they disagree with from speaking now. Free speech has never really been a “partisan” kind of thing, and it seems to go in waves over who is really in favor of it and who’s willing to give it up over speech they dislike.

From the review at The New Republic, though, it does seem that Ash is willing to shrug off the copyright concerns around free speech, basically falling for the myth that without copyright, content creators early in their career would not be able to create new works. This is a myth that has long been debunked, so it’s disappointing to see that it’s repeated in a work that everyone seems to describe as careful and thorough on other issues. Still, I look forward to digging in to the full book, and I figured many of you would as well.

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Comments on “Techdirt Reading List: Free Speech: Ten Principles For A Connected World”

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Anonymous Coward says:

wut wut?

Free speech has never really been a “partisan” kind of thing

“Freedom of speech for me but not for thee…” what is it if NOT a very partisan issue? Just because clowns on both sides want to dismantle free speech when it serves their purpose, it does not mean it is some how non-partisan.

The only people being non-partisan are the people saying liberty first, liberty, before party, before politics and creed, and yes, even before religion.

I tend to be more conservative than liberal but it sickens me when I hear repukes trash the left over the 1st and 2nd amendments then turn around and bend the fuck over or shit on the 4th, 5th, & 6th amendments.

The only thing the idiot fucks that call themselves republicans or democrats are doing is harming each other along with the nation until is so damaged that we have become the Gestapo, another nation takes us over, or if any Patriots finally get sick of the shit from the sheeple on both sides and go to war to save the nation from itself!

These fuck tards can dream up any number of “Principles” all they want….

In the end there is only 1 principle. LIBERTY!!!

and never will there be anything else!

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