Friday, March 25, 2005

The Coming War on Blogs?

James D. Miller over at Tech Central Station:

But won't the First Amendment protect blogs? Unfortunately, courts already hold that many governmental restrictions on speech don't violate the First Amendment, and I can think of three areas in which the MSM might successfully change laws and regulations to hinder their blogger competitors:

1. Campaign Finance Reform -- Blog entries in support of a candidate could be considered political contributions to that candidate...
2. Libel Law -- The MSM used to fight aggressively against any expansion of libel law, but I predict this soon will change...
3. Copyright Law -- Blogs often use information from other sources and, from what I have observed, sometimes flagrantly violate copyright laws. Imagine if Congress increased the complexity and penalties of copyright laws...

Read it all. There is already pressure to try to place weblogs under the MeCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.

It rather strikes me as a violation of free speech. But McCain-Feingold did too, and Congress passed it, Bush signed it, and the Supreme Court upheld it. So don't assume that appeals to the Constitution can stop this.

Found over at Instapundit.


At 12:38 PM, Blogger j.m. said...

I think I'm a little confused. How, exactly, would blogs affect campaign financing? Blogs are (essentially) free and don't really cost anything. The money spent from the blog owners is generally not related to any particular blog but running the site as a whole.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

Free publicity for their cause/candidate. At least, that's the argument.


At 3:32 PM, Blogger j.m. said...

Well, "free" is easily calculated. It's $0. I supposed they don't think we should be able to write about the candidates in the newspaper then, either. Because, hey, that's more free publicity.


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