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Re: Re: [ga] Proposal for mailing list policy

[excuse the telegraphic style - I am away from home on a slow link and
editing is hard.]

On the subject of an archive:

Take me as an example.  I would probably read the filtered list routinely.
But if someone tells me that there is censorship going on, I would look at
the archive of the unfiltered list.  It is unreasonable to expect me to
archive all that traffic just in case of need.  It is also not productive
to make me rely on a private archive that might be incomplete or
manipulated.  I need the official one to make a judgment.  And I need it
online before the people who control it edit it to remove what I want to
see (if they are dumb enough to do political censorship, they would be
capable of editing the master list if I had to give them notice of my
interest by asking to see it; or they might not give it to me.  And why
should I have to give them a reason for why I want to see it?  What
point does that serve?). Thus, a secret archived list is not a good
idea.  Anyway, what exactly is the objection to having the list archived
and public?  What was the Canadians' mysterious reason?  What harm can it

On Thu, 13 Jan 2000, Roberto Gaetano wrote:


> >I am not comfortable with the idea that the official record is
> censored.
> >The official record includes all the crazies.  That's life.  If a nut
> >submits something to a government department they don't get to throw it
> >away; they file it.  Plus without an archive, forming an opinion about
> >past censorship becomes nearly impossible.
> >
> First of all, I understand that "to file a record", and to be able to
> produce it in case of need to interested parties, does not necessarly
> mean "to publish it online in real time".

This is an internet body, not a government department.  It serves a
worldwide audience.

> Secondly, according to my information, after having gone through an
> experience similar to the one we are witnessing now, the Canadian
> Government took a different approach about the filing system ;>).

I am afraid the reference here is lost on me.
> First of all, everybody is welcome to keep track of the traffic and to
> build his/her own archive. BTW, do we have volounteers?
> Secondly, the question is not "to archive" or "not to archive": of
> course the records will be kept by DNSO Listadmin (at least to have
> legal evidence in the not unlikely case of court trial). The question is
>  whether to provide real-time, on-line access to the integral set of
> messages (BTW, becoming liable in some jurisdictions of the material
> contained therein).

This is a red herring.  Store the materials here in the US and there will
be no liability unless notified about conpryight issues, in which case
there is no liability if you remove the stuff at once.  Same with libel. 

> This, as I said, counterbalanced by no advantage, as any subscriber

the advantages are legion.  Among them
* one central place for pepole to look for the stuff
* no need to rely on volunteers wh may drop the ball
* As you say, it's being kept anyway so the cost of making itopen is near
* avoids accusations that you have something to hide

I agree that some comments are quite offensive -- the recent comment
slurring americans, and lawyers, and cat owners comes to mind -- but there
are no legal issues here.  And if you read the unfiltered list, you take
your chances, just as you do walking down the street.

> could decide to set up its archive, and in case of discrepancy on
> different online archives, we have the "official" DNSO archive (offline)
>  for reference.

Who is "we"?  How do "we" get access to the secret archive.  I think this
is just asking for unneeded trouble.

I don't feel very "we" in all this...
> >> Since the uncensored list must be the official list, it must be
> >> archived in total.
> >
> >
> >This is, I repeat, essential.
> >
> See above. It will be archived, no doubt.

Then it is quite selfish not to share it.  There is as far as I can see NO
downside to this.


A. Michael Froomkin   |    Professor of Law    |   froomkin@law.tm
U. Miami School of Law, P.O. Box 248087, Coral Gables, FL 33124 USA
+1 (305) 284-4285  |  +1 (305) 284-6506 (fax)  |  http://www.law.tm
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