1993-11-12 - Re: privacy/property

Header Data

From: Mike Godwin <mnemonic@eff.org>
To: unicorn@access.digex.net (Dark)
Message Hash: a5c154173eccd3631d229bf06dd4430771fc2cae5d2468c3d245bcbd5da7ecb4
Message ID: <199311121718.AA07076@eff.org>
Reply To: <199311120757.AA23496@access.digex.net>
UTC Datetime: 1993-11-12 17:19:32 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 09:19:32 PST

Raw message

From: Mike Godwin <mnemonic@eff.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 09:19:32 PST
To: unicorn@access.digex.net (Dark)
Subject: Re: privacy/property
In-Reply-To: <199311120757.AA23496@access.digex.net>
Message-ID: <199311121718.AA07076@eff.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Dark writes:

>    No question of statutory copyright is involved.  The sole 
> question for our consideration is this: Was the International 
> News Service properly enjoined from using, or causing to be used 
> gainfully, news of which it acquired knowledge by lawful means 
> [...]  _International News Service v. The Associated Press_, 248 
> U.S. 215, at 249 (Brandeis, J., Dissenting).
I note that the ruling against INS would probably not occur today in the
post-Feist world.

> As for the hook in on property and privacy, consider:
> The general rule of law is, that the noblest of human productions 
> - - knowledge, truths ascertained, conceptions, and ideas - become, 
> after voluntary communication to others, free as the air to 
> common use.  Upon these incorporeal productions the attribute of 
> property is continued after such communication only in certain 
> classes of cases where public policy has seemed to demand it.  
> _International News Service_, 248 U.S. 215 at 250 (Brandeis, J., 
> Dissenting).
I don't see how this reads as Brandeis's having a reservation about
privacy. Perhaps the premier legal theorist about privacy issues in the
last 100 years, Brandeis is simply noting that privacy isn't a given--one
must actively work if one is to preserve it. This is perfectly consistent
with cypherpunk philosophy, IMHO.