Skip to main content

Topic: The government is the freaking dragon. (Read 6818 times)

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
The government is the freaking dragon.
The FCC (the U.S. Federal Communications Commission) has approved -by a partisan majority of 3 to 2- the (presumably desirable) Net Neutrality rules (not yet released to the public...) to regulate ISPs -and, of course, other "players"- to ensure a free and open internet... (see here, for instance) by bureaucratic interference, based upon the rules meant to constrain the government-granted monopoly to AT&T in the late 30's.

I am eager to read the "final" 317 pages "agreed to" by this commission, and look forward to the court cases it prompts. (Not to mention, because I don't believe such will be forthcoming, the congressional backlash and remedy...sad to say). I'd like to read it because I might be able to deconstruct its purpose -- and argue against such.
(Yes, I think I know what it is...)

My main point here is to highlight the perennial question: What warrants and justifies government regulation? And when and why should such be accepted or promulgated, absent irremediable harms?

Put more simply: If it ain't broke, why "fix" it?

Other thoughts...?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #125
Does the mere act of contacting one of the two contacts given constitute a consent decree?

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #126
No. The letter laid out what DoJ expected the university to do in the letter (Aug 30, 2016)... The consent decree would be a mediated court-enforceable framework. Failing that, the DoJ intends to sue the university.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #127
Quote
Today, the University of California at Berkeley has deleted 20,000 college lectures from its YouTube channel. Berkeley removed the videos because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We copied all 20,000 and are making them permanently available for free via LBRY.

This makes the videos freely available and discoverable by all, without reliance on any one entity to provide them (even us!).
(source)
A partial solution. But better than nothing...
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #128
Quote from: Aggrieved Individuals (from letter I linked earlier)
Stacy Nowak, a member of NAD, is a professor and PhD student at Gallaudet University and she is deaf.

[...]

Glenn Lockhart, also a member of NAD, is responsible for web, print and video communications at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center (the birth-age 12 component of Gallaudet), and he is
deaf.
Let's just say I'm not inclined to put much trust in the legal analysis of someone who can't get such a basic fact straight. Has anything surfaced by someone who actually knows what they're talking about? Like I said or implied before, common sense suggests that the video sharing process is likely fully automated or close to it and costs practically nothing. Therefore almost anything more than a token few hundred would pretty much qualify as "undue financial and administrative burdens" in my book. Of course, you could quite validly counter that the Justice Department could've figured that out all by themselves without sending an aggressive letter but pretty much all the coverage I've been able to find merely parrots the Berkeley press releases.

What I did find is that Harvard and MIT didn't decide to pull their material on account of a similar event: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/02/12/advocates-for-deaf-sue-harvard-mit-over-lack-captioning-free-online-courses/kRyh3K7VNje9vhOSvjro6N/story.html

Quote
"However, MIT is committed to making its educational material accessible to our students and online learners who are deaf and hearing impaired," she said. "For example, in MIT OpenCourseWare, we include subtitles for all the new course videos that we publish as well as all the most popular OCW courses." (emphasis mine)

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #129
The fellow who mischaracterize the litigants has made the whole of Berkeley's output to date available (...shortly!) to everybody. You'd have him cease -- because he didn't, in his splash page, correctly identify the folks who sued?
I confess: I don't know where you're coming from...
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #130
Who said anything about ceasing to make stuff available?

The title is "20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them." The clarification is that this is "because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act." Were they actually "made illegal"? I have no idea, but I do know that they certainly weren't made so "by two students" but rather by two employees.

The statement from a couple of weeks ago reads as follows:

As part of the campus's ongoing effort to improve the accessibility of online content, we have determined that instead of focusing on legacy content that is 3-10 years old, much of which sees very limited use, we will work to create new public content that includes accessible features.
This is a very sensible course of action and in fully in line with how I (naively?) interpret the letter from the Justice Department.

Quote
This move will also partially address recent findings by the Department of Justice which suggests that the YouTube and iTunesU content meet higher accessibility standards as a condition of remaining publicly available. Finally, moving our content behind authentication allows us to better protect instructor intellectual property from "pirates" who have reused content for personal profit without consent.
But this is what I didn't get from the Justice Department letter and it's also in blatant contradiction with the LBRY project. All that supposed intellectual property protection has been thrown out the door again.

So what we have now is basically what was the desired outcome all along: future content will pay more attention to accessibility while older content is still available. But what I'm interested in is the further communication between Berkely and the Justice Department. Because back in September they wrote:

In many cases the requirements proposed by the department would require the university to implement extremely expensive measures to continue to make these resources available to the public for free. We believe that in a time of substantial budget deficits and shrinking state financial support, our first obligation is to use our limited resources to support our enrolled students. Therefore, we must strongly consider the unenviable option of whether to remove content from public access.
But surely this means the aforementioned "undue administrative and financial burdens"?

Quote
Please know that we fully intend to exhaust every available option to retain or restore free public availability of online content. It is our hope that we will find an appropriate resolution with the Department of Justice that allows us to serve the extended seeing- and hearing-impaired community and continue to provide free online content.

Put another way, does LBRY constitute a loophole or a mutually agreed upon resolution? Where's the truth behind the marketing and rhetoric? But of course the Justice Department is to blame for all of my questions, because I haven't been able to find anything there. Berkely gets all the goodwill, but do they deserve merely a bunch or massive quantities?

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #131
I've got an idea: Let's "outlaw" American Sign Language, since it discriminates against the blind! :)

The notion that enough rules and regulation will somehow make this world fair is moronic. But it's the currently predominant "philosophy" -- on the Left.
What results... Well, the Left has never really cared about results; so, unintended consequences don't matter.

Have you, Frenzie, found that UC Berkeley did indeed rescind public access to its hoard of lectures?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #132
If I go out on the street, kick someone and say you made me do it, are you responsible?

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #133
Fine non sequitur! Care to explain?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #134
I first wrote this:
Let's just say I'm not inclined to put much trust in the legal analysis of someone who can't get such a basic fact straight.
In clarification of which I wrote:
The title is "20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them." The clarification is that this is "because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act." Were they actually "made illegal"? I have no idea, but I do know that they certainly weren't made so "by two students" but rather by two employees.
You then replied thusly:
Have you, Frenzie, found that UC Berkeley did indeed rescind public access to its hoard of lectures?
To which I in turn replied the following:
If I go out on the street, kick someone and say you made me do it, are you responsible?

To repeat, Berkeley made a very sensible argument about "extremely expensive measures." Did they make this argument to the Justice Department? If so, did the Justice Department reject it? The current state of affairs sounds like it's exactly the kind of quite reasonable resolution the Justice Department wanted, except it's presented as a brave act of defiance. But as long as it seemingly paints a bad picture of "the Left" (still Bush), who cares?

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #135
The Justice Department, pursuing a complaint on the basis of the ADA, wanted the courses taken down or restricted to enrolled Berkeley students? I doubt the NAD activists will be happy with such a "resolution"...
The third-party hosting is a wrinkle that arguably is beyond the reach of the U.S. DoJ; so, again, the NAD activists get no satisfaction.

I see no "brave act of defiance"; rather, I see the loss of a resource, as the result of over-zealous DoJ action. Unintended consequence...?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #136
The Justice Department, pursuing a complaint on the basis of the ADA, wanted the courses taken down or restricted to enrolled Berkeley students? I doubt the NAD activists will be happy with such a "resolution"...
Oh, I thought LBRY was a Berkely project! My main question remains unanswered, however. Surely "extremely expensive measures" equals "undue administrative and financial burdens"? If the Justice Department rejected this argument, what was their reasoning? And also, what happened that led to the deaf people ("NAD activists") filing a formal complaint? I know that Americans are litigious, but even so I'd imagine they'd go for a friendly inquiry first.

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #137
I'm sorry to inform you of this: The Obama DoJ was always been adversarial, and opposed to anything Obama opposed... (He was -sort of- our Emperor! He said he wasn't; then tried to rule as if he were...)
If the Justice Department rejected this argument, what was their reasoning?
You can ask the Justice Department...
And also, what happened that led to the deaf people ("NAD activists") filing a formal complaint? I know that Americans are litigious, but even so I'd imagine they'd go for a friendly inquiry first.
As you noticed, the Justice Department went silent about this case: What happened was not what they expected... (Unintended consequence.)

What I'd say is this: Two deaf people didn't like that they weren't specially enabled to hear/view UC Berkeley's free lectures. They sued; and Berekely -being a California institution- said "We're broke; we can't afford the remedy you propose!" (California is broke for reasons I won't explain; you wouldn't understand.) The federal government said "We don't care that you're broke! Spend the money, or we'll take it from you..."
Berkeley said FU and almost everybody else! (Not an unusual result, of regulation.)

You disagree?

I don't know who or what LBRY is... But their claim of offering these (old) lectures for free, without adequate subtitling, seems bullet-proof. The U.S. government doesn't control the internet.

But -of course- many want other nations to do so!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • jax
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #138
Hey, this I have been marginally involved with (WAI). For basic A-level compliance the requirement is "don't do stupid things" and it is not particularly onerous (assuming you don't do stupid things) to assure reasonable accessibility.



Now the level Berkeley has set for themselves is AA (I don't know if that is law-required for an educational institution, but I don't think so), that level has a few labour-intensive points. Captioning may be one of these. 

That said, I think Berkeley should look to TED. Their videos are not merely captioned and quality controlled, the captions double as transcriptions and are interactive and come in multiple languages. Like this:

http://www.ted.com/talks/janette_sadik_khan_new_york_s_streets_not_so_mean_any_more/transcript?language=en

Not only does this provide vastly better accessibility, it makes the videos searchable and discoverable, it allow users to read the talks instead of/in addition to watch them and much more. The whole setup is maintained by an army of unpaid volunteers that translate and control/improve each other's translations, and has been so for a full decade. Berkeley is way behind their time. 

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #139
What I'd say is this: [...]

You disagree?
I agree that this is clearly your position. I disagree in that I simply don't have enough information. And no, I don't care enough about what goes on in California to perform my own investigative journalism. ;)

Not only does this provide vastly better accessibility, it makes the videos searchable and discoverable, it allow users to read the talks instead of/in addition to watch them and much more. The whole setup is maintained by an army of unpaid volunteers that translate and control/improve each other's translations, and has been so for a full decade. Berkeley is way behind their time.
Completely agreed, but even so the costs of setting up a volunteer contribution effort are significantly higher than the practically zero costs associated with adding a video to YouTube almost completely automated. But these are exactly the kind of things I'd like to know about.

  • OakdaleFTL
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #140
A return to Net Neutrality...
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman