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Great post. We're talking about privatizing services that the government does not currently provide. Surely this distinction is critical in evaluating the value of these new private services? That said, I think idea of a two tier license with non-commercial and profit-seeking treated separately (with a generous free license for small businesses or new applications) is pretty great. It's fair, and more sustainable than the alternatives. Full disclosure: my nonprofit employer, Global Integrity, is funded by the Omidyar Network, mentioned in the post. Small point to consider: most (all?) of the support provided by ON's governance program has indeed been grants to 501c3 nonprofits or their overseas equivalents.
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2011 on What is Wrong With Government 2.0 at Whimsley
1 reply
RB Glennie -- While I agree that British press laws are a disaster, the picture you paint of US libel law is a bit too optimistic. Investigative journalism in the US routinely draws harassment suits designed simply to wear down media outlets into non-publication. See: http://www.tfij.org/facts/intimidation/ I'll quote this here: "The 2007 Media Subpoena Survey, conducted by RonNell Anderson Jones, revealed that the 761 responding news organizations (media and television) participating in the study reported that their "reporters, editors or other news employees" received a total of 3,062 "subpoenas seeking information or material relating to newsgathering" in calendar year 2006. Weighting responses to estimate actual values for the entire population (media organizations) suggests that a total of 7,244 subpoenas were received by all daily newspapers and network-affiliated television news operations in the United States that year. Newsroom leaders' responses lean heavily toward the belief that both raw numbers and subpoena risk are up. Sixty-four percent of all newsroom leaders believe the frequency of media subpoenas to be greater than it was five years ago. Nearly half believe the risk of their own organization receiving a subpoena is greater than it was five years ago, while only six percent believe the risk to be less."