"About five minutes into the session, two staffers came in late.
And after about a minute more of my presentation, one of the
latecomers had heard enough. Here I was, he objected, arguing that
the government should "begin regulating the Internet." Where was
the limit? Where would I draw the line? Today I was calling for the
regulation of broadband cable; should we also regulate broadband
wireless? And if wireless, then satellite too? Was there any
stopping this "new" regulation of cyberspace? Was I proposing that
we regulate Linux (or "Line-Ucks," as he mispronounced it) because
it might become as popular as Windows?..."
"At the core of the open-source and free software movements
lies a kernel of regulation as well. But this regulation is quite
different from the regulation that governed AT&T. At its root,
open code rests upon a license--upon a kind of law or regulation
that controls how this "open code" can be used. Despite the
monikers "free" and "open," this license is not forgiving. It is a
fairly strict requirement about the uses to which free or
open-source software can be put. One does not take open code in the
sense one might take a free leaflet from a vendor on the street. A
free leaflet one can burn, or box up, or keep from others in a
million possible ways. Open code gives the recipient no such
"End-to-end differs from open code, however, in an increasingly
important way. Unlike the restrictions that govern open code, the
principle of end-to-end is not enforced by law. It is perfectly
possible, and in the main, completely legal, to build technologies
that violate end-to-end, and then to integrate those technologies
into the Internet. Many companies have, and among the technologies
being proposed for the future, many more will. Thus, rather than a
rule, end-to-end is a norm among network architects. And like many
norms, it is increasingly becoming displaced as other players move
onto the field."
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