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NewsBytes: Freenet: Will It Smash Copyright Law?

Mar 21, 2001, 23:28 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Featherly)

"This is an age, Ian Clarke says, when copyright laws and freedom of speech cannot coexist. One of them has to go. And, if he has anything to say about it, freedom of speech won't be the one."

"Clarke is the founder and project director for Freenet, an open-source content exchange project that many are calling the next Napster, or even the indestructible Napster, because of its ability to function as a place to swap MP3 music files undetected."

"Freenet has an offshoot, Espra.net, that is intended to function like a more secure Napster. But in Clarke's mind, Freenet stands for much more than just swapping music. It's more than just swapping the documents, films and images that also can be exchanged over the online platform. If anything, Freenet is the online manifestation of Clarke's deeply libertarian political viewpoint."

"In the simplest terms possible," Clarke says, "Freenet attempts to permit true freedom of speech. Copyright law attempts to prevent communication in some circumstances. And therefore, in order for Freenet to do its job successfully, it must prevent enforcement of copyright law."

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