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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • To: Ragnar Lonn < >
  • From: Piet Beertema < >
  • Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 14:37:24 +0100

    	Subject lines are there to convey short information
    	about the contents of a message between humans. The
    	contents of a Subject line are part of inter-human
    	communication and therefore subject to the principle
    	of freedom of speech. Standards therefore can never
    	impose restrictions. Only laws can, and even then
    	only to a very limited extent.
    That's also a pretty weird statement, IMHO. Adding
    a bunch of characters to the Subject: line does in
    no way violate the user's right to freedom of speech
    as long as you don't *replace* something the user has
    written. It's just a way to mark a message. Like the
    post office stamping envelopes.
Wrong. The post office is the carrier, not the user.
And the post office doesn't tell you what to put (or
what not to put) into your message. Anyone trying to
tell/force you to put specific strings into your
message is in fact *telling you what to say*; and
that's an interference with your freedom of speech.


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