Yesterday I had the lucky chance of taking part in a meeting (and dinner!) with Eben Moglen (middle of snapshot), organized by the UOC’s Vicerector of technology, LlorenÃ§ Valverde (left) and the UOC’s Law professor Raquel Xalabarder (right).
There were plenty of things in what he said, most of them following my own
line of thought. My selected quote is, however, maybe quite unusual in the free software movement speeches:
birthright bandwidth. Just a concept.
A concept, nevertheless, that just points to the same issue Enrique Dans deals with today, after two articles by Tim Berners Lee and Robert X. Cringely. Put it in my “own” words, the question is whether the internet, or access in general, is a public good and, furthermore, a human right. Dans says “the Net has become too important to be ruled by telcos and the entertainment industry”. Moglen spoke about birthright bandwidth, i.e. the right, by the simple fact of being born, to communicate with others – needless to say “through the internet” in this way of no return to the digital era.
So, right? public good? both? neither?
The review IDP publishes in its 4th issue the full transcription of the speech (, 152 Kb)
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2006) “Eben Moglen: Digital access as a human right” In ICTlogy,
#33, June 2006. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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