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Mar 21, 2004

Comments

1.

Ren> Public interest includes the rights of people to watch a game.

Can we extend the argument to the right to play a game? If so, then the public trust argument extends to E&B.

2.

As I understand it the fundamental thing that motivates Public Trust is: fundamental to the welfare of society and future generations; so if one can argue that this applies to participation then i dont see why not - well at least in theory, the practical implementation of these ideas sees difficutl, but not if your a government and you hold to them.

3.

I think it's absurd that watching a game on tv is considered a matter of serious national importance. Talk about misplaced priorities in a country with so much poverty. I believe that many Indians believe that cricket is of truly monumental significance, just as I believe English soccer hooligans or Green Bay Packers fans feel similarly. I also think they're slightly off their rockers to feel that way. (Heck, I think it's a bit ridiculous that sports coverage is even included in otherwise good newspapers.)

My opinion on the value of professional sports aside though, most people don't give a toss about E&B and have never even heard of a mud. A good portion of India is likely to be very interested in that lengthy dull-fest that is cricket, but almost nobody cares about a mud shutting down, by comparison.

I also think there may be some justification to the public airwaves argument, none of which would seem to apply to a mud.

--matt

4.

Matt> My opinion on the value of professional sports aside though, most people don't give a toss about E&B and have never even heard of a mud.

Well no, but what about Lineage etc, if we do grant these values to sport then there would seem to be case for the bigger MMOs.

5.

Cricket is very important to India and Pakistan in keeping the population focused on competitive sport rather than competitive territorial fights. Not getting access to televised game is a big thing.

Maybe in the future, MMOs will be an integral part of our lives and we'll need them as governmental measures to reduce RL violence or something like that...

Frank

6.

Ren,

Well, I'm not interested in granting these values to sport to begin with, and in any case, the Indian legal system is clearly a bit different from the US's. The argument in India also seems to revolve largely around the public airwaves argument, which doesn't apply to muds.

Frank,

I'd be curious to see evidence that watching cricket lowers violence in India and Pakistan. I think that's unsupported conjecture.

--matt

7.

matt> Well, I'm not interested in granting these values to sport to begin with
Fair enough

>and in any case, the Indian legal system is clearly a bit different from the US's.
Well yes, but there are also great similarities which I’m trying to draw on here

>The argument in India also seems to revolve largely around the public airwaves argument, which doesn't apply to muds.

No, the argument revolves around those things that a government thinks that it can needs to control, irrespective of contracts that may have been made, for the good of society. The airwaves just happens to be the example of this, what’s more I think the FCC in the US regulates airwaves so there is a strong parallel there. Certainly, I’m sure that the UK government could (and perhaps does) do things like ensuring that Royal events are broadcast on the BBC even though a venue might want to sell the rights to the highest bidder.

It looks like there is a massive jump to MUDs. But there is not. There is a tradition of argument that suggests that things like ICANN should be put in trust (I think in the US this rests on legal president established by national parks, though with ICANN the argument also runs to it being controlled by the UN (similar arguments go for the IETF, W3C etc)), this argument can and is extended to other Internet services as the net is seem more as not only a social good but a social necessity.

What I’m doing is taking these principles and seeing if they will stretch to MUDs etc. and of course, in theory they do, the question is: what are the set of social circumstance in which one would practically extend them and are those circumstances conceivable?

Hence my reference to Lineage etc., given the number of people that play that game and what I hear about its integration into society; if ncsoft decided to turn it off, I could see public trust arguments being used to force things like the IP and the servers to be taken over by another party (probably with compensation) – well in theory as I do not know if these principles subsist in Korean law.

8.

This is something akin to what we already have in the UK. Here, certain protected sporting events must, by law, be available to be broadcast live and for free by terrestrial broadcasters (in effect the BBC and ITV companies). These events include certain football matches, rugby matches, horse races, golf tournaments, tennis tournaments etc.. They also include test (ie. international-level) cricket matches played in England.

I don't think there's any law that forces broadcasters to show a match if they don't want to, but if they decline then someone else can come along and sign up the rights for pay-per-view or other satellite TV company. This happened in a cricket match a few years ago, I seem to recall, which the BBC decided not to cover and then the England team did something unheard of - they won. The current test match in the West Indies is not being covered live by the BBC, which probably explains the England team's surprising success there, too (although this one, not being a home match, wasn't subject to the priority laws - the BBC had to bid for the rights like anyone else, but didn't bid enough).

As I understand it, the UK law doesn't revolve around the airwaves argument. Our "protected sporting events" are protected because there would be riots if we couldn't watch the World Cup final.

Richard

9.

I think Richard hit the nail on the head with:

"Our "protected sporting events" are protected because there would be riots if we couldn't watch the World Cup final."

Similarly, I imagine the like might occur if India didn't show the cricket matches or if Americans couldn't see the Super Bowl or World Series. It's simply a matter of the government being smart enough to know what would probably occur if they didn't ensure that their constituency had access to popular sport games.

I think it will be a long time in the future, if ever, before such an argument can hold sway over video/computer games.

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