Are Geographic Restrictions On Content Obsolete? | Techdirt

Are Geographic Restrictions On Content Obsolete? | Techdirt. 9 July 2010

An interesting post which points out the obvious (no sarcasm intended). Boundaries in terms of filtering are disappearing, at least the way they used to be. It reminds me of the major change in the 18th century in France with the abolition of the ‘octroi’ this tax/customs imposed on anybody entering/exiting a town in France, a tax greatly criticised by the physiocrats and the progressive bourgeois who perceived it as a hindrance to commerce. For France, free market started in 1789 and its following years, when those types of physical barriers allied to taxes were abolished.

I need to enquire about the English side, but I do not recall taxes, after the medieval times, attached to towns. A colleague told me there were tolls on the road though. But I suppose it may not have been very different than the nowadays tolls on the road even though they are very few in England, and much more in France with the motorways.

It is hard to imagine that once upon a time, one could not traverse France and commerce without paying the octroi for each town the merchants were going to. So maybe it is hard to imagine the same freedom today granted when it comes to access to contents, i.e. data, the new valuable good.

Similarly, it is hard to imagine that Governments would allow blockages that would bar people from the internet and/or from websites even for innocuous uses like checking e-mails. See the Turkish story: “People In Turkey Quite Angry Over Google Blockade; While Bureaucrats Defend Policy“, TechDirt, 6 July 2010

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About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
This entry was posted in censorship, Filtering, Jurisdiction, Offences - Piracy. Bookmark the permalink.

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