Re: free speech? (was: nuremburg files judgement)

Timothy Bates (
Tue, 02 Mar 1999 14:15:19 +1100

>>Randall Randall he do say

>>> I'd want *any* free speech allowed, even "Fire!" in a crowded
>>> theater... Of course, this would always be covered by contract...

>>> Also, I do not believe that lying should be illegal, when
>>> it is not fraud (returning no value for value recieved.

too radical for me Randall ;-)

I think lieing is always fraud (bad information sold as good).

I am confused about the fire in a theatre example. I agree with you that it implies you have a contract with people that you may not have and i worry that enforcing the "no yelling fire" law makes it possible to enforce community standards laws like "no selling hustler magazine in our town".

I agree with Larry Flynt that the community has no right to dictate standards about speech of any form.

The "yelling fire" example, however, is different from, say, selling "The Bell Curve" (reading of which might lead people to believe that so much of intelligence is genetic that they stop voting for failed head start programs) and thus violate a (purported) community standard.

The difference is that in the latter case you are giving information, in the former you are lying and saying what a reasonable man knows will in all probability cause serious injury and at the very least ruin a night out for 150 people etc. etc.

So, I say

truth = always protected.
opinion = always protected.

lying = unprotected speech.
soliciting for a crime = unprotected.