The Digital Media Project



Philip Merrill


TRU #20 political freedom





Philip Merrill

Affiliation/additional information:

Active Contributor, Pasadena, California

Date submitted:







Name of TRU

TRU to political freedom


Summary description of TRU

Some free speech rights mingle with fair use thinking to form a context for open communication, often greatly to the benefit of society as a whole as well as most, if not all of the individual players in a given digital media chain, from creators all the way to consumers. This generally includes the right to pursue some sort of business or commerce, to pass or influence legislation, to form licenses or agreements, and to generally strive to improve society for altruistic reasons.


Use records of TRU

historically anytime and always now -

  • Declaration of independence signed by U.S. founding fathers and its accompanying bill of rights.
  • Minorities seeking to have opinions heard about possible local mistreatment, especially reporting and documenting the existence of extreme cases such as "ethnic cleansing" while these are in progress.
  • A sexually harassed woman needs to complain to the authorities but the local authorities will not help, so she needs to be protected and communicate that to other authorities.
  • Library users and/or university-affiliated researchers seeking to assure privacy.
  • 4.

    Nature of TRU

    American common law traditions exceed what can easily be summed up without resorting to the First Amendment language or Fair Use Title 17 Sec. 107. The issues involved were summed up nicely by President George W. Bush in remarks given November 6, 2003 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (at ), for example: "...the prosperity, and social vitality and technological progress of a people are directly determined by extent of their liberty. Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity -- and creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations."


    Benefits of TRU

    Everyone benefits.


    Possible digital support

    This is a touchstone that should be applied to everything we do, since hurting this TRU will diminish the quality of any DMP specification. As evidenced by popular antipathy to clunky DRM schemes, protection of copyrighted material can inadvertently overstep and hurt political freedom and what are perceived by many to be basic liberties.



    Among others, it is important to be able to preserve copyrighted material so that statements can be criticised (ref.