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Past legislation subsidizing the development of infrastructural technology has borne the mark of political corruption. The subject matter of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 falls within the same category of legislation that has fallen prey to this process in the past. In an effort to discern whether such forces are at work today, Professor Moglen undertakes a critical examination of the metaphors that pervade the current scholarly discourse on the subject of telecommunications law. Terms such as "Superhighway," "Broadcasting," and "Market for Eyeballs" reveal a great deal about the implicit assumptions at work behind the current scholarship and legislation, and serve to confine the debate in such a way that the full impact of the new law remains hidden. Professor Moglen concludes that the broader implications of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 need to be addressed, or the law will have a detrimental impact on our society and culture for decades to come.


Communications Law | Internet Law | Law | Science and Technology Law


This article originally appeared in 97 Colum. L. Rev. 945 (1997). Reprinted by permission.