I've read this somewhere, and it has been confirmed
by a slimy laywer friend of mine
, so I'll go ahead
and spout this out
and hope it's the gospel truth
In the United States, the legal definition of 'illegal censorship' is 'any governmental organization blocking access to information anywhere, and any group blocking access to information on publicly owned grounds'. Not private grounds. On private grounds, legally, you can censor whatever you feel like censoring. Of course, legality sometimes has little to do with morality, but bear with me here.
Application to Everything? Well, Everything is not public grounds. Everything is private space, owned and operated by a non-governmental organization. The way I see it, we are allowed to play here by the good graces of nate, bones, and the rest of the administration. They can cut off our access to this database any time they wish, and feel good about it. Frankly, I tremble when I walk in their shadows, for they are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and they can rule with a rod of iron, if they ever wanted to.
So, what do you do if you think this is wrong? Grab the source code while it's still pipin' hot and compete. Come on, we're all indoctrinated into capitalism here, so put those market forces to work for you! Spam the web with 'Down with Nate!' advertisements! Build up the coming Slashdot Backlash to terrifying highs! Foment revolution! And televise it, while you're at it!
Update 13 Oct. - Once more - legality sometimes has little to do with morality. The above deals with the difference between legal and illegal censorship. This is not a defense of censorship, but an explanation of what is legally acceptable. An interesting question to ask yourself is, is private censorship protected by the First Amendment? I don't know the answer to that.