The Imperial government overreaches again, and a private citizen fixes it – again. Excerpt:
A third threat to free speech at the University of California, Berkeley has led to more censorship than political rioters or college administrators.
It’s the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Berkeley is expensive. Out of state students must pay $60,000 a year. But for five years, Berkeley generously posted 20,000 of its professors’ lectures online. Anyone could watch them for free.
Then government regulators stepped in.
The Americans with Disabilities Act stipulates, “No qualified individual with a disability shall … be denied the benefits of … services.”
As with most laws, people can spend years debating what terms like “denied,” “benefits” and “services” mean.
President Obama’s eager regulators, in response to a complaint from activists, decided that Berkeley’s videos violated the ADA. The Justice Department sent the school a threatening letter: “Berkeley is in violation of title II … (T)he Attorney General may initiate a lawsuit.”
What Berkeley had done wrong, said the government, was failing to caption the videos for the hearing impaired. The ADA makes it illegal to “deny” deaf people services available to others.
In this case, fortunately, an angry entrepreneur came to the rescue. Jeremy Kauffman hates to see valuable things disappear, so right before Berkeley deleted its website, Kauffman copied the videos and posted them on his website, called LBRY (as in Library).
He says the Berkeley videos are just the start of what LBRY has planned. He wants the site to be YouTube — but without the content restrictions.
Where the hell is any shred of common sense in the Imperial government reaction to this? It’s not as though these are primary classes without which a student cannot graduate; they are 20,000 lectures posted for free consumption by anyone – something to be said for that coming from Berkeley, where free speech is a dead letter and a non-resident student has to pony up north of $60k a year to attend.
But no! For want of a closed-caption, this free and (possibly) interesting service is now cut off, no doubt due to the interference of some un-elected bureaucrat meddling in something that nothing in the Constitution allows the Imperial City to touch in the first place.
We have proceeded from tragedy to farce in this matter, True Believers.