Sunday, January 02, 2011

Eric Daniels Webcast on the Foundations of Free Speech

By Diana Hsieh

I'm pleased to announce an upcoming OList.com webcast with Objectivist historian Eric Daniels on the foundations of free speech. The live webcast will be held on Monday, January 10th at 7 pm MT, and if you'd like to attend, you need to pledge... because the webcast only happens if enough people pledge!

If you're not certain that you're interested -- or if you are certain -- I invite you to attend the free 10 to 15 minute "teaser" webcast. It will be tomorrow, January 3rd, at 7 pm MT. Anyone will be able to access it from the public web page for this webcast.

Here's Dr. Daniels' proposal for the webcast:

Freedom of speech and expression forms a vital foundation of a free society. The Founding Fathers established a firm but not unassailable foundation for protecting this freedom in the First Amendment. Over the course of the twentieth century, freedom of speech experienced a patchwork of protection and rejection by the courts. In recent major cases, the US Supreme Court and lower courts have appeared to bolster the protection for speech in areas such as campaign finance, obscenity, and compelled speech. Despite these victories, the foundation of these decisions has relied upon the flawed theories of free speech that have been part of American jurisprudence. Without a proper foundation for freedom of speech, these cases will remain a paper barrier to further assaults on our freedoms.

In this webcast, Dr. Daniels will investigate some interesting recent developments in First Amendment cases (including Citizens United v. FEC, United States v. Stevens, and others). In many of these cases, he will illustrate how the flawed theories that support the correct decisions act to undermine the proper defense of freedom. He will also discuss what a proper defense would look like in each case and suggest ways that we can act to protect freedom of speech into the future by improving its foundations.
For those of you not yet familiar with Eric Daniels as a lecturer, I pity you, because he's legendary! His courses at OCON are always stellar. I was particularly enthused by his course on Freedom of Speech in American History given in 2008. That, plus my own frustrating encounters with campaign finance laws, are why I invited him to webcast on the topic of free speech.

The structure for this webcast will be slightly different from Adam Mossoff's November webcast on intellectual property. (That webcast is now available for sale.)

First, as I've already mentioned, Eric Daniels will give a 10 minute free "teaser" for the webcast on Monday, January 3rd at 7:00 pm Mountain Time. That's tomorrow -- and exactly one week before the webcast. You'll be able to access that on the public web page for this webcast. (If you pledge for the webcast, I'll e-mail you a reminder about the teaser. Otherwise, mark your calendar!)

Second, every pledger will be welcome to attend the live webcast and participate in the text chat. Every pledger will be able to submit and vote on questions via Google Moderate too. People who pledge more money will be more likely to have their questions addressed, however.

Third, an audio file of the webcast will be available for download. You cannot share that with anyone outside your own household, but you'll be able to play it from now until doomsday, if you like. You'll also have access to streaming video of the webcast for about two months.

As before, you're welcome to pledge any amount. However, please remember that whether the webcast happens or not depends on the total amount of money pledged. The webcast will be green-lit or cancelled, depending on the pledges received by noon on January 6th. Also, if the webcast takes place, I'll post it for sale after the fact for $50.

So... if you want this webcast to take place, if you want to support Dr. Daniels' work, and if you want to support this new webcast series, please pledge!

Do you want to pledge? I hope so! Please remember that your pledge is a contract to pay for the webcast, if delivered, and you should consider yourself honor-bound to pay that pledge.



If you have any problems with that embedded form, try this form.

The critical dates for this webcast can be found on the OList Calendar. To sum up:
  • Monday, January 3rd, 7 pm MT: Free Teaser Webcast
  • Thursday, January 6th, 12 pm MT: Pledge Deadline
  • Monday, January 10th, 7 pm MT: Private Webcast for Pledgers


OList Webcast Pledge FAQ

How much should I pledge?

That's entirely up to you. You should pledge whatever the webcast is worth to you, knowing that if enough people don't pledge enough money, the webcast will be cancelled. In that case, all pledges will be void. Also, you should pledge more if you have questions that you'd really like answered.

Will anyone know what I've pledged?

No one except the webcast organizers and webcaster will know how much you've pledged. Nothing about your pledge will be made public.

What if I don't pay what I've pledged?

If you're not satisfied with the quality of the webcast, I will grant a refund, provided that you explain your reasons. However, if you simply welch on your pledge, you're a schmuck. In that case, you will not be welcome to pledge on any future projects until you pay me the money you owe me, including a hefty penalty for being a schmuck.

What if I want to alter my pledge?

If you wish to increase your pledge, you can always pledge more by e-mailing me your new pledge amount. If you make a mistake in your pledge, you can e-mail me before the pledge deadline to adjust it.

How will I submit questions for the webcast?

You'll submit questions for the webcast via Google Moderator. I'll send you the link to that forum shortly after I receive your pledge.

How will I get access to the live webcast?

A few days before the webcast, I'll e-mail you the url, login, and password for the live webcast. After the webcast, you'll be able to use the same url, login, and password to view the streaming recorded video or download the audio file.

Can I share the webcast with anyone else?

You may only share it with other members of your household. If you'd like to give the webcast to someone else as a gift, you can do that by submitting an additional pledge. If you distribute the private link or audio file, you will not be welcome to pledge on any future projects until you compensate me for the theft of that property, even if accidental.

How do I pay you?

After the webcast, you'll receive payment instructions in the invoice I'll send you. My preferred method of payment is PayPal, but you're welcome to sent me a check or money order, if that's what you prefer.

What if I'm not satisfied with the webcast?

If you're not satisfied with the quality of the webcast, I will grant a refund (or void your pledge), provided that you e-mail me to explain your reasons.

If I don't pledge, will I be able to purchase the webcast later?

The webcast will be available for sale for $50.

What do I do if I have some other question?

Please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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