Ramblings & ephemera

New technologies & the urge to control

From David L. Hudson, Jr.’s “Update on the Internet and the First Amendment“:

For example, as First Amendment scholar Rodney
Smolla explains, when Gutenberg developed the printing press
circa 1450, the Archbishop of Mainz created a censorship body,
and the Venice Inquisition issued a list of banned books.

The expansion of printing led English officials to pass
restrictive licensing laws that allowed the crown to impose
prior restraints on publication. When movies were first introduced
in the early 20th century, the United States government
argued for tight censorship controls because it was believed that
movies would easily influence children.

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