Visual Hugo slashdotted

Visual Hugo got slashdotted with his article about the fine Jurgen Verstrepen received last week for podcasting (and broadcasting in the beginning) his program “Zwart of Wit”.

I do believe our country made a big mistake here and I do feel the government is censoring our freedom of speech. So yes, in my opinion, Jurgen Verstrepen has the right to say there is no freedom of speech and he has been censored and punished by the government for this.

I do support the freedom of speech, although I don’t support the political party Vlaams Belang or Jurgen Verstrepens personal political point of view. As a reaction on the fine, he did a call on his blog to file complaints against all the other Belgian podcasters (not only the politicians or the government institutions). That’s no my idea of how a politician should act.

Update: VH on Adam Curry’s weblog. Who’s next? The New York Times?

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  1. VH says:

    Oei! Goed dat jij nog in mijn RSS feed staat of ik zou beroemd zijn zonder het zelf te weten :-p

  2. VH says:

    Free speech is always problematic when “scoundrels” are involved. Let’s, for agument’s sake, assume Jurgen Verstrepen is a scoundrel.

    “I may not agree with what you say, but to my death I will defend your right to say it.” Voltaire
    “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” Voltaire

    My focus was not as much on Verstrepen, but on the media regulation of the Flemish government. Podcasting is considered “broadcasting”, not “press”. Free press is guaranteed by art. 25 of the Belgian Constitution. The Flemish media regulation singles out radio/TV broadcasts for historical reasons (prevent ether anarchy). Now it tries to hijack the new media.

    It’s a lost battle. The dead-tree-media “press” can be consulted online too, digital TV uses the Net infrastructure. The point has been very well made by Luc on http://lvb.net (in Dutch).

  3. Smetty says:

    Bloggers (and podcasters) aren’t journalists. So there is no legal protection for them, eg. in the case of protection of news sources. I expect “a case” in the very near future…

    But bloggers (and podcasters) are considered as broadcasters in the same country… Broadcasters aren’t press or what?

    Some people in this country need to redo some homework.

  4. JanC says:

    From what I understand, he was only fined for his AM/DRM broadcast from Germany but to a Belgian audience, because he didn’t have a license to do that (similar to the case against VT4 broadcasting from the UK in the beginning, which they had to stop too), and for his radio station making promotion for only 1 political party (which is forbidden it seems).

    The judge made a remark that podcasting could maybe be considered broadcasting too, but didn’t want to make a decision on that subject.