In 1644 John Milton published the Areopagitica as an appeal to Parliament to rescind their Licensing Order of the previous year.
This order had been drawn up to bring publishing under government control by creating a number of official censors; and authors would have to submit their work to them prior to publication.
Milton’s argument was that pre-censorship of authors was really an excuse for state control of thought.
But he felt that some accountability was necessary to ensure that ‘libellous or other illegal works’ were controlled, and that this could be achieved by ensuring the legal responsibility of printers and authors for the content of what they published.
This reminds me strongly of … of … I believe it’s Stephen Conroy! [grin]
I have just decided that there are one or two good things about Labor’s sitting on the other side of the room …