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regulatory domains

regulatory domains

Posted Oct 27, 2006 18:40 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
In reply to: regulatory domains by dlang
Parent article: Patch summary: regulatory domains, network channels, and virtualization

dlang is talking about a license given to a manufacturer to manufacture a transmitter, whereas smitty_one_each is talking about a license given to an operator to operate a transmitter.

As I understand it, in bands such as wireless telephone, the government's policy is normally to license the manufacture and then let people freely use whatever legally manufactured transmitters they can get their hands on. That makes lots of sense, but does shut out a certain class of use. In particular, it makes governments unwilling to license the manufacture of transmitters with easily modifiable control programs, which is what we Linux people would like.

So what if the government additionally gave licenses similar to ham radio licenses for use of the wireless telephone band? A user of the band could choose: use a licensed transmitter or be a licensed operator.

That does raise an issue of how to force users to choose one or the other, and not just go totally unlicensed. How does that work in the ham band? Maybe the risk of abuse just isn't as great in the ham band as in the telephone band?

In any case, this is just academic. There are not enough people who want to build their own custom telephone transmitters to make a whole licensing system for them practical.


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regulatory domains

Posted Nov 2, 2006 13:03 UTC (Thu) by arcticwolf (guest, #8341) [Link]

Why does there have to be a technical solution to what is essentially a social problem? Cars don't prevent people without a valid driver's license from starting and driving them, and guns don't prevent people without a proper license from firing them.

Why do RF transmitters have to prevent people without a valid license from using them?

regulatory domains

Posted Nov 3, 2006 3:36 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

Why do RF transmitters have to prevent people without a valid license from using them?

[To be precise, what the transmitters prevent is people from using them for certain kinds of transmissions; there's no user license involved]

It all comes down to practicality. It is far cheaper to regulate manufacturers of transmitters than users of them for the same effect. The money we save can buy stuff more valuable on the whole than the freedom for a few geeks to have more flexible transmitters.

I believe certain kinds of firearms in certain places are in fact illegal to manufacture for the same reason: it's easier than enforcing the law against shooting people.

Technology provides lots of solutions to social problems, of course. I don't see how there's anything wrong with that.


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