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Iran is trying to centralize all access to the Internet in order to maintain a certain level of decency, and to ban sites of the Mujahedeen Khalq and other opposition groups, the B'ahai religion, and any Western propaganda. [NYT, 10/8/96, A4. EDUPAGE.]

Burma has gone even further, outlawing the unauthorized possession of a computer with networking capability. Anyone who evades the law or who sends or received information about state security, the economy, or national culture will be subject to 7-15 years in prison. [Financial Times, 10/5/96. EDUPAGE.]

CompuServe has modified its membership license to say that it and its contractors have "a non-exclusive, paid-up, perpetual and worldwide right to copy, distribute, display, perform, publish, translate, adapt, modify and otherwise use in connection with CompuServe's business (and that of CompuServe's designated licensees, transferees, designees and contractors)" any files, software, or information you post to their service areas. This may be intended to permit conversion to HTML and other Web formats, but it claims much more. Publishers of the NetNotify e-zine have decided to no longer distribute their publication via CompuServe file libraries. [<>, net-hap, 10/11/96.] (If CompuServe decides that it is in the publishing business, does it have royalty-free rights to all posted material? Could it edit your material at will? Insert its own paid advertising on every screen?)

CompuServe also has a restriction on "adult" software, so Dave Morris' AIVR Corp. has moved its new Girlfriend Donna "AI game" demo to a different ISP. AIVR is selling a $59.96 CD ROM with full-motion video of a sexy model responding to your conversational inputs. . [Dave Morris <>, aivr-adultlist, 10/1/96.]

Prodigy is abandoning its proprietary online service in favor of being an value-added Internet service provider (ISP), or route to the Web. A $100M ad campaign will firm up its new image. [WSJ, 10/17/96, B11. EDUPAGE.] (Let's see... $100M divided by a few million users is how much per user?)

digital-culture is a new list for critical debate about technological issues. Send a "join digital-culture your name" message to . [, new-lists, 9/27/97.]