Posts Tagged ‘lawrence lessig’

Obama, McCain, and Lessig

October 27, 2008

Glyn Moody calls it libel:

Although it is unclear at this point who Senators Obama and McCain might choose, AAP believes it essential that key officials who will deal with intellectual property issues in a new administration have a full understanding of the importance of intellectual property rights for those who hold these rights and for broader U.S. economic and trade interests. AAP is concerned, for example, that based on their past academic relationship, Senator Obama might choose among his appointments a divisive figure such as Larry Lessig – a law professor and leading proponent of diminished copyright rights.

Suggesting that Lawrence Lessig would make a poor advisor due to an insufficient understanding of the effects of US copyright law, is ludicrous. Not only does Lessig understand copyright, he understands copyright in a digital and networked world – the world some publishing companies fight to put the brakes on using DRM and the DMCA. Most importantly, Lessig understands that our new technologies don’t fit the old law. It’s this mismatch that drives the conflict and division, not him. If anyone has done the work it takes to find a common ground – a solution that not only respects the importance of copyright but is pragmatic in the face of new technology, it’s Lessig.

Obama should not only request Lessig’s assistance, he should beg him for it.

the EESA and Lessig’s “corruption”

September 30, 2008

Lawrence Lessig has made clear what he means by “corruption” in the political process. That is, corruption not as outright bribery but corruption marked by the “amplification” of money within the political process. The recent rebuke of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act certainly was an extraordinary display of citizen action (not, as some Republicans might have you believe, a partisan blunder by Pelosi) but what’s almost as interesting to note are the underlying statistics of this historic vote:

Interests who wanted this bill to become law gave an average of:

$231,877 to each legislator voting Yes
$150,982 to each legislator voting No

Coincidence or corruption?

Thanks to Jim for the email.

family ties

February 20, 2008

Upon hearing of Lawrence Lessig seriously considering a run for California’s 12th congressional district, I felt compelled to contribute. But as a non-American, I found myself stifled:

I confirm that […] I am a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien.

Good thing I’m married to an American. :)

inspiration freed

January 16, 2008

At the turn of the century I hadn’t given much thought to technology in a social sense. I was blissfully content teaching my students (in Beirut at that time) how to use proprietary operating systems and their related applications. One summer while visiting California I wandered into a bookstore, browsed the tech section, and bought a copy of The Future of Ideas. I returned to Lebanon and cracked it open. To be honest, after reading the first few chapters I was bored. However, the boredom was a product of my own apathy, not the content of the book. I recall getting a little angry with myself. I could sense that what was on the pages was important, but felt frustrated that I wasn’t taking it seriously. I wasn’t listening. I didn’t care to put in the effort to learn or think critically about such matters.

With a stubborn determination, I started again from chapter 1. I used a browser as I read. I researched many of the terms, personalities, and concepts brought up in the text. It started coming together and I began having fun making sense of it all. In short, it was the start of what turned into “GNUosphere”.

Naturally, I was pleased to hear that this inspiring book is now free.