The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'lawrence lessig'
Copyfighter turned anti-corruption campaigner Lawrence Lessig on why he backs Barack Obama ahead of Hillary Clinton; and here is a transcript. (Summary: it's not so much due to policy differences, of which there are few, as questions of character and integrity.)
Lawrence Lessig, one of the leading figures of the fight against intellectual-property absolutism and the expansion of copyright laws into a new system of corporate feudalism, is moving on from that fight to a bigger one (which encompasses similar issues): the fight against a pervasive corruption of our legislative processes, to the point where corporate money buys bad laws:
Think, for example, about term extension. From a public policy perspective, the question of extending existing copyright terms is, as Milton Friedman put it, a "no brainer." As the Gowers Commission concluded in Britain, a government should never extend an existing copyright term. No public regarding justification could justify the extraordinary deadweight loss that such extensions impose.
Yet governments continue to push ahead with this idiot idea -- both Britain and Japan for example are considering extending existing terms. Why?
The answer is a kind of corruption of the political process. Or better, a "corruption" of the political process. I don't mean corruption in the simple sense of bribery. I mean "corruption" in the sense that the system is so queered by the influence of money that it can't even get an issue as simple and clear as term extension right. Politicians are starved for the resources concentrated interests can provide. In the US, listening to money is the only way to secure reelection. And so an economy of influence bends public policy away from sense, always to dollars.
Read: Stanford technology law professor Lawrence Lessig spoke about why expanded copyright laws pose a threat to culture:
"The period of copyright primacy is going to end up as a huge hole in the cultural record."
Lessig said a major problem is the fact that copyrighted material simply vanishes because corporations aren't interested in keeping all that they copyright commercially available. Such material "falls into a black hole where no one will have access to it," he said.
Law professor Lawrence Lessig on copyright law and its degeneration into a system of heavy-handed control. (via Slashdot)