Monthly Archives: April 2008

It's Comrade Lessig to you, bub.


Julian Sanchez has a piece in Ars Technica analyzing my recent outing by PFF as a communist. Or socialist. Or quasi-socialist utopianist. Whatever. I’ll leave the criticisms of the criticisms of my scholarship to the reader to judge. One perfectly framed point of the piece, though, is something I completely agree with: There is a divide in the libertarian camp about IP extremism. And when, as I’d put it, “libertarians … ‘start to defect’ from a strong-IP stance, copyright incumbents [will] be left with only their wholly-owned-subsidiaries as defenders.”
Then, I suggest, real progress will be made. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

A physicist on the "Lessig style"

Many have asked me about my Keynote (it is not PowerPoint) presentation style. I honestly don’t have much to say about it, as I’ve not thought it through. But Chris Tunnell, a researcher on the SNO neutrino physics experiment has, and he sent me his thoughts about how and why (and whether) the style works based on his own experience using it for physics presentations. Read about it in the extended entry. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments

Change Congress resources files

I’ve given now four versions of the lecture launching Change Congress. You can see them all (and more) at the Change Congress channel at []. Some have asked for the resources to remix (by which I take it they mean, improve on) the message. I’ve very happily now made those resources available here.
On that page you’ll find links to two directories, one related to the April 4 Harvard speech, and the other related to the April 11 UCSB speech. Each folder has a keynote file, a ppt file, an image for each slide, and a zip wrapping up all the images. The page will be fancied up soon enough. Everything is under a CC-BY license. Remix away. Continue reading

Posted in ChangeCongress | 4 Comments

On my "Tragedy and Farce": PFF on me

PFF has launched what they promise to be a “series of papers that will critique Free Culture and the Free Culture Movement.” Their first is a piece by Tom Sydnor II called “Tragedy and Farce: An Analysis of the Book FREE CULTURE.” Calling the book akin to “quasi-socialist utopianism,” the 17 page review is certain to be an interesting read. Someone should add this to the Anti-Lessig Reader. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 10 Comments

The most interesting part of the writers' strike

Just after the writer’s (and writers’) strike ended, Matt Prager (who worked for 15 years in Hollywood as a writer and executive) sent me this fantastic essay about what was really at stake in the strike (guess…). Here’s the start:

The WGA strike to date has been more or less characterized as a strike over money; most press reports have dealt with negotiation demands like residuals and up-front compensation on internet streams and downloads, jurisdiction over reality and animation, and other such issues. However, the press reports have missed the central, underlying issue of this strike: copyright. This battle is not “poor laborer” versus “greedy company” – everyone in Hollywood is pretty greedy frankly. Rather, in the same way that fiction is the business of Hollywood, so is the entire underpinning of Hollywood built on an enormous fiction. But to understand the fiction, you first need to understand some facts.

Here’s the balance. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 15 Comments

Change Congress @ UCSB

So here’s the last in this series for a while (I’m taking a break off the grid with my family starting next week — Madagascar). This version emphasizes the Framers and “independence.” Suggesting the meme — a new Declaration of Independence.
There’s a YouTube version which is better synced this time. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The RedState flap

Many of you have written about the REDSTATE blog entry, pointing to an excerpt of a talk I gave at Google in which I showed a video by Javier Prato in which Jesus is singing Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive.” The YouTube video makes it seem as if this is all there was in my talk. And so my inbox has been filled with people outraged I would have made such a disrespectful video about Jesus, etc.
This will be obvious to everyone ordinarily here, but for the record:

(1) I did not make the “Jesus Christ: The Musical” video. Javier Prato did.
(2) I used the video in probably 5 or 6 out of 200 talks over the last three years, in the section of my talks in which I show examples of “remix” creativity.
(3) I show these videos not because I endorse the message, or even believe in the message. For example, here‘s a fantastically clever video about John Kerry I showed dozens of times during the 2004 election. It makes fun of Kerry — the man I supported for President. The point was not the substance of the message; it was to demonstrate the spread of the technique.
(4) The Jesus video was relevant to the story I was telling because the artist was threatened by the copyright holders because of the video.
(5) I decided to stop using the video when one Christian whom I knew told me he thought unhelpful to the purpose for which I was using it. That seemed right, so I dropped it.

It will be interesting (in a root canal kind of way) to see how far or deep PC-ism runs in this society. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 52 Comments

Testifying @ FCC @ Stanford

I was asked to give some overview testimony at the FCC’s “Network Neutrality” hearing at Stanford yesterday. Here’s the testimony.
One panelist, George Ou, was particularly exercised about what he perceived to be a policy by Free Press and EFF to push for “metered access.” I don’t speak for the Free Press or EFF, but my view is simply that tiered access for consumers does not violate “network neutrality” principles. Obviously I’d prefer a world of flat rate, fast service. And if we actually had any meaningful ISP competition, we might get to that. But the narrow question I’ve addressed here is whether it would violate neutrality principles for ISPs to offer different bandwidth commitments for different prices. I don’t believe it does. Continue reading

Posted in NetNeutrality | 55 Comments

A letter to Pennsylvania (or how to become a superdelegate)

I grew up in Pennsylvania, and went to university at Penn (as did just about everyone on my Dad’s side of the family). I spent a couple days near where I grew up about three weeks ago, speaking at Penn State and Bucknell, and then travelled to Philadelphia to speak at an Obama event at Penn.
It is surprising how home never quite leaves you, no matter how far away you may be. And so as I saw PA leading up to a primary, I thought about writing a letter. Pennsylvania was the last place where I dreamed about life as Superman (at the age of 7); here’s 9 minutes asking PA Democrats to become super-delegates.
(There’s a version at YouTube, but the quality is astonishingly poor. I don’t get the reason for the difference — it is the same file uploaded in both places. But the sync is way off.) Continue reading

Posted in presidential politics | 16 Comments

CC Newsletter — this is really beautiful

Here‘s the latest CC newsletter. It is extraordinarily beautiful and well done. Continue reading

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