Monthly Archives: October 2008


Here’s what I was instructed to spam my friends with by the ever-vigilant Change Congress staff. I’m spamming my blog readers instead:

Dear Friends,
My organization needs your help.
Change Congress is asking candidates for Congress and current members of Congress, their stance on key reform issues from earmark reform to taking money from lobbyists and PACs. The goal is to provide a user-friendly map of where our politicians are when it comes to these key reform issues.
We’ve setup two ways people like you can help with our new iPledge Project:
1. Pester Your member of Congress:
Simply by going to the website below you can actually find your member of Congress as well as candidates in your district/state and drop them an email, letter or a phone call asking them to tell us where they stand on our issues. We provide scripts and all you have to do is press SEND.
2. TAG a politician
Stumble upon an article or press release where your member of Congress says they support earmark reform? We’re asking folks to attach these articles to the individual webpages of each politician by “TAGGING” it. This will let the community see what each politician has stated publicly on each of these key issues.
We’ll be meeting at our offices every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening through October between 4PM – 7PM. Please join us for drinks, snacks, and laptops!
Change Congress
543 Howard Street (btween 1st and 2nd)
5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
The future of democracy will not simply rely on grassroots but also on the “netroots” — bands of internet users sharing and creating information with each other through websites.
I hope you can help!
Thanks so much,

Continue reading

Posted in ChangeCongress | 1 Comment

Grover Norquist joins Open Debate Coalition

As reported in Politico, Grover Norquist has joined the Open Debate Coalition.

“I’m happy to join the Open Debate Coalition in calling for dismantling the Commission or fundamentally reforming it so it is accountable to one constituency only: the public.”

This now is the unavoidable goal: “dismantling the Commission.” The most astonishing thing about this process has been the totally non-responsive “Commission on Presidential Debates.” I could get top people from both campaigns to respond almost immediately to the requests we made. But the Executive Director of the Commission, Janet Brown, didn’t have time for even the courtesy of a response to an email.
Enough of that, and enough of them. Join us now in a call that the Commission formally release the debates to the public. Either ping the Executive Director or sign-up at Join us later to help remake this Commission. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

YouTube responds to McCain


YouTube has responded to McCain/Palin’s call for more process before taking political video’s down. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 10 Comments

McCain/Palin seeks "special rules"?

Chris Soghoian of Berkman has a nice post about McCain/Palin’s call on YouTube to review takedowns from campaigns before taking them down. He criticizes it as “special rules.”
True enough, it is a special rule. But isn’t it appropriate? For here’s the new game for politics in the YouTube age: complain enough to get an account shut down (according to YouTube testimony, 3 complaints gets an account shut down (pg 17 near the bottom), and ideally, do it at the critical time just before an election.
Of course, no one should be subject to this arbitrary game. But especially a campaign. Let’s start here and begin to build out from a clear example of bad incentives. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 15 Comments

A new favorite: Jesse Dylan makes a film for CC

Jesse Dylan (director of the extraordinary “Yes We Can” video) has made a film about Creative Commons. It is released today, the first day of our annual campaign. Continue reading

Posted in creative commons | 3 Comments

McCain/Palin to YouTube: Get real


The McCain/Palin campaign has written a fantastic letter to YouTube demanding that they start getting real about the response they’re giving to notice and take-down demands of material that “are clearly privileged under the fair use doctrine.” Here is the letter. Bravo to the campaign. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 38 Comments

Remix Book Party – SF – 10/29

Everyone and anyone is invited to the book release party hosted by the Stanford Law School for Lawrence Lessig’s new book Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. When: Wed Oct 29, 2008 Where: W Hotel SF… Continue reading

Posted in News | 112 Comments

NEWS FLASH: I don't "defen[d] piracy"

Sorry to disappoint, but my new book, Remix, is not “A Defense of Piracy,” whatever the Wall Street Journal’s headline writers may think. Continue reading

Posted in REMIX | 89 Comments

The scary context of this election; the decent efforts to calm

From CBS:

Some of the questioners said they were scared of an Obama presidency, and one woman said she couldn’t trust Obama because “he’s an Arab.”
McCain shook his head. “No ma’am, he’s a decent family man, a citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

Continue reading

Posted in presidential politics | 29 Comments

Open Debates: Focusing the Call

Now that both campaigns have signed on, we’ve focused the call for open debates to try to get some real progress. The new letter is below. Meanwhile, please sign up below to support the call for “open debates.” (The original letter to McCain and Obama is here.)

Join The Open Debate Movement – Sign Up Here

Continue reading

Posted in free debates | 1 Comment