Irony noted

Irony noted
: Prof. Larry Lessig’s new book, Free Culture. $24.95.

But it will be free online next week.

: And give the good professor plenty of credit for linking to this review from Stephen Manes at Forbes (whose email address is, quite appropriately, at

Man the barricades for your right to swipe The Simpsons! According to Stanford law professor and media darling Lawrence Lessig, a “movement must begin in the streets” to fight a corrupt Congress, overconcentrated media and an overpriced legal system conspiring to develop “a

  • Are you actually interested in having a discussion with Professor Lessig or do you just want to have a pissing match?
    I also find it interesting that you quote the review but don’t quote Lessig’s rebuttal of the review.

  • billg

    Lessig fails to acknowledge that the person who creates a work owns that work and has every right to control how it is distributed and copied. No one else has a right to that work unless its creator gives them that right.
    Information may want to be free, but you’d better damn well lay off my words unless I decide you can have them.

  • Huh? Folks, Lessig hasn’t called to abolish copyright law entirely. That’s a very straw-man position. He’s advocated a few things:
    1) Cutting down the length of copyright terms
    2) More ability for derivative works
    3) Compulsory licensing in certain limited circumstances.
    He has also provided a system for creators to, of their own free will, if they should choose to voluntarily and knowingly themselves, give up certain rights, to do so withing a standardized legal framework (that’s Creative Commons).
    Agree or disagree with any of the above, it’s hardly walking around saying “Freeee! Freeee! Information wants to be free! Save the bits! …”

  • BTW, check out Baen Books sometime. Jim Baen has a number of books available for free download. Some of them currently in print. Turns out that many people try out the electronic version, then go and buy the print edition because it’s easier to cart around and read.

  • Jim

    Lessig is advocating a return to copyright law that’s actually stricter than what it was in 1975.
    Why is that a big deal? He’s no hippy!

  • Frankenstein: Man, I actually try to compliment the guy and it’s not good enough for the Lessig cult.

  • bob

    I’m not too familiar with Lessig, but if anyone’s interested in learning about his software near-equivalent, there’s Richard Stallman. (I’m not so much a fan as a fascinated and sometimes frustrated obvserver.)
    Stallman is the symbolic (and in many ways actual) leader of the open source movement, from whence came linux. The gist of his idea is this: I write code and release it to the world. Anyone can use it, with one condition: any code that incorporates my code must be released under the same conditions.
    Like linux.
    He’s pretty far out there, and I tend to start shaking my head in complete disagreement after reading more than a few pages of anything he’s written. But the man is brilliant, his ideas have led to at least one great thing, and his influence will almost certainly far outlast his lifetime.
    As far as I know, he hasn’t looked to turn his ideas into law, but he’s sort of anarchical, so who knows what that means?
    * okay, so this post was just an excuse to use the word ‘whence.’ But Stallman’s worth checking out, too.

  • What he forgot to mention is how the changes Lessig speaks about will put folks like him out of work.
    Do not expect any kind of intellectual honesty about these matters from salaried journalists. They have to much to lose.

  • billg

    >>Do not expect any kind of intellectual honesty about these matters from salaried journalists. They have to much to lose.
    Since everyone has a stake in everything that’s important to them, presumably this means that only people who who have no interest in an issue can be trusted to deal with it honestly.
    Why the assumption that the equation “It Pays My Bills = I’m A Liar” always holds true?