PDF: Free the debates

I am at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, starting off with Prof. Larry Lessig, creator of Creative Commons, making a rousing case for opening up the debates. He says that giving copyright control over the debates and speech like it is insane. So we should not give the debates to proprietary, closed networks. There are so many open networks now: public broadcasting — see the post below — and now CNN, which promises no restriction on the use debate video. Three of the Democratic candidates have joined this call. And Lessig calls on Hillary Clinton to join.

With bloggers and even candidates making liberal use of debate footage on YouTube and the internet and with at least one network — Fox News — relying on fair use as a standard, I ask Lessig what the defense of these remixers is today. He says that fair use is really the right to hire a lawyer. Such cases can drag on forever and middlemen — e.g., YouTube — cannot live with uncertainty. So, of course, the cleanest thing to do is not to give our debate over to proprietary, closed networks in the first place.

(Crossposted at PrezVid)