Larry Lessig's TED talk

Here's the video of Stanford professor Larry Lessig's talk about copyright issues at TED in March 2007. (It's more interesting than it sounds.) Picture 1-119 Larry Lessig gets TEDsters to their feet, whooping and whistling, following this elegant presentation of three stories and an argument. The Net's most adored lawyer brings together John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights, and the ASCAP cartel to build a case for creative freedom. He pins down the key shortcomings of our dusty, pre-digital intellectual property laws, and reveals how bad laws beget bad code. Then, in an homage to cutting-edge artistry, he throws in some of the most hilarious remixes you've ever seen. Link


  1. This is just absolutely awesome. Larry EFFIN rocks.
    His points very well made…lets hope the common sense train comes back around someday.

  2. Wow. Incredible presentation. Larry, keep filling your students heads with talks like that – there aren’t enough professors like you.

    And for those of us forced to sit through powerpoint torture on a regular basis – thank you for demonstrating it’s proper use.

  3. Amazing. This is the best summary of the concept I have ever seen. He should be President of the Universe.

    Also, what a handsome video player they’ve got there.

  4. Brilliant. The Souza argument is a tremendously well-articulated and clever way to illustrate just what we’ve lost. And it even played to the expectations of the audience (“Oh, we’re hearing another “stupid luddite” story. No, wait – “).

    I do wish he hadn’t harped on quite so much about all UGC (a phrase I hate) creators being kids, but that was probably a necessity for a powerful appeal to his audience.

  5. His distinction between the editing tools having been available for decades and the current web 2.0 *democratization* of those tools is key — and one that gets overlooked all too often when these topics are discussed. Lessig is my copilot.

  6. @Zozzen – as the chief architect and promoter of CC, Lessig knows it’s “not new”. He’s pushing the idea to the audience at TED to help spread the word.

    Great presentation. I had to give my head a shake and realize I just watched a 20-minute presentation on copyright law…and enjoyed it.

    If I’m not mistaken he’s using Keynote to present his slides (credit where credit is due).

  7. I just finished watching the presentation on the TED Talks channel on everyone’s favorite Miro Player. Excellent, as others have observed. Certainly a great distillation of many themes that have been embraced by the majority of previous ted speakers. But this theme that has always remained as subtext. By connecting the open content / CC movement with the legal and social aspects, Lessig coalesced the essence of all those previous talks that embraced CC implicitly to the fore. He spelled out EXACTLY why it makes good sense that all those other smart people had built CC into their implicit design or methodology. Were there one talk that could serve as a copping stone, an epitome, for all TED – I think this one ought to be it.

    The most salient portion, however, was the connection he drew between criminalization and behaviour. That is, asserting the prevailing moeurs (to borrow Rousseau’s term) of our ‘kids’ living against the law without being against their own ‘common sense.’ The most important point being that this is an extremely destructive feature of contemporary social experience. The combination or passivity, coupled with assumed criminality, I think says a lot for why things are coming off the rails in many respects. Only when community, creativity, morality (moeurs) are harmonized with the spirit of the rule of law can democracy function reasonably. Otherwise, extremism of both types undermines us all.

  8. Hex He has a 1 hour one on youtube that he presented at the google campus that is also well worth watching.

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