Larry Lessig talks about the values of education and science and the need to bring copyright into harmony with them

TonyBot sez, "This video is from a talk I saw Professor Lessig give on Wednesday the title is 'It is About Time: Getting Our Values Around Copyright.' The talk was given at EDUCUASE a major technology in higher education conference. As an IT support guy for professors at a New England state school I run up against copyright every day, Lessig's talk is both informative and inspiring, though I'd be interested in ways the people would react to his concluding call for action."

It is About Time: Getting Our Values Around Copyright (Thanks, TonyBot!)


  1. Cory, this is a really good and enjoyable post. Lessig makes such a great point, methodical, entertaining and most important almost watertight. I am often left feeling I want to smash my head against a brick wall when I hear individuals reciting unreflected slogans (“pirates will kill off the entertainment business”) so it’s good to hear a level headed and well constructed argument on the point. Bravo!

  2. He says we could make it stop: but what can we do?

    I release my work on the public domain, and encourage others to use PD or CC, but I’m less than a drop in the ocean.

    People like Lessig can make a difference, though, with talks like this to the right people, if they come up with viable enough commercial models to replace the entrenched ones.

    I’m a big fan of things like the Street Performer Protocol and the Wall Street Protocol as alternatives. I would love to see a Street Performer version of ebay someday.

    1. Excellent post, Cory. Deep thanks to TonyBot for getting this out so people can watch it. Extra thanks to the people who put the video together (if those are people other than TonyBot) and to the people who put this conference together and got Mr. Lessig to speak (even if they thought he was on their board of directors?).

      This is a wonderful presentation from Larry Lessig! Longer than the usual lecture from him on the Internet, so yay!

      In reply to Dewi Morgan:

      There’s lots you can do as an individual, or as an individual creator. You should check out Lessig’s talk at TED where he gives a brief history on ASCAP vs BMI — that is exactly the sort of situation we’re in today and on which can guide us on how we might behave as people creating media in these complicated times.

      I really like the fact that Lessig positions himself here as feeling stuck between opposing expressions of extremism and trying to find a path that will avoid mutual destruction. This theme seems downright universal these days and we need more meek heroes! Lawrence Lessig often reminds me of Kermit the Frog — I can’t imagine anyone better to lead a subtle revolution.

  3. I find it rather amusing that the video Erica St. Angel linked to requires Microsoft Silverlight to view. I may be mistaken, but I don’t think that platform is available on all common OSes.

  4. As an amateur archivist, I fear the loss of films, be they documentary or other, to the decay of the base media. (Dr. Lessig specifically mentions nitrate film stock, but acetate stock has similar deterioration issues.) I also fear the loss of other pieces of culture, such as television shows, and even commercials (OK… I guess I am a little crazy on that part).

    Also, he mentions that the content is now under CC license. Wouldn’t the content there, being produced by or for the federal government fall under public domain?

    (recaptcha: long Marilyn. somewhat appropriate, I think)

  5. Unfortunately, I can’t watch the video because it crashes my browser. (I’m running Firefox 3.5 on Ubuntu 64bit.) I can’t watch the video linked by Eric either because I can’t get past the silverlight prompt even though I have the silverlight plugin installed.

    Does anyone have an alternate video?

  6. Started skeptical, now convinced. Reason: Lessig is involved in creating new standards, which I had not known. There MUST BE media standards which come with licences. The people readable/lawyer readable/computer readable junction is absolutely where it’s at.

    Is the effort to create such standard itself open?

  7. Incidentally, I reckon that Lessig’s attempt to create media standards which carry clear licences is actually AGAINST the bb ethic. We spend a lot of time talking about insane copyright: would bb readers even support a (not free) licensing standard? One that FORCED your torrents to pony up to the creators?

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