lessig

Occupy Gotham: my essay about the class war at the heart of Batman

The book Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman commemorates the 1000th issue of Batman comics; my contribution is an essay called Occupy Gotham, about the terror of letting a billionaire vigilante decide who is and isn't a criminal (featuring Lessig and Piketty jokes!). Read the rest

Lawrence Lessig on designing a corruption-resistant democracy for a virtual world

Lawrence Lessig (previously) has spent years articulating the case against corruption of the political sphere (and has written a superb book on the subject); now he's helping to design the political framework for Seed, a multiplayer game "in which players must collaborate (or compete) to rebuild society on a new, untamed planet." Read the rest

Only weeks remain until America's Public Domain begins to grow again, for the first time in 21 years!

This New Year's Day, for the first time in 21 years, new works will enter the public domain in America: the Class of 2019 was all creating in 1923, and has been locked in copyright for 96 years. Read the rest

On January 1, America gets its public domain back: join us at the Internet Archive on Jan 25 to celebrate

Timothy from Creative Commons writes, "In the US beginning Jan 1, 2019–after a devastating 20 year drought brought on by the infamous 1998 'Mickey Mouse Protection Act.' Creators, commons advocates, librarians, legal activists and others are celebrating in San Francisco at the Internet Archive on January 25, 2019 to mark the 'Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain.' There will be keynotes (including from Cory Doctorow and Larry Lessig), panels with legal experts like Pam Samuelson and EFF, and lightning talks to showcase the important, weird, and wonderful public domain." Read the rest

America, Compromised: Lawrence Lessig explains corruption in words small enough for the Supreme Court to understand

Lawrence Lessig was once best-known as the special master in the Microsoft Antitrust Case, then he was best known as the co-founder of Creative Commons, then as a fire-breathing corruption fighter: in America, Compromised, a long essay (or short nonfiction book), Lessig proposes as lucid and devastating a theory of corruption as you'll ever find, a theory whose explanatory power makes today's terrifying news cycle make sense -- and a theory that demands action.

Happy Day Against DRM! How We'll Hill-Climb Our Way to Glory!

On this International Day Against DRM, I've published an editorial for EFF Deeplinks setting out a theory of change for getting us to a world without Digital Rights Management, where all our devices obey us instead of betraying us. Read the rest

Important victory in Public Resource's tireless fight to make the law free for everyone

For years, rogue archivist Carl Malamud (previously) has battled for the right to publish the law online in freely readable and shareable formats, through his activist group Public Resource. Read the rest

Congress wants to extend the copyright on some sound recordings to 144 years

Back in March, the House passed the Music Modernization Act, a welcome bill made it easier for musicians to get paid reliably for digital streaming. Read the rest

The GDPR might actually create an "attention economy"

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect this month and will completely overturn the way that businesses gather and circulate data about internet users. Read the rest

Why no one has made a tool to turn off Facebook oversharing

The debate over whether Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of tens of millions of Facebook profiles was a "breach" turns on the question of whether Cambridge Analytica did anything wrong, by Facebook's own policies. Read the rest

How a kid cartoonist avoided Scholastic's digital sharecropping trap

I'm an 8th grade middle school student at a public school in NYC. In my humanities class we are studying muckraking journalism, and we have an assignment to write a muckraking article about a modern issue. (For those who didn't pay attention during class, muckraking journalism is journalism that became prominent in the late 19th century. A muckraking article digs up and exposes problems in society.) Coincidentally, I recently had a personal experience with a muckrake-able issue. I chose to make lemonade out of lemons, and got a very interesting topic for my assignment--and one that I could write about both professionally and privately. So, I'm posting my homework here.

Disney's 1998 copyright term extension expires this year and Big Content's lobbyists say they're not going to try for another one

In 1998, Disney led an entertainment industry lobbying effort that resulted in the term of copyright being extended by 20 years, even for works that had already been created -- a law with an incoherent basis, given that the US copyright system is constitutionally constrained to passing laws to promote new creative works (giving creators more copyright on works they've already created doesn't get them to make new ones, and it reduces the ability of new artists to remix existing works, the way Disney did with the Grimm's fairy tales). Read the rest

Lawrence Lessig on an excellent episode of the Webby Podcast with David-Michel Davies

On the latest Webby Podcast, my pal and Webbys exec director David-Michel Davies has a rollicking and provocative conversation with the great activist lawyer Lawrence Lessig. In 2014, Lessig won the Webby Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award and damn he deserved it. Listen:

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Lessig wants to fix the electoral college

Federalism is hard: to reassure small states that bigger ones won't clobber them and their interests, federalist agreements usually have some kind of non-proportional representation built into their articles, such as a senate or an assembly where it's "one state, one vote" instead of "one person, one vote" -- so each state gets as much say as any other, but the people who live in the bigger states have their votes diluted to a tiny fraction of the influence of the votes of people in the less populous states. Read the rest

Celebrate Independence Day with MC Frontalot's nerdcore rap about free software vs open source

Animator Chad Essley writes, "The new MC Frontalot (previously) nerdcore video is out for the 4th of July! Celebrate our nation’s hostility toward the British crown by listening to Front rap about internet arguments over Free Software!" Read the rest

Thailand is losing the war on dissent, thanks to user notifications and HTTPS

Thailand's insane lese majeste laws make it radioactively illegal to criticize the royal family, reflecting a profound insecurity about the legitimacy of the ruling elites there that can only be satisfied through blanket censorship orders whenever one of the royals does something ridiculous, cruel or both (this happens a lot). Read the rest

Lawrence Lessig on how Congress should behave when the president breaks the law

Lessig compares the current constitutional crisis -- a lawless, reckless president; law enforcement officers flouting federal court orders -- with previous crises, such as the impeachment of Nixon, and says the major difference between then and now: then, Congress had a bipartisan consensus that "they were engaged in the most serious job a member of Congress could have — because they knew that in a critical sense, the very stability of the Republic depended on them behaving as adults." Read the rest

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