lessons from lessig

from CODE 2.0

1.) Harold Reeves, one of Lessig’s best research assistants, left the law to become a priest. Talk about intellectual property: now the company he works for owns Heaven (which may be larger even than cyberspace).

2.) “the power to regulate access to and use of copyrighted material is about to be perfected.” There is a vast difference between regulation by law… and control of access. The law may redefine artists as hackers and criminals, but it won’t stop art or culture.

3.) there is no such thing as a trusted system, Larry, relax.

4.) Andrew Jackson’s mother told him: “Never tell a lie, nor take what is not your own, nor sue anybody for slander, assault and battery. Always settle them cases yourself.” Did she happen to say HOW? Was it by pistol duel?

5.) “Intellectual property rights are different than ordinary property rights.” Yep, but both are based on theft. We stole from those who came before us and now we’re trying to stop everyone else from stealing from us. We have enough guns and lobbyists to put up a good fight, but eventually it’s a losing battle. The richest-of-the-rich get smaller and smaller, while “everyone else” grows larger and larger. History repeats, privelege is redistributed, game over.

6.) “The DMCA contains an anti-circumvention provision.” See number 2 above. It cannot forbid, it can only punish.

7.) click-wrap, shrink-wrap, bad rap: “The ultimate power of a contract depends upon the decision by a court to enforce the contract or not.” No one reads them, no one complies, no one sues. Case closed.

8.) The Framers were writing about one King. Now content is King. But they showed that a King can be thrown off.

9.) If a trusted system becomes too controlling and authoritarian, it too may be thrown off… in a virtual tea party.

10.) “…we do not expect that anyone is keeping track. We would be shocked if we learned that the library was keeping tabs on the books that people checked out and then using this data in some monitoring way.” I got news for ya: the librarians have been whispering about you for years.

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