Lessig (was [PLUG-TALK] Renting silent movies)

David Pool pooldavid at msn.com
Thu Sep 19 09:28:35 PDT 2002


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeme A Brelin" <jeme at brelin.net>

> > Lessig's pretty bright and he makes a great argument, but it can be a
> > depressing read as he points out how many ways the US ignores the
> > intent of the Framers of the Constitution and supports monopolies like
> > Microsoft, Hollywood and the telecommunications industry.
>
> I think Lessig's idea's of "the Framers of the Constitution" is a bit
> skewed.  Surely the current crop of legislation is supporting the primary
> author of the Constitution James Madison's notion that "the purpose of
> government is to protect the opulent minority from the majority".

That is a beautiful quote. I hadn't seen it before. It could just as easily
read "the purpose of intellectual property is to protect bloated monopolies
from innovation". But they didn't write that into the constitution. Lessig
is quoting straight from the constitution when he argues:

In Article 1, Section 8, the founding fathers not only instructed Congress
what to do regarding copyright - secure "for limited times to authors and
inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and
discoveries" - but also stated why they should do it ("to promote the
progress of science and useful arts").

That's snipped from an interesting article on Lessig's life (including
starting out as a right wing conservative and clerking for Scalia).
Interesting read:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.10/lessig_pr.html

David Pool





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