[PLUG-TALK] Renting silent movies

Jeme A Brelin jeme at brelin.net
Tue Sep 17 14:07:33 PDT 2002


On Tue, 17 Sep 2002, David Pool wrote:
> So even though I couldn't find Lawrence Lessig's book "The Future of
> Ideas" in stock at Powell's main bookstore, I was able to have it
> delivered to my local branch for free. A great example of an
> intellectual commons.

And an obvious example of why the American Library Association opposes the
DMCA.

> A central theme being an attempt to shift the debate from government
> control vs. market control to a debate between control itself and a
> free commons.

This is a common theme in nearly every political discussion I've had
lately.  Remove the concept of authority and control and just see if there
isn't global benefit.

> 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".

Now, if they hadn't sent Jefferson to Paris...

> Oddly, he finishes by championing Sen. Orrin Hatch as a defender of
> innovation.

You find support (however tangential) in strange places.  I read a comment
by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan that condemned "The Drug War" generally
and legislation criminalizing drug use and posession as "creating a
crimewave among the poor".  Highly insightful.  Whodathunkit?



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     Jeme A Brelin
    jeme at brelin.net
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