Feeds

Lessig gives up on Free Culture

Aims Ivory Tower at 'Corruption'

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Unfortunately, Lessig's talk ignored the Fail of his endeavors. After all, he set out to alter the copyrights used by the mainstream. These copyrights tend to cover works that people actually want, rather than the flood of cruft bundled under the Creative Commons.

In addition, Lessig has an uncomfortable tendency of linking his copyright efforts with techno-utopian projects like Wikipedia.

We can all share information just like we share culture, right? Well, not when the information sharing source is rigged and busted.

Anyway, Lessig is happy enough with the copyright work to let it go and move on.

While still rather cagey on the exact shape that his corruption studies will take, Lessig during his speech presented one possible path for battling Washington.

A well-intentioned individual could try and convince politicians to refrain from taking money from special interest groups and pushing pork barrel legislation. Such an effort could "start out small" by convincing one or two politicians to join the campaign. "In two or three election cycles, you can imagine this process rolling into a collation, a consensus, a caucus of support," Lessig said.

Apparently, politicians would show their support for this agenda by "committing themselves to a certain set of principles". You reject earmarks, refuse lobbyist money and push for campaign finance reform. "If you do adhere to these three principles, you'd earn the right to tag yourself in a particular way."

You can imagine a scenario where politicians could submit their own photos to Flickr and tag them "loser" because these freedom fighters will be going against well-funded rivals. Even the ultimate dreamer concedes this is a very real challenge.

"(The politicians) probably will lose" if they give up the money.

Lessig, however, thinks that citizens have no other option than to battle corruption in these new ways.

Shot of Lessig with back to audience

Lessig thinks in front of hundreds

He complained that people place too much stock in viewing the President and Supreme Court as so-called agents of change. Sure, these branches of US government can enact big, sweeping policies, but they do it rarely, and these days it's harder than ever to get them to fight against a corrupt system.

For example, Lessig waxed eloquent on his Supreme Court loss, saying a friend has suggested the case was impossible since Lessig wanted the court to rule against all the money in the world. No court could be so brave. Lessig also appears keen on presidential candidate Barack Obama, but doubts that even a fighting mad commander in chief can conquer Washington's greed machine.

For the time being, the Congressional reform thing is nothing more than a possible course of action. So, Lessig remains very much in the Ivory Tower, doling out suggestions to freedom fighters who will listen.

And how were the old and new messages received?

Well, Lessig received a standing ovation.

Let's hope this noble quest to conquer corruption has a bit more meat to it than the Creative Commons game.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.