Thursday, March 4

Lessig lost

Lawrence Lessig is the dean of liberal digital distirbution thinkers. And he lost what we hoped would be a landmark case, Eldred v. Ashcroft. He just came out with an article about how the case could have been won: How I lost the big one.

There's a post about it at MetaFilter that I want to comment on. It follows a typical MeFi pattern of people beginning by overstating, insulting one another, then having some useful commentary about the middle ground.

- copyright should not be extended forever. 20 years is plenty. The Constitution can certainly be argued that way, not to mention 'fair use'.
- if this should be Congress' baby then they need to change the law. And there's hope that they will.
- artists should have rights to their material for a limited period of time (eg, 20 years).
- Lessig's idea to require affirmative re-registration of copyright for a nominal fee is a wonderful idea.

(And I still need to respond to Jaq's long post on this stuff, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.)
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