GOOD FOR THE GOOSE...
Larry Lessig has an op-end piece in the Sunday edition of the New York Times that's very much worth reading, even for those of you who've been long-time followers of his ardent fight for more common sense in the battle of the commons*.
"Yet as federal courts get started on this multiyear litigation about the legality of a business model, we should not forget one prominent actor in this drama largely responsible for the eagerness with which business disputes get thrown to the courts: the Supreme Court.
For most of the history of copyright law, it was Congress that was at the center of copyright policy making..."
"The Grokster case thus sent a clear message to lawyers everywhere: You get two bites at the copyright policy-making apple, one in Congress and one in the courts. But in Congress, you need hundreds of votes. In the courts, you need just five.
Viacom has now accepted this invitation from the Supreme Court..."
You can also view any number of his eloquent presentations on the subject of the growing clash between the imperatives of a digital culture and the global mainstream media industry fighting hard to preserve it's incumbency.
Many are available on the internet, quite a few via YouTube.
Here's a taste of Larry's Lessig on the very issue he's writing about in the New York Times piece. It's a little under 8 minutes long, but I'll warn you...you won't want it to end when it does:
Riveting stuff, no? I especially love how he highlights the irony on which the Disney empire is based. Reminds me of the proverb on what's good for the goose and the gander.
I had the opportunity to see Larry make his case at the recent 2007 TED conference. That presentation should hopefully be up on the TED website soon, as part of it's excellent TEDTalks program. I'll flag it when it's up. That'll be another 18 minutes worth spending listening to Larry Lessig.
DISCLOSURE: I remain a long-time shareholder in Disney.
* This linke opens a PDF file on the issue of the Battle of the Commons. It's worth reading if you're not familiar with it already.