C|Net Covers Lessig Visit

by Alphaville Herald on 21/01/06 at 2:02 pm

Daniel Terdiman has a story on C|Net covering the visit to Second Life of Stanford Law Professor and author of Free Culture, Lawrence Lessig.  Its a great story except for the end when he sites that cranky old professor Ludlow, who has nothing good to say about anything it seems.  Hamlet Linden also has been posting the transcript of the meeting on New World Notes.  Meanwhile readers hoping for in depth analysis will have to wait until the Herald cub reporters get their always fairly unbalanced reportage up on the site.

One Response to “C|Net Covers Lessig Visit”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 22nd, 2006

    Thank God for cranky professors. Indeed, an overcrowded stadium, with the sims coming in and out of view because they’re overcrowded, where each statement gets repeated due to the need to shout or repeat, is hardly the place to be having a conversation like this.

    There’s also the problem of the SL chat interface, as I’ve said time and again, which only enables you to type out one sentence or half sentence, whereupon someone else interrupts you, you try to type out another sentence or half-sentence, and it goes on and on like that, with each person out of sync with the other. In TSO, you could type a few sentences into a paragraph, and it just made for more coherent and friendly chat. Every time I try to point out this very obvious feature of SL, a million tekkie FICtards jump on me and claim it’s merely my desire to “type a lot” or “talk a lot” or “have entire paragraphs to step on others,” when in fact it’s just a normal thing to be able to *compete a sentence* and not write in half-sentences, and to *complete a thought* in two sentences, which is often what it takes. Go in TSO and see if the more friendly and coherent way people chat is in fact involving people pontificating and holding forth in long diatribes.

    Well, then there’s the questions…Frankly, with confusion between Jeska and Hamlet moderating, with people shouting out stuff, that sucked too.

    And as for the ideas, well, here are my questions about this stuff, which remain unanswered:

    1) Lessig is credited with getting LL to give more intellectual property rights to their customers/residents. This is freeing teh ppl from the evil capitalist corporation. OK, so far so good, um, I guess. But then at what point are they stripped up those rights they just sought to strip away from the evil corporation? That is, if they get “too big” then they once again make themselves vulnerable to Teh Ppl ripping off their stuff again merely because they got too big and evil? Who is determining this morally-based and highly-subjective slider? He determines that old white dead guys with their bony hands clutching old dead copyrights in dusty offices should be shaken loose, so that new brown live kids in Brazil can make new stuff out of the pieces of the old, like cartoons and comic book characters and Disney and remixing of commercially-produced songs and then….what? What if they want protection of THEIR creative item? Or he’s going to deprive them of it?

    I think this stuff contains a real Marxist internal contradiction, in which he can expropriate from the expropriators…which he determines…and then keep the expropriated from those new expropriators…forever. Nice work if you can get it!

    2) Who pays for all this free culture? I find that when people blatheron about “free,” it’s often in fact done on a grant form the Ford Foundation. I could point out the obvious that this alternative to Davos, the World Social Forum, was largely paid for by the Ford Foundation. One has to wonder on what grant, fellowship, or travel dime Lessig himself got to Brazil.

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