Lessig on Remix


Larry Lessig on Remix (click to enlarge)

With the theme of the conference, you have to know that Larry Lessig is going to be one of the keynotes. I've seen Larry speak on this topic a few times in the past and heard him a few more on IT Conversations, but it was still fresh. What's more his style of presentation is just amazing. If you've only just heard him, its not the same as seeing him. Most of the slides have only a few words on them and he synchronizes the slideshow to his talk with precision. It moves fast and if you don't pay attention, you'll miss key points.

His call is to connect with those waging war against technology. Free culture is not about getting free access to people's copyrighted works against their wishes. Its about building a world where culture can be shared. We have to state our opposition to "piracy" (in quotes) and change the debate from one about piracy to one about culture.

We need to teach kids about the ways we use bits of our culture for expression and why its important. We're asking for changes to intellectual property, not its end. It must be updated to the needs of the technology. We demand to retain our right to remix.

Finally, we have to punish politicians if they don't get the message. We punish them by sending them messages the way democracies have always sent messages--by defeating them.

As a side note, Larry announced the wikification of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace at JotSpot. The goal is to allow a community rewrite of the book, which will be published in 2006 by Basic Books. Cool idea and professionally done.