September 12, 2002 · Lessig
Ernie accuses me of optimism because of a piece in the Red Herring. In that piece, I argue that obsession about antitrust issues blinds us to other (also important) network and policy issues. And one in particular was how different DRM systems affect the network differently. Some, the argument goes, better support the end-to-end architecture that the network originally valued, and it would be easier to assure that token systems did so than copy protection systems. (Copyfight as usual puts it better than I.) Does that make me an optimist? Wouldn’t that be nice. But no: I am not arguing there’s less reason to worry about antitrust; nor arguing that DRM is a good thing; only arguing that we need constantly to think about how different technologies affect the policy of the net. Remember Mitch’s insight over a decade ago: Architecture is politics.