December 10, 2002  ·  Lessig

Doc reports being Comfort[ed] by free-IP. Soon hotels will post “Free IP” on their signs, and just as “Free TV” signs seems silly to us today, an optimistic sort might imagine our kids laughing in the future, “how silly, of course IP is free.” If only we could find optimism… seesupra.

December 8, 2002  ·  Lessig

We’re holding a conference on March 1 at Stanford about spectrum policy. If that sounds boring, then you really need to pay a bit more attention to the next extraordinarily important policy issue affecting innovation and growth. There is about to be a very significant shift in how spectrum is managed. One school says it should be propertized; another says it should be treated as a commons. Read: auctions vs. WiFi; or more auctions vs. mesh networks. The question for the conference is which model makes most sense. The day will end with a “moot court” which will be judged by FCC Chairman Powell, Judge Alex Kozinski, economist Harold Demsetsz, and possibly Senator Barbara Boxer. Go here to learn more.

December 4, 2002  ·  Lessig

Jason Schultz has done more amazing work calculating any “chaos” that would come from striking the 1976 Act. Using the Internet Movie Database, he confirmed the Copyright Office’s numbers that about 37,000 movies were released in the period 1927-46. (IMDb reports 36,386). Of those, only 2,480 are currently available in any format, or 6.8%. 93.2% of the films during that period are are commercially dormant. Another way to put this: Jack Valenti’s crowd says exclusive rights are the only way to assure content gets distributed. So we have a nice experiment: For the films between 1927-46, exclusive rights fails to make available 93.2% of the content produced. Does anyone really doubt the public domain would do better? Jason’s email is here.