May 22, 2003  ·  Lessig

Timothy Phillips, one of the most active people pushing to reclaim the public domain, writes in a comment to my post yesterday,

“�Monitor the issue ?� Why doesn�t the representative introduce the bill, if it has not already been introduced ?”

Why Timothy? Because as one person who had spoken to someone on the hill wrote me, “no congressperson yet sees ANY possible benefit to them from introducing this bill, and they all see SIGNIFICANT political costs. This is like taking on the NRA, but these people have more than one movie star on their side.”

  • Ed Lyons

    I have written my congressman on this issue, but I doubt he’ll budge. But perhaps a scattershot approach is wrong. If there is a price to be paid, let’s find someone who’s *already* paying it. Let’s find a congressman who already hates the media companies. I think we’re wasting time trying to find a congressman who will support us for the right reasons. Let’s find someone who will support us for the wrong ones!

    (yep – I have worked on the Hill)

    I think our best shot is to find some ultra-conservative congressman (midwest, south) who thinks the big media companies are ruining our children’s minds. Get them to introduce this – just because Disney, et. al don’t want it.

    Now that’s playing the game their way.

  • Ed Lyons

    … forgot to mention something.

    If what I’m saying sounds ridiculous – think about this: During the 1850s and ’60s, the abolitionists were not a uniform coalition of people for equality. Many of them had no love for African-Americans. The truth is, some did not want slavery allowed in their state because they didn’t want black people brought to their community. However, abolitionists gladly took support from these people in the name of the more important goal of emancipation.

    If we, as a movement, are going to “do something” as Larry has challenged us – it’s time we start thinking politically and start looking for allies – instead of like-minded people.

    I think I’m going to write an “alternative” letter for Congressmen that appeals for support in the name of developing a public domain “to compete with a culture of sex, violence and degradation that is being marketed to our children by Hollywood.” I’ll post it here tomorrow.