June 25, 2003  ·  Lessig

Dave and the Berkman Center folks have been building a “user agreement for weblog hosting at Harvard Law, and a privacy policy. We hope it could become a template for other universities, schools, libraries, perhaps even businesses.” Comments and help invited.

June 25, 2003  ·  Lessig

Dave and the Berkman Center folks have been building a “user agreement for weblog hosting at Harvard Law, and a privacy policy. We hope it could become a template for other universities, schools, libraries, perhaps even businesses.” Comments and help invited.

June 24, 2003  ·  Lessig

I have just arrived in DC, where I was planning on meeting with staffers on the Hill tomorrow to drum up support for the Public Domain Enhancement Act. We’ve got CD’s of all 15k+ of the signatures on our Reclaim the Public Domain petition to hand out. It was going to be a fun day (as fun as any DC day gets) in DC.

But we’ve now learned that Congresswoman Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Doolittle (R-CA) have agreed to introduce the bill into Congress. We’re having an event at 1pm tomorrow at the Capitol to announce this first step on a long road to Reclaiming the Public Domain.

Count this as great news, and spread the word: there are two great souls on Capitol Hill. I’ll see if I can find some more.

June 24, 2003  ·  Lessig

I have just arrived in DC, where I was planning on meeting with staffers on the Hill tomorrow to drum up support for the Public Domain Enhancement Act. We’ve got CD’s of all 15k+ of the signatures on our Reclaim the Public Domain petition to hand out. It was going to be a fun day (as fun as any DC day gets) in DC.

But we’ve now learned that Congresswoman Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Doolittle (R-CA) have agreed to introduce the bill into Congress. We’re having an event at 1pm tomorrow at the Capitol to announce this first step on a long road to Reclaiming the Public Domain.

Count this as great news, and spread the word: there are two great souls on Capitol Hill. I’ll see if I can find some more.

June 23, 2003  ·  Lessig

“What you don’t understand, Lessig, is that your bullshit ‘open’ or ‘free’ types will never — NEVER — be able to compete with corporate organization. Squabbles-about-egos-pretending-to-be-about-the-merits can never be quashed. There is no one to say ‘enough, let’s move on.’ So every great idea that your type creates, we’ll just wait, watch, and then take. Always.” paraphrased from a conversation with someone from within one of the (how many are there?) largest proprietary code companies

Aaron has been trying to prove this skeptic wrong. See his plea and proposal here. I know from email early on that Dave too has the desire that progress be made. Let this be the proof that the skeptic is wrong.

June 23, 2003  ·  Lessig

“What you don’t understand, Lessig, is that your bullshit ‘open’ or ‘free’ types will never — NEVER — be able to compete with corporate organization. Squabbles-about-egos-pretending-to-be-about-the-merits can never be quashed. There is no one to say ‘enough, let’s move on.’ So every great idea that your type creates, we’ll just wait, watch, and then take. Always.” paraphrased from a conversation with someone from within one of the (how many are there?) largest proprietary code companies

Aaron has been trying to prove this skeptic wrong. See his plea and proposal here. I know from email early on that Dave too has the desire that progress be made. Let this be the proof that the skeptic is wrong.

June 22, 2003  ·  Lessig

John Laurence Poole runs Editions Poole. Editions Poole publishes piano ensemble “repertoire, specializing in transcriptions and eight hand piano music.” As a 4th of July gift, Poole is giving away a free arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner composed by John Stafford Smith and arranged by Leopold Godowsky. In return, he is asking people to help free more music by signing the petition to Reclaim the Public Domain. See his offer posted to rec.music.classical here.

Thanks, John!

June 22, 2003  ·  Lessig

John Laurence Poole runs Editions Poole. Editions Poole publishes piano ensemble “repertoire, specializing in transcriptions and eight hand piano music.” As a 4th of July gift, Poole is giving away a free arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner composed by John Stafford Smith and arranged by Leopold Godowsky. In return, he is asking people to help free more music by signing the petition to Reclaim the Public Domain. See his offer posted to rec.music.classical here.

Thanks, John!

June 22, 2003  ·  Lessig

Phil Greenspun has a funny (as in sad) story about the market rising because the public domain is being transferred to corporations. The hook is (of course) the Sonny Bono Act (Free Culture!), but then Phil tells this bizarre story about how Disney World has apparently succeeded in getting the airspace above Disney World assigned to it. As Phil writes,

>Ever since the dawn of aviation it has been held that airspace belongs to the
>public and is to be regulated for the benefit of all by the FAA.� This is what, for
>example, prevents the owner of a farm in Missouri from demanding that Delta
>Airlines pay him a tax every time they fly over his farm.�

But there is a relevant pre-history here that is useful to remember. Before “the dawn of aviation,” in fact, the law was that the owner of a bit of land owned not just the land, but all the land to center of the earth, and, as Blackstone put it, “to an indefinite extent, upwards.” (See pg 18 here).

This, of course, created a problem once the history of aviation was born. For obviously, if I own all the space above my land, then companies like United are just napsterizing my property as they fly above my land.

The Supreme Court finally resolved this matter in 1946. The Causby’s, North Carolina farmers, complained because military aircraft were causing their chickens to fly in panic to their death as they smashed into the walls. The Causby’s claimed “trespass” and demanded the military stop flying over their land.

The Supreme Court rejected the argument that airplanes trespass. As Justice Douglas wrote for the Court,

>[The] doctrine has no place in the modern world. The air is a public highway,
>as Congress has declared. Were that not true, every transcontinental flight
>would subject the operator to countless trespass suits. Common sense revolts
>at the idea. To recognize such private claims to the airspace would clog these
>highways, seriously interfere with their control and development in the public
>interest, and transfer into private ownership that to which only the public has
> a just claim.

“Common sense revolts at the idea.”

Where’s a good “common sense revolt[]” when you need it?

June 22, 2003  ·  Lessig

Phil Greenspun has a funny (as in sad) story about the market rising because the public domain is being transferred to corporations. The hook is (of course) the Sonny Bono Act (Free Culture!), but then Phil tells this bizarre story about how Disney World has apparently succeeded in getting the airspace above Disney World assigned to it. As Phil writes,

>Ever since the dawn of aviation it has been held that airspace belongs to the
>public and is to be regulated for the benefit of all by the FAA.� This is what, for
>example, prevents the owner of a farm in Missouri from demanding that Delta
>Airlines pay him a tax every time they fly over his farm.�

But there is a relevant pre-history here that is useful to remember. Before “the dawn of aviation,” in fact, the law was that the owner of a bit of land owned not just the land, but all the land to center of the earth, and, as Blackstone put it, “to an indefinite extent, upwards.” (See pg 18 here).

This, of course, created a problem once the history of aviation was born. For obviously, if I own all the space above my land, then companies like United are just napsterizing my property as they fly above my land.

The Supreme Court finally resolved this matter in 1946. The Causby’s, North Carolina farmers, complained because military aircraft were causing their chickens to fly in panic to their death as they smashed into the walls. The Causby’s claimed “trespass” and demanded the military stop flying over their land.

The Supreme Court rejected the argument that airplanes trespass. As Justice Douglas wrote for the Court,

>[The] doctrine has no place in the modern world. The air is a public highway,
>as Congress has declared. Were that not true, every transcontinental flight
>would subject the operator to countless trespass suits. Common sense revolts
>at the idea. To recognize such private claims to the airspace would clog these
>highways, seriously interfere with their control and development in the public
>interest, and transfer into private ownership that to which only the public has
> a just claim.

“Common sense revolts at the idea.”

Where’s a good “common sense revolt[]” when you need it?