October 31, 2005  ·  Lessig

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So some smart folks suggested we start passing out buttons for the CC fundraising campaign. We like smart folks (or at least some smart folks), and so we did. Go here to get a button. Please. Pretty please. Or whatever form of please will get you to go.

October 28, 2005  ·  Lessig

It is a common (and very good complaint) that there are too many free and open source software licenses. Multiplicity weakens interoperability. Interoperability of innovation is key.

For sometime, Microsoft has been playing in this community. Its “Shared Source Initiative” has given at least some access to important Microsoft code.

Last week, Microsoft made a major announcement that will benefit the ecology of free and open source software licenses significantly. As described here, Microsoft has abandoned a ton of licenses, focusing its efforts on just three core licenses. Two of these three licenses — the MS-Community License (MS-CL), and the MS-Permissive License (MS-PL) are technically “free” licenses under the FSF’s definition of free. The third MS-Reference License (MS-RL) is a view-only license, not quite free, but valuable nonetheless.

This is fantastic news, reinforcing an ecology of free licenses.

October 27, 2005  ·  Lessig

I’ve just arrived in Munich, on my way to Slovenia to launch CC Slovenia. Al Gore was on the flight. The plane was not configured to have a First Class (only Business Class) but they apparently had set aside a private part of the plane where he (and I believe his son) were seated.

Last week I remarked on the oddness to me of the Norwegian democracy, where the leader stood in line at a bakery. (Ok, not the monarchy, but the government). This week I feel the oddness the other way round. It felt out of place for a man like Gore to be on an ordinary Lufthansa flight. It didn’t seem appropriate. Again, for no good democratic reason — the man’s a citizen; he’s going about a citizen’s life. But for some reason, it didn’t feel right to me.

Not a pretty recognition for a democrat (small d). Maybe it’s just me. Maybe not. Or maybe it is just the melencholy of regret that being reminded of this man produces. Imagine the world if… Or don’t. That is too depressing.

October 21, 2005  ·  Lessig

The University of Massachusetts launches Cyberweek Sunday. The discussion series is hosted by the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution (odr.info), and covers a wide range of ethics and eLawyering topics.

October 21, 2005  ·  Lessig

I’m about to leave Norway for the second time. This trip was a bit different from the last. I spoke at a conference sponsored by the Network for IT Research and Competence in Education (ITU). The government in Norway has recently changed, and there’s lots of work being done to get some good thinking about matters digital.

Norway is an extraordinarily beautiful country, filled with brilliantly tri-lingual and warm people. Yet each time I travel out of the country these days, my thoughts are more brought back home than on the place I am. One cab driver had emigrated from Pakistan. He raged with anger at our “self-defeating” war. In another conversation, one of my hosts remarked that he lived in the same neighborhood as the Prime Minister, and would often see him answering questions as he “waited in line at the bakery.”

It’s hard to imagine a world where national leaders stand in line to buy bread. It’s not hard to see why such leadership would be so different from our own. There’s a perspective that our leaders cannot have. Sadly, as it is a perspective that would return an essential wisdom to these high offices.

October 13, 2005  ·  Lessig

So Veni Markovski, source of many many great things, especially in Bulgaria (including cc-Bulgaria), asked me to mention a film, The Optimists, which will debut in New York on October 21st. The film is about the Bulgarian conspiracy to save Jews from concentration camps. Veni says it is a fantastic movie.

(For the record: I don’t do movie recommendations except if they come from Veni. So if you ever want your movie mentioned on my blog, don’t ask me. Ask Veni.)

October 12, 2005  ·  Lessig

So I’m having some fun writing up this history and future of Creative Commons, which I’m doing as penance for the fund raising campaign. If you’d like to read week 2, it’s here. If you’d like to give something to support Creative Commons, you can do so here. And if you read what I’ve written without supporting Creative Commons, well, we’ll just see how things turn out for you (and us, I guess).

October 6, 2005  ·  Lessig

Jon Potter has a response to Jamie Boyle’s piece about the Broadcasting and Webcasting Treaty under consideration at WIPO. Notice how Potter’s justifications are tied exclusively to “piracy.” And notice (now that I tell you) that those (very few) corporations pushing this treaty have consistently rejected a treaty limited to “piracy.” Not also the absurdity in this (non-IPR based) right being granted for 50 years. And note that practically every major rights organization has opposed the treaty.