Friday, October 10, 2008

Politics: How Lessig made the GOP's hit list

Here is my explanation ow why Laurence Lessig might not be popular with Republicans (in addition to donating tend grand to Obama):

On the political spectrum there is Richard Stallman at the far left, Eric Raymond almost as far to the right, and Larry Lessig somewhere in the middle (but probably closer to Stallman's than Raymond's end of things).

It seems to confuse people to no end that all these people can agree on Open Source software and agree at least to some extent on copyright issues.

Let me 'splain: Software is IDEAS, hardware is THINGS. Certainly people have a right to get credit for their ideas, and even to get paid for them in one way or another. But some sort of negotiation has to take place and one option producers have is to put their ideas/software/other intangible things out there and let people re-use them under certain circumstances (usually involving credit, reciprocal use, etc.)

Here is where they differ: My lawnmower.

Stallman thinks everyone should have the right to use my lawnmower, in fact it really isn't my lawnmower in the first place, it's really OUR lawnmower.

Lessig thinks it's my lawnmower, but I should be glad to have others use it, and if I'm not glad, the government should intervene, take my lawnmower for others to use, and afterward, if there is anything left of it, return it to me.

Raymond thinks it's my lawnmower and nobody can use it without my permission.

I tend to agree with all of them on software, and Raymond on my lawnmower.

(Actually I don't own a lawnmower any more, I was too afraid of it being confiscated.)

Hope that helps.

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