I love IPTV. I don’t love television. The main reasons I dislike television are:

  1. Most television programs are filled with potentially manipulative ads which sow the seeds of consumer discontent, aspiring to motivate audience members to go spend money they either don’t have on products they really don’t need, or money which would be better spent or saved elsewhere.
  2. Live television not recorded via a DVR is inflexible. It seeks to keep audience members glued/entralled for extended periods of time. Time is a finite, expendable resource, and we never get it back once we spend it. There can be value in “vegging out” for awhile in front of the tube, but in many cases I think TV watchers COULD be engaged in far more productive and worthwhile activities. (Like blogging, of course. 🙂 )

IPTV, a term I’m using to be inclusive to web-posed video content shared online, permits me to watch a short episode of The Colbert Report without being subjected to either of the above conditions, however. In this recent episode, Larry Lessig is interviewed on the show and discusses the idiocy of current US copyright law in criminalizing remix culture.

Hat tip to Alvin Trusty for this video link.

At the end of last year, the RIAA announced it was discontinuing its policy of attempting to sue individuals engaged in file sharing. When I heard Alvin compare shoplifting to file sharing civil fine penalties earlier this week at eTechOhio, I thought I remembered reading about this change in RIAA policy. Alvin’s point was that the discrepancy in fines for physical theft versus alleged digital theft was ridiculous, and that point is still true. It’s good to know the RIAA is not filing NEW lawsuits against file sharers, however.

Do you have any “file sharing criminals” in your house? Amending copyright law to recognize the realities as well as positive potentials latent within the 21st century networked economy seems just as formidable as transforming our educational institutions. The challenges are huge, and the path forward is fraught with difficulty.

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One Response to Larry Lessig on the idiocy of current US copyright law

  1. I’m fine with changes in copyright law, but find the notion of “remixing culture” superficial at best and hostile to culture at worst. Lessig’s views on art and culture are, to put it delicately, most naive.

    Lessig knows as little about the nature of art as Dan Pink understands about science.

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