Larry Lessig is getting out of copyright scholarship and “activism” and will spend the next ten years focussing on a specific definition of “corruption.”

There has been important progress on the issues – not yet in Congress, but in the understanding of many about what’s at stake, and what’s important.

What he isn’t telling you is that advocates of copyright reform in the U.S. have lost in every venue that counts. Crucially, Lessig argued with rather than before the Supremes in a hugely significant case, and blew it (q.v.).

Shorter Lawrence Lessig: I argued my case at the Supremes and I lost.

Progress “not yet in Congress” isn’t much progress at all. Right now, the most significant name in copyright reform in the United States is Sonny Bono, not Lawrence Lessig.

Where Lessig sees “important progress” I see a leader with followers and no significant victories. That makes me wonder about his followers. Shouldn’t they be demanding results? Lessig acolytes are the hip kids of the Web, who exert peer pressure to force you to sign away rights forever under the jauntily named Creative Commons régime. In that respect, they are more akin to notorious corporate-copyright arseholes than they might want to admit, only with black MacBooks and World of Warcraft accounts.

That the real problem here was what I will call a “corruption” of the political process. That our government can’t understand basic facts when strong interests have an interest in its misunderstanding…. I mean “corruption” in the sense that the system is so queered by the influence of money that it can’t even get an issue as simple and clear as term extension right. […] I am beginner. A significant chunk of the next ten years will be spent reading and studying the work of others.

With his track record, he’ll lose an important court case that sets back his cause by a decade – and that will be after his ten-year catchup phase. So we’re looking at 2027 before any dent gets put in this kind of “corruption.”

Why are so few people wiling to call bullshit on Larry Lessig and Creative Commons?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.06.19 14:26. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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