Lessig v Barlow at 23c3

I highly encourage folks to watch Lawrence Lessig’s entire talk at 23c3 — it’s rad.

At least do yourself the favor of listening to the last 8 minutes of the video where John Perry Barlow enters the frey. Both Lessig and Barlow agree that “17 year old kids” will always circumvent the DRM du-jour, but they go toe-to-toe on the efficacy of civil disobedience.

To Barlow, it’s simply a matter of time. If we merely continue to violate the DMCA, creating a sort of underground railroad for culture, today’s stodgy “rights holders” will eventually go to that big studio in the sky, and change will be inevitable.

Lessig’s position is that we don’t have 20 years to waste. As long as we allow the powers that be to write the script, we’ll be playing the part of “criminal” (and, surprise, we lose). Instead, if we generate a parallel universe of free culture we can lawfully supplant the current “consumer oriented” system.

Riveting stuff.

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