Computers, Freedom & Privacy…


…and media regulation?

I spent much of last week at the 13th annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference, held this time in my old stamping grounds of New Yawk. As always, it was a great meeting of techno-activists, theorists, practitioners, etc.

Stanford's Larry Lessig gave an interesting but flawed keynote address in which he came out in favor of more tightly regulating media ownership. He unconvincingly pointed to the supposedly dessicated state of current American culture compared to three decades back as his predicate for concern. I agree with a lot that Lessig says, but I think he's wrong about contemporary culture. With some tweaking of copyright and other laws, our culture could be that much stronger, but there's no question we've got it better now than we did in the early '70s.

Here's a story from CNet's/Politech's Declan McCullagh on the matter (featuring a cameo by yours truly). And here's a link to Reason's interview with Lessig from a while back. And here's a link to my 1999 story on the ongoing "culture boom" that seems to have escaped Lessig's attention.