Cyber-Law Letting Us Down
Lawrence Lessig doesn't appear to be a happy man. I don't know him personally, and I'm not saying he's depressed or anything. But the cyber-law expert is unhappy about a lot of things, starting with his profession and all the way up to the chiefs of AmeriLawrence Lessig doesnt appear to be a happy man. I dont know him personally, and Im not saying hes depressed or anything. But the cyber-law expert is unhappy about a lot of things, starting with his profession and all the way up to the chiefs of American business, about what is happening to the Internet. Lessig didnt think being a lawyer would be so troubling. As he told the assembled at a LinuxWorld conference keynote in San Francisco last month, he thought legal minds would always resort to what is right, or "reasonable," as he put it. But lawyerseven some of the law students he has taught at Stanford and Harvard universitiesare among those chiefly responsible for turning the Net into something diametrically opposed to the spirit in which it was created.
"You built an extraordinary platform [the Internet]," he told the developers in attendance. "My kind are working to shut it down. ... My students are changing that environment." Lessig cited the fact that there are laws created to ostensibly protect copyrighted material onlinenamely the Digital Millennium Copyright Actwhich instead of protecting artistic freedom are acting to stifle another kind of freedom, the freedom to innovate technologically on top of the platform that is the Net.