Lawrence Lessig, someone I admire greatly, and someone I would really love to meet one day, is a lawyer and professor that over the last ten years has advocated and fought for sane copyright laws in the public’s interest, in the face of the media industry’s constant push for extensions of copyright terms, etc. If you’re not familiar with the issue it might seem academic and theoretical, but it goes to very deep free-speech concerns. I actually got involved in politics, and made this site, in response to my curiosity about the issues that I learned Lessig was interested in.
So I just read
describing how he wants to shift his focus from IP law to public corruption, by which I think he means the unbalanced control that commercial interests have over the content of the debates held by government officials (i.e. in Congress, etc.), and I’m so excited. Having Lessig, an unmatched public speaker and expositor (if that’s a word), working on these problems is going to be incredible.
“I don’t mean corruption in the simple sense of bribery. 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 [copyright] term extension right. Politicians are starved for the resources concentrated interests can provide. In the US, listening to money is the only way to secure reelection. And so an economy of influence bends public policy away from sense, always to dollars.”