First, Larry Lessig:
Thanks to the contributors. This has been a great success.
Thanks, too, to Jamie. Since the book, Jamie has worked with a bunch of us in this weird life as an academic activist. He helped with CC, science commons, etc. He has motivated us. This is a difficult balance, and a difficult dual life. Every moment, though, is a moment of regret — you’re not quite as good at both as you are at either alone. Encouraging this kind of scholar-activism is important for us all to do.
We all share this value. We have a bigger duty than just finding truth. We must also make that connect. Where issues are as important as this, it will only be that we make progress when Jamie’s practice becomes more common.
Next, Jamie Boyle.
This is like being hit by a nice truck. I’m still waiting for the big joke to be revealed. It’s a stunning honor.
This will be conceptual housekeeping. I still think that we have a whole bunch of projects going on under a common umbrella. When we understand the hopes and fears that gave rise to each project, we will know which tools to use. More conceptual clarity will help.
I commit to finish my new book by the end of the summer.
Having admitted this problem, I want to suggest that the series of hopes and fears structures our discussion.
We fear dead-weight loss, blocked innovation, costs. Jamie Love says that in drug pricing, dead-weight loss is also known as dead people.
We fear single-entity control as an instrument of power. We fear censorship. We fear the destruction of libraries.
We fear cripppling the new social spaces that technology enables through technological rules. Telecom and trusted computing are the biggest problems.
We fear imposing a one-size-fits-all system on developing economies. We ear a world in which covert judgments embedded in the IP system conceal distributional results that are indefensible when stated openly.
We fear a world in which innovation is stultified. We have vested interests against groups that have not yet arisen.
There is a hearkening back to the authors of the antitrust laws. We know concentrations of power can be efficient, but there’s a fear beyond the economic fear. I don’t want just one super-media-entity, even if it’s economically provable that it’ll provide me with the necessary variation.
A different commons is implied by each fear, and a different set of tools. For some, free as in beer; for some, free as in speech. For some, access; for some, control over choke points in innovation.
There isn’t a single notion of property, or a single set of tools. This leads to the hopes.
One hope is that rational IP policy based on evidence with a presumption against restraints on trade would be awfully nice. I aspire to be banal.
We hope for a technolgical vibrancy and openness. Not just because it’s innovation, but because it’s changed our lives and we want to see it change the world.
We get to play with stuff and create stuff and it’s amazingly fulfilling. We want everyone to be homo ludens. We don’t know how far these methods scale. Maybe they don’t go beyond the world of the virtual, but I think they do.
If I’m right about this, I think it pushes me in Siva’s direction. We don’t need a big theory, but a bunch of little ideas that work. Maybe out of them, there turns out to be a set of things that take off in unexpected ways. that’s the way to enable our hopes and resist our fears.
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