A call for “copy free debates”

Unfortunately, however, the uncertainty about the scope of copyright regulation is increasingly one such burden on Internet political speech. This next political cycle will see an explosion of citizen generated political content. Some of that speech will be crafted from clips taken from the Presidential debates. Some of that will be fantastically valuable and important. Yet as the law is right now, it is extremely difficult for an ordinary citizen to understand the boundaries of “fair use,” or the limits to copyright law. It is likewise difficult for companies such as YouTube, or Blip.tv. Indeed, it is even difficult for a skilled practitioner. That uncertainty, if not checked, could produce a cloud over much of this political speech, as sites and universities don’t know how much is too much. It will certainly create a temptation by some politicians to invoke copyright law to block particularly effective speech critical of them.

Read Lawrence Lessig‘s thoughts on copy-free debates with commentary from Ars, News.com and ZDNet.

NOTE: Commentary was sparked by the announcement that Yahoo, Slate and the Hffington Post would be sponsoring the first ever “online-only” debates between the 2008 Democratic candidates for President.

Update: Unnecessary regulation of political speech (II) from Lawrence Lessig’s blog

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under A democratic medium?, Digital Commons, Fair Use, The Politics of New Media

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s