Lawrence Lessig citations

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Lawrence Lessig

Date de naissance: 3. juin 1961

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Lawrence Lessig, né le 3 juin 1961 à Rapid City , est un juriste américain de notoriété internationale. En 2010, il est professeur de droit au Harvard Law School où il a fondé le Center for Internet and Society.

Spécialiste de droit constitutionnel et de droit de la propriété intellectuelle, il est un défenseur réputé de la liberté sur Internet et s’oppose à une interprétation extensive du droit d'auteur qui porte atteinte au potentiel de création et aux échanges en ligne. Il est l'une des voix les plus écoutées dans les débats sur les limites du droit d’auteur et sur le développement mondial de l'Internet. Il est fondateur et président du conseil d'administration de l'organisation Creative Commons.

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Citations Lawrence Lessig

„Overregulation stifles creativity. It smothers innovation. It gives dinosaurs a veto over the future. It wastes the extraordinary opportunity for a democratic creativity that digital technology enables.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: Overregulation stifles creativity. It smothers innovation. It gives dinosaurs a veto over the future. It wastes the extraordinary opportunity for a democratic creativity that digital technology enables. In addition to these important harms, there is one more that was important to our forebears, but seems forgotten today. Overregulation corrupts citizens and weakens the rule of law. The war that is being waged today is a war of prohibition. As with every war of prohibition, it is targeted against the behavior of a very large number of citizens. According to The New York Times, 43 million Americans downloaded music in May 2002. According to the RIAA, the behavior of those 43 million Americans is a felony. We thus have a set of rules that transform 20 percent of America into criminals.

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„They win because we've done nothing to stop it.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: It's insane. It's extreme. It's controlled by political interests. It has no justification in the traditional values that justify legal regulation. And we've done nothing about it. We're bigger than they are. We've got rights on our side. And we've done nothing about it. We let them control this debate. Here's the refrain that leads to this: They win because we've done nothing to stop it.

„In an interview two days ago, Watts said, Here's the problem with Washington: "If you are explaining, you are losing."“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: J. C. Watts is the only black member of the Republican Party in leadership. He's going to resign from Congress. He's been there seven and a half years. He's had enough. Nobody can believe it. Nobody in Washington can believe it.... In an interview two days ago, Watts said, Here's the problem with Washington: "If you are explaining, you are losing." If you are explaining, you're losing. It's a bumper sticker culture. People have to get it like that, and if they don't, if it takes three seconds to make them understand, you're off their radar screen. Three seconds to understand, or you lose. This is our problem. Six years after this battle began, we're still explaining. We're still explaining and we are losing. They frame this as a massive battle to stop theft, to protect property.... They extend copyrights perpetually. They don't get how that in itself is a form of theft. A theft of our common culture. We have failed in getting them to see what the issues here are and that's why we live in this place where a tradition speaks of freedom and their controls take it away.

„I believe it would be right for common sense to revolt against the extreme claims made today on behalf of "intellectual property."“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: I believe it would be right for common sense to revolt against the extreme claims made today on behalf of "intellectual property." What the law demands today is increasingly as silly as a sheriff arresting an airplane for trespass. But the consequences of this silliness will be much more profound. Introduction

„There is no such thing as the public domain in the minds of those who have produced these 11 extensions these last 40 years because now culture is owned.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: The meaning of this pattern is absolutely clear to those who pay to produce it. The meaning is: No one can do to the Disney Corporation what Walt Disney did to the Brothers Grimm. That though we had a culture where people could take and build upon what went before, that's over. There is no such thing as the public domain in the minds of those who have produced these 11 extensions these last 40 years because now culture is owned.

„Before the monopoly should be permitted, there must be reason to believe it will do some good — for society, and not just for monopoly holders.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: While control is needed, and perfectly warranted, our bias should be clear up front: Monopolies are not justified by theory; they should be permitted only when justified by facts. If there is no solid basis for extending a certain monopoly protection, then we should not extend that protection. This does not mean that every copyright must prove its value initially. That would be a far too cumbersome system of control. But it does mean that every system or category of copyright or patent should prove its worth. Before the monopoly should be permitted, there must be reason to believe it will do some good — for society, and not just for monopoly holders.

„In 1774, free culture was born. In a case called Donaldson v. Beckett in the House of Lords in England, free culture was made because copyright was stopped.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: In 1774, free culture was born. In a case called Donaldson v. Beckett in the House of Lords in England, free culture was made because copyright was stopped. In 1710, the statute had said that copyright should be for a limited term of just 14 years. But in the 1740s, when Scottish publishers started reprinting classics — you gotta' love the Scots — the London publishers said "Stop!" They said, "Copyright is forever!"... These publishers demanded a common-law copyright that would be forever. In 1769, in a case called Miller v. Taylor, they won their claim, but just five years later, in Donaldson, Miller was reversed, and for the first time in history, the works of Shakespeare were freed, freed from the control of a monopoly of publishers. Freed culture was the result of that case.

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„While the creative works from the 16th century can still be accessed and used by others, the data in some software programs from the 1990s is already inaccessible.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: While the creative works from the 16th century can still be accessed and used by others, the data in some software programs from the 1990s is already inaccessible. Once a company that produces a certain product goes out of business, it has no simple way to uncover how its product encoded data. The code is thus lost, and the software is inaccessible. Knowledge has been destroyed.

„A free culture has been our past, but it will only be our future if we change the path we are on right now.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: A free culture has been our past, but it will only be our future if we change the path we are on right now. Like Stallman's arguments for free software, an argument for free culture stumbles on a confusion that is hard to avoid, and even harder to understand. A free culture is not a culture without property; it is not a culture in which artists don't get paid. A culture without property, or in which creators can't get paid, is anarchy, not freedom. Anarchy is not what I advance here. Instead, the free culture that I defend in this book is a balance between anarchy and control. A free culture, like a free market, is filled with property. It is filled with rules of property and contract that get enforced by the state. But just as a free market is perverted if its property becomes feudal, so too can a free culture be queered by extremism in the property rights that define it. That is what I fear about our culture today. It is against that extremism that this book is written.

„When they get back to the editing room, they realize that on the television, you can barely make out the show for two seconds; it's "The Simpsons," Homer Simpson on the screen. So they call up Matt Groening, who was a friend of the documentary filmmaker, and say, you know, Is this going to be a problem? It's only a couple seconds. Matt says, No, no, no, it's not going to be a problem, call so and so.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: Here's a story: There was a documentary filmmaker who was making a documentary film about education in America. And he's shooting across this classroom with lots of people, kids, who are completely distracted at the television in the back of the classroom. When they get back to the editing room, they realize that on the television, you can barely make out the show for two seconds; it's "The Simpsons," Homer Simpson on the screen. So they call up Matt Groening, who was a friend of the documentary filmmaker, and say, you know, Is this going to be a problem? It's only a couple seconds. Matt says, No, no, no, it's not going to be a problem, call so and so. So they called so and so, and so and so said call so and so. Eventually, the so and so turns out to be the lawyers, so when they got to the lawyers, they said, Is this going to be a problem? It's a documentary film. It's about education. It's a couple seconds. The so and so said 25,000 bucks. 25,000 bucks?! It's a couple seconds! What do you mean 25,000 bucks? The so and so said, I don't give a goddamn what it is for. $25,000 bucks or change your movie. Now you look at this and you say this is insane. It's insane. And if it is only Hollywood that has to deal with this, OK, that's fine. Let them be insane. The problem is their insane rules are now being applied to the whole world. This insanity of control is expanding as everything you do touches copyrights.

„The real harm of term extension comes not from these famous works. The real harm is to the works that are not famous, not commercially exploited, and no longer available as a result.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: It is valuable copyrights that are responsible for terms being extended. Mickey Mouse and "Rhapsody in Blue." These works are too valuable for copyright owners to ignore. But the real harm to our society from copyright extensions is not that Mickey Mouse remains Disney's. Forget Mickey Mouse. Forget Robert Frost. Forget all the works from the 1920s and 1930s that have continuing commercial value. The real harm of term extension comes not from these famous works. The real harm is to the works that are not famous, not commercially exploited, and no longer available as a result.

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„They frame this as a massive battle to stop theft, to protect property. ... They extend copyrights perpetually. They don't get how that in itself is a form of theft. A theft of our common culture.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: J. C. Watts is the only black member of the Republican Party in leadership. He's going to resign from Congress. He's been there seven and a half years. He's had enough. Nobody can believe it. Nobody in Washington can believe it.... In an interview two days ago, Watts said, Here's the problem with Washington: "If you are explaining, you are losing." If you are explaining, you're losing. It's a bumper sticker culture. People have to get it like that, and if they don't, if it takes three seconds to make them understand, you're off their radar screen. Three seconds to understand, or you lose. This is our problem. Six years after this battle began, we're still explaining. We're still explaining and we are losing. They frame this as a massive battle to stop theft, to protect property.... They extend copyrights perpetually. They don't get how that in itself is a form of theft. A theft of our common culture. We have failed in getting them to see what the issues here are and that's why we live in this place where a tradition speaks of freedom and their controls take it away.

„Some people view the public domain with contempt.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: Some people view the public domain with contempt. In their brief before the Supreme Court, the Nashville Songwriters Association wrote that the public domain is nothing more than "legal piracy." But it is not piracy when the law allows it; and in our constitutional system, our law requires it. Some may not like the Constitution's requirements, but that doesn't make the Constitution a pirate's charter. As we've seen, our constitutional system requires limits on copyright as a way to assure that copyright holders do not too heavily influence the development and distribution of our culture. Yet, as Eric Eldred discovered, we have set up a system that assures that copyright terms will be repeatedly extended, and extended, and extended. We have created the perfect storm for the public domain. Copyrights have not expired, and will not expire, so long as Congress is free to be bought to extend them again.

„So uncritically do we accept the idea of property in ideas that we don't even notice how monstrous it is to deny ideas to a people who are dying without them.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: A simple idea blinds us, and under the cover of darkness, much happens that most of us would reject if any of us looked. So uncritically do we accept the idea of property in ideas that we don't even notice how monstrous it is to deny ideas to a people who are dying without them. So uncritically do we accept the idea of property in culture that we don't even question when the control of that property removes our ability, as a people, to develop our culture democratically. Blindness becomes our common sense. And the challenge for anyone who would reclaim the right to cultivate our culture is to find a way to make this common sense open its eyes. So far, common sense sleeps. There is no revolt. Common sense does not yet see what there could be to revolt about.

„In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt.“

— Lawrence Lessig
Context: A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about as by ideas that are taken for granted. The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense. Power runs with ideas that only the crazy would draw into doubt. The "taken for granted" is the test of sanity; "what everyone knows" is the line between us and them. This means that sometimes a society gets stuck. Sometimes these unquestioned ideas interfere, as the cost of questioning becomes too great. In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt.

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