I spoke too soon when I said, last week, that civility has broken out in blog exchanges about the Free Culture Movement. Larry Lessig is seriously irritated with my comments. He says:
"But here's the real question. Do these DC types (a bit of bit-head thinking, I agree, but sometimes it is necessary) really just not read? Or is this willfulness inspired by the belief that their funders don't read?
"And Mr. DeLong: If you'd like to debate this in a context where misstatements can be corrected directly, I'd be honored to debate you. Obviously, that would have to be an 'open' context, where people were "free" to disagree with you and quote you without your permission. I hope that isn't too communistic for your taste. "
I feel similarly aggrieved - "How can he say that? Clearly, he fails to appreciate the true subtlety and nuance of my thought!" And I have accused the FCM folk of themselves being bit-headed. (The familiar logical argument, "You're another!") So I think a debate would be a fine idea.
PFF has its annual Aspen Summit coming up from August 22-24, and we will certainly invite Professor Lessig to come and discuss these matters. But that may be too long to wait, so we will also see if we can set something up on one coast or the other before then.
I suspect that we will find that we have some common ground, and some areas of sharp disagreement, and bringing these and the reasons behind them into focus would be useful.