Monday, February 9, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

A vastly inferior understudy

The unfortunate cancellation due to illness by Professor Lessig at Silicon Flatirons today left the indefatigable Professor Weiser and me to stand-in as the opening speakers at the conference this morning. "Sunday morning at the Improv with Phil and Ray" was doubtlessly less compelling, and certainly more off-the-cuff, than what Professor Lessig would have said.

Soldiering on, we at least discussed the themes that Phil saw as unifying the conference: openness of the Internet layers, public choice perils inherent in a changing regulatory environment, digital technology and copyright, and the institutional competence of courts and agencies. Naturally, I am categorically against openness, see public choice dangers everywhere, defend copyright in its ragged glory and view neither courts or administrative agencies as competent to make regulatory decisions. Next question? (Boy am I in trouble if I convey irony less well than I think I do.)

And, despite what I think was a principled divergence -- I do so hate the word attack -- that PFF (Bill Adkinson, actually, we have no corporate view) expressed about the Copyleft worldview, we sorely missed the presence of Professor Lessig at the conference. Though I disagree with him quite a lot, there are few minds more interesting to try and disagree with. I will further concede, as his post notes, the unfortunate connotations that the "copyleft" moniker brings, but will not put myself above using it for its rhetorical evocativeness. After all, the taxonomy has been approved by none other than the New York Times!

posted by Ray Gifford @ 2:46 AM | General