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May 17, 2004
Two quick reflections post-ILAW, to add to the ever-growing pool:
Jerry is the New Larry
UCLA law professor/Harvard law visiting professor Jerry Kang is the Larry Lessig of privacy, in that he was able very quickly and powerfully to communicate that there are extremes in the debate that result largely from the culture-born clash between "property talk" (U.S.-take on privacy) and "dignity talk" (Euro approach). He lifted the discussion out of the dreaded "tin foil hat" arena -- that is, beyond "paranoid freaks v. reasonable people" nonsense that stops people from truly engaging with the problem/issues at hand. He's one to learn from. (Check out Frank Field's comprehensive ILAW notes for a remarkably detailed transcript of his talk.)
Tell Me About It
Speaking of working to balance the debate, I want to thank ILAW attendee/NPR Deputy General Counsel Denise Leary for echoing/amplifying my call on Friday for real-world stories that reveal what the average guy on the street is losing because of the digital copyright crackdown. Jim Flowers told a personal story I'd like to hear in greater detail, about arguing successfully against an incredibly restrictive form of Internet filtering in schools by putting it in the plainest of terms -- something like, "Your children can't do research in school -- they're restricted to only 200 websites, and that's why this policy should be rejected." If you've got just such a simple-as-Valenti story about how today's copyright is frustrating your teaching/learning/creativity/ability to speak about an important issue online, do drop a comment below or send me an email to let me know.
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