Lawrence Lessig: On Band-Aid's and Curing Cancer

by M. David Peterson

I feel pretty lucky to have been given a chance to get to know Professor Lessig over the last year or so, helping out, even if ever so slightly, on various projects here and there, one in which you know about, and another that is just being finished up and readied for launch. While I can state that I was vaguely aware of something *big* looming on the horizon that required some design work and backend software development to be completed, until now I had no idea just how *BIG* *big* truly was,

Lawrence Lessig

I have decided to shift my academic work, and soon, my activism, away from the issues that have consumed me for the last 10 years, towards a new set of issues: Namely, these. "Corruption" as I've defined it elsewhere will be the focus of my work. For at least the next 10 years, it is the problem I will try to help solve.

... Imagine someone devoted to free culture coming to believe that until free software supports free culture, free culture can't succeed. So he devotes himself to building software. I am someone who believes that a free society -- free of the "corruption" that defines our current society -- is necessary for free culture, and much more. For that reason, I turn my energy elsewhere for now.

You don't cure cancer with Band-Aid's, and cancer is exactly what this country (referring to the United States of America) has been diagnosed with, though the diagnosis is more of an affirmation of a fact that has been oh so painfully known about for quite some time.

If you would have asked me yesterday: "Is the cancer that is the corruption that has taken over the very heart of this nation curable?" I would have stated,

"Well there's always hope, but if yes, then I don't know how or by what."

While both the diagnosis and the outlook might be bleak, when you have a master surgeon such as Lawrence Lessig as your doctor, someone who has proven time and time again that if you are willing to put forth the required effort, miracles are truly possible, I can now re-adjust that same statement to read,

"I don't know. But there's one thing I do know: With Lawrence Lessig, *anything* is possible."


2007-06-24 09:51:03
"With Lawrence Lessig, *anything* is possible."

Except not f*cking up important copyright cases.

M. David Peterson
2007-06-25 03:58:05

Are you referring to Eldred? If yes, how could you possibly look at that case and find fault with Lawrence Lessig? There wasn't a single person on this planet -- *except* Lawrence Lessig -- who believed the case both could have and should have been won. In fact the outcome was so much *not* a surprise that there are few lawyers on this planet in whom would have taken on the case in the first place.

Of course, this is what makes Lawrence Lessig who he is: Someone who is willing to take on a fight he believes is worth fighting, *regardless* of the odds of winning. It's this quality, and this quality alone that caused me to make this statement.

And I'll make it again: With Lawrence Lessig, *ANYTHING* is possible.

Shibl Mourad
2007-07-05 10:20:57
Fighting corruption is one of the best ways to improve our collective future.

Coming from a third world country (Syria) where corruption is a way of life, I know first hand that corruption is the root of a lot of the hardships for billions of the poorest poeple in the world.

I am extremely intrigued by your plans :)

All the best.