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Lawrence Lessig v. Citizens United: Embrace the consequences of big-money irony

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Northside Storm, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/13/embrace-irony

    If you've ever Google searched for an image, you've encountered two of the strongest tools for digital builders in the modern age: Creative Commons (built by Lawrence Lessig) images, and Linux servers.

    Google is built on the back of Linux servers, made possible by a collaboration of digital builders who claim no money, but rather build free software---free in the sense of free speech, not free in the sense of free beer, though most versions of Linux are free in both senses of the word.

    Any image you find that is tagged with Creative Commons licences can be used, often with simple attribution. You can use it to build out your next website, your next slide deck, your next sales pitch: whatever you wish.

    All you are asked to do is to pay it forward. Give the creator a link. Help contribute to open software.

    Both of these systems rely on a simple principle: builders should be free to call upon a shared heritage, and move it forward to the benefit of all. Free software has been the kernel that has powered the distributed innovation of this age, from the multi-billion dollar successes of consumer apps like Facebook to Twitter, to entire industries based on big data to 3D printing.

    https://code.facebook.com/projects/

    What the richness of open web culture has shown us is that everybody should benefit from a shared and rich tapestry of collective creativity and building. One voice, one vote, and a system that encourages the little guy to get what they can, and pay it forward---this has led to the creation of projects of incredible strength.

    Politicians would do well to head the many they are entrusted to represent, and not the few that can buy their time, because this sort of innovation hangs in the balance.

    The Supreme Court disagrees. Money, after all, is free speech. It is not to the creators of a vast and rich intellectual heritage that benefit should accrue: it is to the takers, even those who have avoided the law to make it to where they are.

    Disney's movies, based so closely on the Brothers Grimm. Hollywood, moved to the West Coast to avoid Edison's patent fees. Apple, and Microsoft, built on initial prototypes of others, and stealing. Steve Jobs: “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." The irony is palpable, but inevitable. The rebel who becomes the incumbent seldom remembers it. Moats are entrenched so that nobody else can join. After all, there are shareholders to look after: shareholders beholden to material wealth and cultural poverty.

    That the incumbent has so much access to the system means that the system will always favor those who are seeking to capture creation rather than build on it. Or as Lessig put it: "the government is dependent on the few and not on the many.” And those few are often very focused on ensuring that they remain the few with the ability to influence.

    A government that really listens to only a section of its' people will oversee a stagnant system counter to the innovation that is powering the 21st century. It will fundamentally betray the tenets of its' own creators: “Madison told us that ‘the people’ meant ‘not the rich more than the poor,’ ” Lessig said. It will mistake money for representation, and ignore what made America great.

    What are your thoughts on Lawrence Lessig's half-quixotic quest and the consequences of what he is fighting?

    TLDR: Another Citizens United, campaign finance bloodbath respun with some open web hoopla. get at it
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Classic

    Classic Member

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    I support the cause, very much. These are the laws that allow the plutocracy to exist.

    While we're at it, we need term limits. Career politicians continually advancing the corporate interests of the few is not a democratic system as he states. But there's a flip side to change.

    The only people who support the current system are those with something to lose: those employed by the establishment and those with money invested in the corporations who benefit from the current environment as a means for passive income. If the illusion of retirement didn't exist for so many in the current system then there likely would be a bigger demand for change. The truth is, your average Joe voter with a 401k needs Disney and all the other MNC to keep these types of corporate welfare privileges with a fiat currency.
     
  3. AroundTheWorld

    Supporting Member

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    Larry is a good guy.
     
  4. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    Mr. Lessig has been fighting the good fight for a while now.

    Disney itself has built a grand empire of ideas from long-dead creators. The list expands every year Marvel, Lucasarts, Muppets, plus its own IP.

    For those properties to expire means that one day, those movies that have been mainstays of their own bottom line could be used by a different company or person, make some slight alteration to it and subsequently own a 50 some-odd year old patent to it for as long as the altering author lives.

    Personally, I think all IP should last as long as the originator existed, but realistically, the original spirit of that law has been taken over by contract and ownership rights.

    Guess the point here is wondering what happens to Disney as a company once those IP expires. They'll probably continue to live on from the new material its producing, but who knows?
     
  5. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Free is KRYPTONOITE to a Capitalist Society

    Rocket River
     
  6. txppratt

    txppratt Contributing Member

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    term limits for all levels of state and federal government
     
  7. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    i'll go with this
     
  8. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I don't expect term limits would do much to help. Our political system can provide an endless supply of politicians who will pass legislation for contributors. You may have the occassional senator who will stand on principle because he's not running again anyway, but the guy right behind him will need that money -- besides, they need to keep up relations for their party. I don't think term limits would be nearly as effective as just keeping corporate money out.
     
  9. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    no one is talking about the most important elections of 2014; control of state legislatures

    It takes 34 state legislatures to propose a constitutional amendment, and 38 to ratify it. This can be done without any consent from governors, the US congress, or the POTUS.

    the GOP controls 28 state legislatures at present, dems 17, and 5 are split

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislatures#Party_summary

    The push for a Balanced Budget Amendment and congressional term limits hasn't been this strong in decades.
     
  10. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    I notice you are not talking about plutocrats buying elections. Sometimes you are in your conservative Grand Old Tea Party hat or at times the "libertarian" hat, both of which seem to like the plutocrats running things.
     
  11. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    I strongly oppose the Lessig amendment.

    There should be no limits on campaign spending, and no disclosure requirements.

    Speech is something to be welcomed, not feared.
     
  12. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    But anonymous "speech" ($$$) where the speaker can hide behind a PAC pseudonym, as demonstrated by the D&D, quickly devolves into garbage. Although I enjoy the occasional poo-flinging, shouldn't we expect more from our actual political system?
     
  13. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    caveat emptor, it's up to you what weight you give speech from an anonymous source
     
  14. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Nice try you and the guys on the S.Ct who go to Koch Bro confabs to scheme for the plutocrats..

    Hey we could have Italy in which Berlusconi sp? owned most of the tv stations and plugged himself.

    Any limit on paid speech to drown out all other speech in your mind.

    I suppose all Americans can run around with rocket launchers, shoulder held missiles capable of taking down airliners etc. under your version of the 2nd Amendment.
     
  15. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Do you actually exist in the real world outside your theology of "freedom" and the market god?.

    You really have much more in common with the politics of North Korea, rigid "scientific" socialism, ie. Stalinism or even ISIS style Islam.

    Don't need no stinking facts or common sense to interfere with the absolutist concepts..
     
  16. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Money isn't speech, it's power. And power is something to be feared. We are no longer a democracy.
     
  17. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    You talk a big game about crony capitalism. Have you ever wondered about its' foundational mechanism?
     
  18. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    That's an interesting position to take, though it sounds risky.
     
  19. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    It's a nonsensical argument. You don't get to choose anything at all about the privileged messages beamed directly at you or a million others. Money does. That's a very large part of this argument.
     

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