"Among those who consider the Internet a mecca for the free
flow of information, Pamela Samuelson has been dubbed the "goddess
of copyright" -- a brilliant law professor who decries the advances
of the entertainment industry against the common Netizen and who
has dedicated herself to the defense of basic individual rights. In
Hollywood circles, however, she's been called "the
Antichrist." The entertainment industry, she says, thinks it
"should control every single copy, wherever and whenever it's
played, and have a pay-for-use system so that no one can ever share
anything again," says Samuelson, 52. "I think that's a fascist
world. I wouldn't want to live in it." She sounded the alarm early
about what she sees as the shifting balance of power between those
who own the rights to creative content -- music, books and so on --
and the consumers of those works in the digital era."
"With papers, speeches and conferences, she has helped stave off
some of the worst erosion. "In every place that there's been a
public policy mess on the verge of exploding because of copyright
issues, she's organized a campaign," Stanford law professor
Lawrence Lessig says. "Many things that were going to be quite
awful were not as awful because of her work."
"But Samuelson realizes she can't do it alone. So she's training
troops. In a bid to counter the concentration of entertainment
industry lawyers streaming out of Los Angeles, she and her husband,
Silicon Valley millionaire Robert Glushko, are personally funding
two programs to train future lawyers and experts in information
technology to work in public policy."
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