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eWeek: Lessig: Open-Source Industry Must Lobby for Political Backing

Mar 18, 2004, 14:30 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Pallatto)

[ Thanks to Jason Greenwood for this link. ]

"The high-tech community in general and Silicon Valley in particular have been 'pathetic' when it comes to fighting the prevailing 'extremist' political view in Washington that open-source software is a threat to strong intellectual property rights, according to Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig.

"These extremists have created an intellectual property 'McCarthyism' that projects the view that 'if you support the idea of the public domain or free and open-source software, then you must be basically Red,' said Lessig at the Open Source Business Conference here. Lessig argued that balanced national copyright policy is the best way to promote innovation.

"In 1976 Congress revised the copyright laws in a way that has given large, established software, media and content producers tighter control over intellectual property rights, Lessig said. The law, he said, has made it more difficult than ever for innovators to build on earlier work even as the Internet has made it easier for people to create and distribute new technologies, content and knowledge..."

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