Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Lawrence Lessig has used his Hay-on-Wye festival appearance to launch an attack on the demands for extended copyright periods led by Cliff Richard.

Lessig explained how he believed constricting copyright rules could choke off creativity, and that feathering Cliff's nest could have a negative effect on other's art without doing anything to improve his:

"There is no reason to extend it [copyright periods] for existing work. Whatever we do, Sir Cliff is not going to create any more great works in 1955".

He said a war was being fought with law and technology to eliminate piracy, likened to using "DDT to kill a gnat".

"These tools are designed to kill piracy but also kill the read-write culture," he said, adding the would "force creativity underground".

He told his audience: "Embrace and celebrate the potential of new technology. Stop suing our creativity back into the dark ages of the 20th Century."

The RIAA is, of course, not likely to see the days when it was able to fix prices, choke off competition and happily bribe their way onto radio playlist without any pesky criminal investigations as the "dark ages."