Via The Next Right, I’ve discovered a very interesting organization: the Open Debate Coalition. Founded by Stanford Law Professor (and recovering libertarian) Larry Lessig, the aim of the group is twofold:
- The presidential debates are for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the right to speak about the debates ought to be “owned” by the public, not controlled by the media.
- “Town hall” Internet questions should be chosen by the people, not solely by the media.
I heartily endorse both proposals. I also suggest you sign the petition.
UPDATE: I’d also recommend Lessig’s take on copyright reform from several days ago. His proposals:
Deregulate amateur remix: We need to restore a copyright law that leaves “amateur creativity” free from regulation. Before the 20th century, this culture flourished. The 21st century could see its return. Digital technologies have democratized the ability to create and re-create the culture around us. Where the creativity is an amateur remix, the law should leave it alone. It should deregulate amateur remix.
Deregulate “the copy”: Copyright law is triggered every time there is a copy. In the digital age, where every use of a creative work produces a “copy,” that makes as much sense as regulating breathing. The law should also give up its obsession with “the copy,” and focus instead on uses — like public distributions of copyrighted work — that connect directly to the economic incentive copyright law was intended to foster.
Simplify: If copyright regulation were limited to large film studios and record companies, its complexity and inefficiency would be unfortunate, though not terribly significant. But when copyright law purports to regulate everyone with a computer, there is a special obligation to make sure this regulation is clear. It is not clear now. Tax-code complexity regulating income is bad enough; tax-code complexity regulating speech is a First Amendment nightmare.
Sounds eminently reasonable to me. But Girl Talk still sucks.