Lessig in the News: Prohibition, Changing DC and a bid for Congress

Law emerges from our need to re-enforce what we already believe, consciously or subconsciously, is right and wrong.

I finally had the opportunity to watch the talk Lawrence Lessig gave this year at TED in which he draws a brilliant parallel between Prohibition and modern Copyright law. Simply put, any law that forces the majority of your population to live knowingly and willingly against the law must be fundamentally broken.

In other words, laws should be a reflection of the generally agreed upon norms of a society. The idea that law can be used as a tool to change a society's sense of right and wrong is backwards. Law emerges from our need to re-enforce what we already believe, consciously or subconsciously, is right and wrong.

I won't attempt to paraphrase his talk when you could just as easily watch him yourself -- something I encourage everyone to do. Lessig has an amazing gift in being able to distill the complexities and intricacies of copyright law in a way that makes the subject matter not only understandable, but even I dare say: entertaining and engaging.

Now, Lawrence Lessig is making the rounds on the Internet again as he contemplates running for Congress in 2008. His announcement came in true Lessig form: as a video he published to his blog (powered by Movable Type):

While Howard Dean and Ron Paul may very well deserve credit for pioneering the use of online communities to build an effective base for a campaign, and even revolutionizing how one might manage to finance a national campaign, Lessig, as a true master of the online craft, may actually have the ability to get elected - something his predecessors, despite their place in history, were never able to do.

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Hi Byrne,

My name is Melissa Ryan and I'm the Netroots Coordinator at ActBlue. Have you considered creating your own ActBlue fundraising page for Lessig on the blog? It's a great way to quantify your support for Lessig both for you and your community. The link to create a page for Lessig is here.


ActBlue is an online clearinghouse for Democratic fundraising. Anyone can contribute or fundraise through ActBlue My specific job is to help bloggers and other online activists use ActBlue.

If you have any additional questions, feedback, etc. please drop me a line at Melissa at ActBlue dot com

Cheers, Melissa

Thank you Melissa - I will definitely consider adding that to my site! I especially interested in seeing how I can promote Lessig's Change Congress movement, as well learn how to pressure my representative to take the pledge. I would love for example to see on the changecongress.org blog a way for me to select my Congress-man/woman from a pull down menu and sign a petition or send them an email urging them to take the pledge.

BTW - it is great to see that Act Blue's blog is on TypePad!!!

Hi there, I've been a lurker around your blog for a few weeks. I like this article and your whole blog! Thanks!

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