Live Webcast Today: Lawrence Lessig at the National Press Club

Image: Lawrence LessigChange in Congressional IP legislation is in the air as Hollywood’s Congressman, Howard Berman, prepares to depart his role as Chair of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. However, IP Law visionary Larry Lessig won’t be adding to this wave of change by running for Congress.

Instead he will launch a national Change Congress effort at the National Press Club on Thursday at 1:30 PM EST. If you can’t get to the event in Washington D.C. you can join online for a live webcast at this link:

I took a brief poll if Larry should run for Congress. To my, surprise a ton of answers arrived, some from his former students. Over half suggested his talents would be stifled by the Congressional culture, its seniority system, and the demands of fundraising.

Here’s a sampling of the responses I received on this topic:

“On the one hand, it would be great to have someone with deep knowledge of the Internet and its impact on society sitting at the table when the IP rules are written. On the other hand, brilliant legal professors are not always temperamentally suited to be effective legislators.

So, it might just be better for all of us if he continued to build mind-share for good IP policies, and left the sausage-making to someone else. A movement, if it could be started, would do more than a lonely representative to bring some balance to this nation’s IP laws.”

Many pro-Lessig/anti-Congress supporters didn’t think the two should meet:

“Unfortunately professor Lessig would be a lone voice in the wilderness of Washington DC. The driving force that moves the 534 other elected members of Congress is not reason or righteousness, it’s money. The powerful lobbying groups that protect their own interests would not allow any legislation written by the professor to see the light of day.”

Another provided a link to a great Lessig presentation:

“i’m for it. the internet has changed business, marketing, education and more – now its time to change government. he’s the right person to lead that conversation.

watch his TED presentation:

And finally, a definite call for him to run:

“Obama’s ascendance is living proof that an insurgent who effectively uses the internet can defeat the establishment’s annointed candidate.

One can predict that there will be serious efforts in the future to curb the freedom of Internet users. Some event will occur that will be blamed on the terrorists’ unfettered access to the Web. National security will “require” curbs be put in place, as well as constant wiretapping of the domestic Internet. You can take this to the bank!

We will need expertise of the caliber of Larry Lessig in Congress to fight this battle. The ignorance in Congress of our new Internet age goes beyond Senator Stevens’ and his tubes. Also, Lessig will bring an intellect to the halls of Congress that will single-handily lift the collective Congressional IQ several points! “

As always, I’d appreciate any thoughts — which you can post here, or email to me at the link on this page.

All the best,
Dave Wieneke

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