Last Friday, January 8, the University of Amsterdam (I’m with the competition) handed out an honorary doctorate to Harvard prof. Lawrence Lessig, known to you all (I may hope!) as one of the founding members of the wildly successful Creative Commons project. During the acceptance ceremony, he held one of his keynote presentations – and one that is required listening material for everyone. And with everyone – I mean everyone.
There are two very distinct reasons why you should watch, read, and listen to this keynote speech. The most important reason is that Lessig is one of the very few people capable of explaining, with simple examples and straightforward lines of reasoning, what is wrong with copyright today, and where we’ll head if we don’t make any changes. Specifically in this keynote, Lessig speaks about the dangers of imposing a permission-based copyright model on the world of science.
Extremely enlightening, and if you have any form of power or influence within a scientific or educational institution, then please watch this, think about it, and make sure Lessig’s voice gets heard within your institution.
The second, less important reason to listen to a Lessig keynote has little to do with the actual subject matter at hand, but more with style and form. I consider Lessig to be one of the best public speakers in the world, mostly because of his phenomenal ability to blur the line between slide and spoken word. Minimal, fast, but always clear and to the point.
And from a more linguistic perspective, I am insanely jealous of his English, and more specifically, his pronunciation. Crystal clear, sharp, and definitely something I, as a (admittedly, advanced) non-native speaker aspire to.
Without further ado, here’s the keynote. Yes, it’s 50 minutes long, but trust me, these are 50 minutes well-spent. This is the kind of clairvoyant and well-argued criticism on the current restrictive model of copyright that organisations like RIAA and the MPAA are afraid of.
I hope you enjoyed it.
On a slightly related note, how would you feel about OSNews’ content licensed under a CC license? I cannot recall if we (as in, the team) ever discussed this, but it is something that’s been drifting in and out of my attention span over the past few months, but since I’m not a lawyer, I don’t really know if it would be beneficial to anyone. Maybe you guys and girls have anything to say on this topic?