Subject: Re: Lessig (was Re: As if the DMCA wasn't bad enough)
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 11:27:57 -0400

Russell Nelson wrote:

> Tim O'Reilly writes:
>  > Hey Russ, have you actually read Lessig yet?
> Yup, otherwise I wouldn't be opening my trap.  He has some valid
> points, but the basis of his arguments is wrong.  Code isn't law, code
> isn't even *like* law.  Is it a constraint?  Yes, of course it is.
> But it's a constraint that can be changed *except* when the law
> prohibits it.  Code is an engineering problem.  Law is a political
> problem.  I can solve engineering problems all by myself.  I don't
> need anyone's permission to solve an engineering problem.  Political
> problems are essentially intractable, because good law is a public
> good, and is underproduced.
>  > Lessig makes many rich and thought provoking points.  They are not all
>  > right, but they are all worthy of serious thought, not casual, knee-jerk
>  > dismissal.
> Larry dismissed libertarian philosophy with a jerk of his knee.  The
> problem is that he keeps concluding that bad law is the source of all
> of these problems.  Well duh!  What does he think libertarian
> philosophy predicts?

No law is also bad law. See, for example, slavery and the environment.

That he can be knee jerk does not mean that your knee jerk logic 
therefore holds.

> Yes, he's asking good questions, but he keeps eliminating the best
> solution (don't regulate things) from possibility.  

The best solution? No copyright? No laws? All public domain and no 
consumer protection?

I disagree. And this is what I had to say to Larry: