[linux-elitists] (forw) [DeCSS] Jack Valenti vs. Larry Lessig debate in Cambridge Oct. 1

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Thu Sep 28 13:57:13 PDT 2000

Of interest to those who'll be in the Boston area.

----- Forwarded message from e cummings <bernies@netaxs.com> -----

Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 14:55:59 -0400
From: Donna Wentworth <colt@law.harvard.edu>
Subject: Valenti vs. Lessig, October 1

We at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society are presenting a debate
between MPAA head Jack Valenti and Larry Lessig on Sunday, October 1, 2000
on the future of intellectual property on the Internet, and I hoped you
might help us spread the word by sending the below announcement to your
politech list. The event is free and open to the public, and will also be
webcast live to an international audience.

*Please circulate widely*

"The Future of Intellectual Property on the Internet: A Debate"

Sponsored by:
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School

Date and time:
October 1, 2000, 7:00 PM EDT

Ames Courtroom in Austin Hall, Harvard Law School,
Cambridge, Massachusetts

*Official press release*

Jack Valenti and Lawrence Lessig Meet at Harvard to Debate the Future of
Intellectual Property on the Internet

Cambridge, MA - In the ideological war being fought over rights to digital
content in the age of the global Internet, Motion Picture Association of
America head Jack Valenti and renowned cyberlaw expert Lawrence Lessig
represent its most powerful conflicting forces. On October 1, 2000 at 7:00
PM EDT, Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society will
present a debate between Valenti and Lessig on the future of intellectual
property online--the subject of increasing controversy in the wake of
emerging technologies that allow for the easy sharing of digital content
among consumers, and recent decisions in judicial cases testing the
propriety of such technologies. Free and open to the public, "The Future of
Intellectual Property on the Internet: A Debate" takes place in the
historic Ames Courtroom in Austin Hall on the Harvard Law School campus,
and will be webcast live to an international audience.

Jack Valenti has served as head of the MPAA since 1966.  He made headlines
this year speaking out on behalf of the established film and music
industries against those who, in his view, use the Internet to steal
others' intellectual property. Valenti has called the defense of such
property key to America's continuing economic prosperity, and the MPAA has
joined other publishers in an aggressive legal battle to protect (and some
would say, extend) intellectual property rights in this era of digital
media and Internet technology. The list of industry targets--Napster,
iCraveTV, 2600 News Magazine in the New York DeCSS case, RecordTV.com and
Scour--is growing, as is the roster of recent legislation intended to
enhance the control of copyright owners over their works in new media.

Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford University law professor and author of the
highly-acclaimed "Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace," offers a different
perspective on possibilities for the digital environment, leading a
movement to restore the public interest in our popular, legal, and
technical conceptions of intellectual property. Lessig urges us to treat
the Constitution's copyright clause as striking a balance between private
intellectual property and a public intellectual commons, warning that
should the balance tilt too far in favor of copyright holders, the public
will risk losing its constitutionally-mandated right to a vibrant public

Valenti and Lessig have most recently clashed in the pages of the Industry
Standard, expressing divergent views of how the Internet should evolve, and
what the balance of control should be between publishers and readers on-
and off-line.

"Cheap bandwidth and large hard drives have made it easy to copy and
disseminate digital content, including content 'ripped' from CDs and DVDs
without permission of the respective publishers," says Harvard Law School
professor Jonathan Zittrain, faculty co-director of the Berkman Center and
moderator of the debate. "How do we define and protect the legitimate
rights of intellectual property owners without extinguishing fair use?
This is a debate to explore that question, focusing on shades of gray in
what is often seen as a black and white issue."

"The Future of Intellectual Property on the Internet: A Debate" is part of
an ongoing series of online discussions and webcast conferences presented
by the Berkman Center that are designed to address serious
constitutional questions now pending in the courts while exploring
innovative uses of the Internet for educational and public interest
purposes. For more information, including details on how to register to
participate, in person or on the Web, please visit the following
website: <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/futureofip>.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is a research program founded to
explore the legal, social, and political issues resulting from the
development of the Internet and its impact on society. Predicated on the
belief that the best way to understand cyberspace is to actually build out
into it, the Berkman Center pursues a program of active research that
integrates the building and use of Internet tools with study of the issues
the Internet engenders. As part of this active research mission, the
Berkman Center develops, uses, and freely shares an open software platform
for online education and deliberative processes, as well as sponsoring
events--ranging from informal lunches to webcast conferences--to bring
together its diverse network of participants for substantive debate.


Donna Wentworth
The Filter <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filter>
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard Law School
Phone: (617) 496-0747
Fax: (617) 495-7641

----- End forwarded message -----

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