CNN's Anderson Cooper turns 42 today. Tennis star Rafael Nadal is turning 23. Humorist/Apple pitchman John Hodgman is 38. Stanford law professor and Internet pioneer Lawrence Lessig is 48. Raul Castro, the president of Cuba, is turning 78. Actor Tony Curtis is turning 84. John Barlow, the Broadway publicist and partner of producer Scott Rudin, is 41. High Line advocate Josh David turns 46. Phish bassist Mike Gordon is 44. Melissa Mathison, the ET screenwriter and ex-wife of Harrison Ford, is 59. And former game show host and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind author Chuck Barris turns 80 today.
YouTube was a breeze. Though they insist you should "not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts, or commercials without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself," they also explain the "fair use" exception to this rule, in detail. They do, however, leave budding filmmakers with this warning, "if the copyright owner disagrees with your interpretation of fair use, the copyright owner may choose to resolve the dispute in court". YouTube knows a thing or two about being dragged into court. But being a sport, they allowed my upload to go live.
While Republicans did what they could to paint Lawrence Lessig — and, by extension, Barack Obama — as an anti-Christian elitist, they couldn't raise the stink enough. So instead think-tanker Tom Sydnor of the Progress and Freedom Foundation has attacked copylefters as "quasi-socialist utopianism" in a review of Lessig's book Free Culture. There's just one small problem.
Superlawyer Lawrence Lessig won't have Comcast to kick around at the FCC hearing on network neutrality — the principle that broadband providers can't discriminate against certain kinds of Internet traffic — being held at Stanford tomorrow. The event was only scheduled after Comcast paid chumps to fill chairs at an earlier hearing at Harvard in an obvious effort to squelch debate. With Comcast working with BitTorrent and just today joining with legal file-sharing startup Pando to work on a "bill of rights" for file sharers and ISPs, the company is trying to make voluntary moves in an effort to stave off involuntary regulation. I was planning on attending, if only because it promised to be an entertaining nerdfight — now, I'm not so sure. Since public hearings are supposedly democracy in action, you tell me if I should bother buying a Caltrain ticket.
The FCC has announced that it will hold a second hearing on "net neutrality" — the debate over whether broadband providers can favor some kinds of Internet traffic — at Stanford University on April 17 (PDF). We wrote back in February that FCC chairman Kevin Martin was considering a "do-over"; the FCC's first hearing at Harvard was deemed botched after Comcast was caught packing the room with seatwarmers hired off the street. Now, Comcast has to deal with a hostile crowd and Professor Lawrence Lessig, a strong proponent of net neutrality. Lessig v. Comcast at Stanford? Sign me up!
We were just tweaking Stanford law professor Larry Lessig, really, when we asked him if he planned to just study the law, or actually make it. But Lessig now says he's seriously considering a run for the late Tom Lantos's House seat. A grassroots "Draft Lessig" movement prompted him to think about it, he says. Will he or won't he? Lessig, an Obama supporter who's also riding a "change" theme, posted a video explaining his thinking:
"Run, Lawrence, run!" That's the blog comment that Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig received after a brief mention of Congressman Tom Lantos's retirement. Could he? A Daily Kos blogger thinks it's plausible, and a majority of readers polled say they'd vote for him. Lessig is intensely popular in Silicon Valley's geek-thinker circles. But he's a virtual unknown among most voters in the South Bay district Lantos represents. Still, Lessig stands a chance of boosting his profile by tackling the issue of corruption — not the tired political charge, but the larger systemic issues that underlie the rot in our political system. He will deliver a speech on the subject this Thursday. If he has intentions to make the law, not just study it, then that occasion is as good as any to announce a run.
It was an odd venue for a tech party — a greasy diner by day, the Grill sits on a corner near the ballpark, neighborhing Border's, McDonald's, and dozens of men in Giants windbreakers asking passerbys if they need a ticket. They say open source is about software that's free as in "free speech," not "free beer," but the open bar featured plenty of the latter.
NICK DOUGLAS — "If you've sent me an email (and you aren't my wife, partner, or colleague), you might want to send it again." So says Fred Wilson, venture capitalist, declaring e-mail bankruptcy today on his blog. He's not the first high-profile person to take this measure. Here are three other notables who've given up on their e-mail (the most famous of whom reportedly white-lied) and three who found a better way.