Some libertarians out there think Larry Lessig, whatever his faults, might have a few ideas deserving of serious consideration. And that seems to have sent at least one supporter of strong IP hurtling over the edge. Over at Ars Technica, I take up the question: Is the creative commons really a Soviet gulag?
Addendum: I should probably add here that there are many areas where I don’t agree with Lessig—net neutrality springs to mind—and think he’s certainly due a critique. And even within Free Culture, the Fisher proposal to compensate rights holders harmed by file-sharing via a tech tax sounds like it’s probably a bad idea, though I should probably suspend judgement until I’ve read Fisher’s book. But it seems signally counterproductive, especially if you’re interested in seeing those legitimate criticisms aired, to have people screaming a lot of nonsense about Lessig as the reincarnation of Stalin. He’s an interesting thinker who makes lots of sharp and interesting arguments, many of which are on point, many of which I think ultimately fail. Pretending he’s a wild-eyed Red just repels sane people who can easily see that this is false. Some of those people are probably perfectly open to measured arguments that this or that view Lessig advances gets things wrong, but the tact PFF has taken creates instead a silly debate about whether one is “pro-Lessig” or “anti-Lessig”.