Monday, October 09, 2006

"It just shouldn't be that way": Gaps in the Free Culture's Comm. Strategy

The connections and intersections between readings, guest speakers and current events continues to strike me. Rereading Lessig's FREE CULTURE for my RECORDING seminar, it was striking how myopic Ivory Tower "Free Culture" theorists' thinking can become. In the below quote, we can see why the Free Culture movement has failed in their communication strategy. Simply put, they don't appeal to people's emotions and have let the opposition set the terms of debate.
We would only win, they [referring to three key lawyers who advised him before arguing the Eldred decision at the Supreme Court] repeatedly told me, if we could make the issue seem 'important' to the Supreme Court. It had to seem as if dramatic harm were being done to free speech and free culture; otherwise, they would never vote 'against the most powerful media companies in the world.'

I hate this view of the law. Of course I thought the Sonny Bono Act was a dramatic harm to free speech and free culture. Of course I still this it is. But the idea that the Supreme Court decides the law based on how important they believe the issues is just wrong. It might be 'right' as in 'true,' I thought, but is 'wrong' as in 'it just shouldn't be that way.' [pg. 230]

Hmmmmm. Lessig almost sounds like a character out of CASABLANCA. "Say it ain't so Sam!!!!"

It just shouldn't be that way.
Someone needs to give the free culture folk a news bulletin friends: "individuals, including Supreme Court justices, political opponents and the general public (including myself and yourself) are emotional creatures. And here's another secret, your political oppenents just might be willing to actually - NEWS BULLETIN AGAIN - MANIPULATE people with emotional arguments/messages."

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