Politicizing Copyright

Friday, October 31, 2008


If passed, California’s Proposition 8 would “change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.” Prominently featured in a pro-Prop 8 ad is video of schoolchildren attending the same-sex wedding of their teacher – video originally published by the San Francisco Chronicle. Whatever you think of Prop 8, is it fair use for news footage to be expropriated for political purposes? Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig weighs in.

Comments [4]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Actually, it seems even stickier than Ms./Mr. Hammond suggests. If the ad was truthful, it wasn't the couple (who would probably be as delighted as the schoolchildren likely were to have the kids in one of the couple's classes attend their joyous and legal event) that presented enablement but the grammar school.

I would venture to say that does not meet the level of coercion, of which I wrote last week as an alternative to voluntary participation in political speech by children. If I remember my mindset from grammar school, I know I would have been delighted to have been invited to my teacher's nuptials and be grateful for the enablement. In fact, I bet there had to be parental permission slips for the field trip, just like when I was little.

One of the catch phrases of the '60s, thus much later than my hormones kicked in, that I none-the-less saw the basic philosophical wisdom in was "Make love, not war." It wasn't particularly specific about to whom.

Now that "Black is beautiful," has come to full flower and tolerance for racial intolerance is both legally and culturally sanctioned against, will it really have to take the election of an openly gay person to the Presidency for people in this country to see the tide of history?

What is liberty if not to love whom you love without your neighbor or your government interfering. Then, again, there isn't even a common agreement on what love is.

Nov. 05 2008 02:20 AM
Paul LaRocque from Arlington, TX

So what's so funny about Lyle Lovett? Before he had funny hair and success as an entertainer, he was a journalism student doing quite well in my wife's class at Texas A&M University.

Paul LaRocque

Nov. 04 2008 04:06 PM

Although Mr. Garfield seemed puzzled about Prof. Lessig using Lyle Lovett as an example of the real intent of the DMCA, it was clear to me. They have the same initials! ;-)

Nov. 03 2008 03:58 PM
C. Hammond

In listening to your discussion as to whether the children witnessing the lesbian wedding were being used as a political football by the media, it occurred to me that the children had already been used as a political football . . . by the lesbian couple. Billing the affair as "a teaching moment," the couple was flat out indoctrinating the children into seeing their lifestyle as normal and something to be celebrated. How self-serving! While the ad indeed uses the images of the children as a political football, the lesbian couple's use of the children themselves for political ends is far more egregious and outrageous.

Nov. 01 2008 08:48 PM

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