Larry Lessig: ‘Principles for an Open Transition’

Things are really changing in Washington, and Larry's one of the people leading this effort. This is a big step toward networked grassroots democracy in ways that are hard to explain unless you're in the thick of it. The "digital divide" we face here is generational.

You might perceive this as directional; there are unresolved issues, like copyright. Larry has pioneered major improvements in copyright like the Creative Commons approach at change.gov.

Check out open-government.us. The following is a short version.

* No Legal Barrier to Sharing

Content made publicly available in the course of this transition — such as President-elect Obama’s videos, or policy statements posted on the change.gov website — should be freely licensed so that citizens can share, excerpt, remix or otherwise redistribute this content without unnecessary complexity imposed by the law.

* No Technological Barrier to Sharing

A merely legal freedom to share and remix, however, can be thwarted by technological constraints. Content made publicly available should also be freely accessible, not blocked by technological barriers. Citizens should be able to download transition-related content in a way that makes it simple to share, excerpt, remix or redistribute. This is an essential digital freedom.

* Free Competition

Governments should remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas. Transition-generated content should thus not be made publicly available in a way that unfairly benefits one commercial entity over another, or commercial entities over noncommercial entities.