Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fight Instutional Corruption

Many people think of Lawrence Lessig as a radical with an anti-IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) agenda. In practice he is no radical, in fact his mission is to find a defensible middle ground between the Intellectual Property right and the Free Culture left. One of my first blog posts discussed his talk: "The Comedy of the Commons".

Recently, I have been following his podcasts which discuss his work on copyright as well as his newer work on institutional corruption. Note, while I find these podcasts interesting, they are not for everybody. They are mostly records of lectures given to various groups. While they are accessible, they are about serious policy matters and as many of the talks are on similar subjects, there tends to be some repetition.

Recently Lessig has been working on a new project on institutional corruption called Change Congress. The issue is that large sums of money fed through lobbyists seems to have an undue influence on the lawmakers in Congress and the Senate. The money appears to have such a large influence that lawmakers are voting against the clear wishes of their constituents.

Change Congress works to highlight these cases of apparent institutional corruption. It is fighting for citizen funded elections so that the lawmakers are not under pressure to raise the money they need to get re-elected. Thus they will be less likely to be swayed by the lobbyists. Go to the site, see what they have to say, and help them with their mission.

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