Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lawrence Lessig on (re)booting the FCC

Lawrence Lessig, one of my heroes, has an essay at Newsweek.com on why we should shut down the Federal Communications Commision. While this sounds a lot like something some of my loopy Libertarian friends would preach, I have a lot of respect for Lessig so I'm willing to reserve judgment -- for now.

His main contention is that the FCC enables monopolies (bad) which stifle innovation. In its place, he proposes:

    Congress should create something we could call the Innovation Environment Protection Agency (iEPA), charged with a simple founding mission: "minimal intervention to maximize innovation." The iEPA's core purpose would be to protect innovation from its two historical enemies—excessive government favors, and excessive private monopoly power.

Lessig has been mentioned as a possible head of the FCC; he's known Obama since the two of them taught together at the University of Chicago. In the past Lessig has been a big proponent of net neutrality and has also written extensively about copyright and Intellectual Property issues.

A fascinating read, regardless of what you may think.

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