I really admire Doc for trying to find a middle ground between Larry Lessig and Dave Winer regardling Larry’s rather assertive and bold speech at Open Source.

I agree with Doc: we’re all on the side of angels, here. The important thing is that we all work towards something that’s important to each of us: Larry is fighting copyright restrictions and Dave’s fighting the Berman-Coble bill (by tring to get a Libertarian elected in North Carolina–no small task). It’s unfortunate when someone such as Josh Allen seeks an even wider split by highlighting the differences between Larry and Dave rather than any similarites. And while I may agree with Allen in his admiration of Tim O’Reilly’s article The Growing Politicization of Open Source, I disagree with him when he says:

How is it that the certain people have time to clone 30 year-old Unix utilities but not enough time to create really new things? How is it that certain people will politic so tirelessly to coerce California into using lousy software, while totally ignoring the individual liberty impacts of DMCA?

BTW, did I happen to mention that Josh Allen works for Microsoft? (Of course, in the interests of open disclosure and fairness, I must mention that I’m a co-author of the upcoming “Unix Power Tools 3rd edition” for O’Reilly. We all have our personal stakes in these conversations.)

I haven’t talked much about copyright laws in this weblog because this isn’t the fight I’ve picked. I think it’s a good fight, and I would contribute to the EFF if I had more money (sigh), but most of my political energy is focused on preventing a war in Iraq, and on stopping the current administration’s violations of the constitution. And if fighting these means voting for someone who might be for the Berman-Coble bill, so be it.

Confusing times when the angels you dance with one moment become devils the next. Why can’t everyone just agree with me. Life would be so much simpler.

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