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Lessig wins one: CNN announces remixable debates

Professor Lawrence Lessig gave an amazing and provocative talk in Doha, Qatar a month ago, positing a link between free culture and open political process. He pointed to the remix of an Apple ad into an anti-Hiliary Clinton ad as evidence that remix culture could be a major force in taking political discourse from the mainstream press and putting it back into the hands of individual voters.

This provides some context for Lessig’s efforts this month to ensure that the content of the US 2008 Presidential debates be released under an open license so that citizens could remix those texts into new forms. Unlike Lessig’s critical court cases, this is a battle he won, and won quickly. Major Democratic candidates, including Edwards and Obama, endorsed his proposal almost immediately. And today CNN announced that it would release the footage of their June New Hampshire debates without restriction.

Congratulations, Larry, and to everyone who supported this effort. Now the challenge is for remixers to prove they can take advantage of this opportunity, producing something unique and useful from events that are all to often stiff, scripted and virtually unwatchable.