Worlds collide at mash-up event

From the something-that's-not-research dept. In a cultural mash-up held Tuesday night here in San Francisco, copyright reformer Lawrence Lessig and futurist/artist Paul D.

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In a cultural mash-up held Tuesday night here in San Francisco, copyright reformer Lawrence Lessig and futurist/artist Paul D. Miller (AKA DJ Spooky) shared visions in a moderated conversation on the future of creativity in the digital age. The benefit was the first of its kind for PopandPolitics.com, a ten year old nonprofit dedicated to bringing new voices into journalism. After a 45-minute delay that no one seemed to mind, the discussion kicked off with Lessig giving his trademark presentation—where you both see and hear keywords in precise synchronization—about the “war” on technology and culture. His presentation nearly mirrored those at both the latest Etech and OSBC conferences, but the sense of urgency was given a boost with Miller's eerie electronica playing in the background. Lessig's main point was that it's time that the discussion move from "lawyers, lobbyists, and Lessigs" to artists, and that's when Miller stepped in. A seasoned writer and speaker as well, he shared his artistic vision and production techniques making references that backed up Lessig's arguments along the way. The artist said he was mostly interested in evolving business models for DJs and that he likes to "work around" the dubious restrictions imposed by digital rights management (DRM) on sound file formats.

While different walks of life, on stage the two appeared like peas in a pod joined by a common vision for creative freedom. Miller's work and website content is licensed under the Creative Commons, a nonprofit directed by Lessig. 

After the discussion the event entered its next phase, a launch party for Miller's new album featuring the drummer from Slayer. Now that's innovation in music. Meanwhile, innovation in the business world seems to be an increasingly elusive quality...