Lessigforeheadlarge Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at least on paper, hold similar views on copyright, according to Larry Lessig—quoted in a New York Times piece with the intriguing headline of Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC? 

The Times also paraphrases him: “Both tend to favor the users of the Internet over those who ‘own the pipes,'” and it reports that the Stanford law professor  “is impressed by Mr. Obama’s proposal to ‘make all public government data available to everybody to use as they wish.'”

Nice. But how about copyright term extension and the DMCA? Will Obama and Clinton worry less about Hollywood political contributors than about libraries and schools and society at large? Given the interest of Larry Lessig in both copyright and campaign finance issues, I hope we’ll hear more specifics. For those tuning in late, copyright is of no small concern to us e-book lovers since term extension means fewer public domain classics. And the current DMCA among other things means the typical user can’t convert books from one DRMed format to another.

In case you’re curious, the headline refers to Obama’s site with a more Maclike interface than the Clinton one—closer to a PC-traditional look. Lessig is into Macs, by the way, and support of Obama; may Barack listen to him on copyright issues!

Also of interest today:

  • Why I hate Amazon, B&N best-seller campaigns comes from Joan “Publicity Hound” Stewart, a publicity expert. “Unless you’re already a big-name author, these campaigns rarely bring lasting results. Besides, so many authors execute them so poorly.” Agree with her conclusions?
  • Will Audible, Amazon’s latest buy, do away with its DRMing of audiobooks so iPods can work? The New York Times and Library Journal mention the DRM issue, and once again we read of an Amazon exec not dismissing the possibility of ditching DRM. So to repeat, next time you have dealings with Amazon support or customer service, why not pass on a polite request that “protection” vanish—including the e-book variety?


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