Lawrence Lessig’s opening keynote pleased the crowd and me. A few points fof interest:
- Free speech is a strong aspect of free culture and at least implicitly pushed for a liberal interpretation of fair use, saying that the ability to understand, reintepret and remake video and other multimedia is “the new literacy” and important to the flourishing of democracy.
- The “read/write Internet”, if allowed to flourish, is a much bigger market than the “read only Internet.”
- Support free standards and free software for media, including Ogg and Gnash.
- In 1995 only crazies thought it possible to build a viable free software operating system (exaggeration from this writer’s perspective), now only crazies think wireless can solve the last mile competition problem. Go build free wireless networks and prove the telcos and pro-regulation lawyers (including the speaker) wrong.
- One of the silly video mashups Lessig played was Jesus Will Survive, featuring an adult Jesus in diapers hit by a bus. A few people left the auditorium at this point.
I’ve at least visited the exhibition space of almost every LWCE SF (the first one, actually in San Jose, was the most fun — Linus was a rock star and revolution was in the air) seemed bigger and more diverse, with most vendors pushing business “solutions” as opposed to hardware.
By far the most interesting exhibition booth to me was Cleversafe, an open source dispersed storage project that announced a Linux filesystem interface at the conference and was written up in today’s New York Times and Slashdot. I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time, particularly since Allmydata is not open source and does not support Linux.
Also, Creative Commons won a silly “Best Open Source Solution” show award.
Addendum 20080422: If you’re arriving from an unhinged RedState blog post, see Lessig’s response.