Lawrence Lessig on Fair Use and Network Neutrality


Lawrence Lessig (Copyleft Ubermensch and heavily involved in Creative Commons, Save The Internet) has posted some interesting points on the connection between Fair Use and Network Neutrality, a connection one has to recognize to make the discussion about both Fair Use (FU) and Network Neutrality (NN) more worthwhile:

The something to recognize is that in a fundamental sense, fair use (FU) and network neutrality (NN) are the same thing. They are both state enforced limits on the property rights of others. In both cases, the limits are slight — the vast range of uses granted a copyright holder are only slightly restricted by FU; the vast range of uses allowed a network owner are only slightly restricted by NN. And in both cases, the line defining the limits is uncertain. But in both cases, those who support each say that the limits imposed on the property right are necessary for some important social end (admittedly, different in each case), and that the costs of enforcing those limits are outweighed by the benefits of protecting that social end.


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