So as the Wall Street Journal explained recently (see here) Google helped fund the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. And Larry Lessig may or may not have something to do with that center or something because he’s the founder and director but otherwise he does not have much connection to it. And obviously there are no strings attached. But let’s guess that maybe Google finds it useful to fund academics who are trying to rewrite laws and social policy in such a way that would help Google further its efforts to line its pockets by raping copyright holders and selling ads against their content without sharing any of the loot.
So what happens now that Viacom has sued Google-owned YouTube for $1 billion, claiming YouTube violates its copyrights? You guessed it. Here in this morning’s New York Times is the eminent Professor Lessig with an Op-Ed piece attacking Viacom for abusing the court system. See here.
Oddly enough there’s no mention in the Times that Google helps fund Lessig’s center at Stanford. Byron Calame, are you reading this? Shouldn’t your Op-Ed writers disclose potential conflicts of interest? Something like this: “Lawrence Lessig is the founder and director of a law center that receives funding from Google, the defendant in this case.”
Here’s the thing about the freetards. In their view, since they’re on the side of the angels, there’s no need to disclose potential conflicts of interest. Because how dare you suggest they’re motivated by something as unseemly as — gasp — money?
PLEASE NOTE: THE FOLLOWING TWO PARAGRAPHS ARE FICTION. NOTHING IN THE NEXT TWO PARAGRAPHS IS TRUE. THESE PARAGRAPHS ARE INTENDED AS SATIRE. OR PARODY. OR SOMETHING. THE CONVERSATION DESCRIBED DID NOT ACTUALLY HAPPEN, EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT BE FUNNY TO IMAGINE THAT IT DID.
Um, right. Eric Schmidt called me last night to tell me to be on the lookout for the piece. He says Google’s PR guys wrote the essay and then they had to pay Lessig a hundred grand to put his name on it. Lessig claimed it was “consulting fees.” Schmidt is still laughing his ass off about that one. “Well at least old Larry knows where his bread gets buttered,” Schmidt says. “He’s even going to come in and testify in the trial, if we ever get to trial. Says he’ll be an expert witness. Million bucks, flat fee. To the law center. Which he has nothing to do with. And doesn’t influence his scholarship. Of course.”
Then Eric starts doing this thing where he’s whistling to Lessig, as if he’s a dog, and going, “Here, Lessig! Here boy! Now go get my slippers, Lessig! That’s it! Good doggie, Lessig! Sit! Gimme a paw! Write me an amicus brief! Good doggie!” Then he cracks himself up again and goes, “Oh, you know, Steve, it’s fucking great to be rich, isn’t it?”
UPDATE: THIS POST HAS BEEN AMENDED FROM ITS ORIGINAL VERSION IN RESPONSE TO A COMPLAINT BY PROFESSOR LESSIG, WHO IS A RENOWNED SCHOLAR AND A VERY GOOD SPORT.