Well I'm here at Pace University in NYC for the Personal Democracy ForumLarry Lessig just started things off with an interesting talk on copyright and the presidential campaign.

The gist of his speech: copyright absolutely has its place; that place isn't necessarily online or in the presidential campaigns.

A big part of his speech talked about the presidential debates and how these debates are covered.  Mr. Lessig, like most of us in the blogosphere, believed that the debates should be shared and available to everyone through a variety of mediums.  He made an interesting analogy: airing presidential debates on proprietary networks where the content can't be shared is like locating voting booths in amusement parks like Disney World.  The accessibility of the debates is limited and therefore the value is lessened.  Mr. Lessig recommended that perhaps debates should be aired instead of publicly accessible networks, like PBS so the content can be shared with everyone.

Another point of his speech:  the value of "copying, remixing, and sharing" vs. media concerns about "commerical free riding" and "journalistic integrity".  These concerns are valid, but the benefits from sharing content are overwhelming.  Unfortunately, as Mr. Lessig said, "we can't force 'them' to be free…not in Iraq and certainly not 'here'."

What do you think?  How will the 2008 election be affected by "fair use", the ability to instantly create content, and the preference for sharing and remixing content?  I think these factors will, and to a large degree, already shown their power and impact.  As a result, these will be issues that politicians will be increasingly forced to address and deal with on a daily basis. 

Tom Friedman: "George Bush never could have been elected now if he was at Yale now, with cell phone and digital cameras" cataloging his college years and perhaps, every indiscretion he ever made.

It's going to be an interesting day, folks.