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YouTube Is Not So Wild Anymore

Publication Date: 
December 10, 2008
Los Angeles Times
David Sarno

Professor Lawrence Lessig is quoted and his book "Remix" is mentioned in the Los Angeles Times Technology blog in a posting about the evolution of YouTube and more thorough policing on that site:

Tanya Derveaux's cleavage may not be suitable for minors. On some bright, parched morning back in the Old West, folks must have heard grumbling as a boy nailed a list of new town laws to the wall of the saloon. And when they saw the sheriff and his fresh-faced deputies looking on with a satisfied grin, that’s probably when they knew the West wasn’t going to be so wild anymore.

A similar scene has been playing out digitally at YouTube, the Internet’s video town square. In addition to its long-standing campaign to crack down on illegally copied material, in September the site outlawed videos depicting drug abuse and last week tightened its guidelines further to restrict profanity and sexually suggestive content. In other words, before the money wagons roll in...


That companies are charged with making judgments about political and artistic speech can be problematic, said Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford and author of “Remix,” a new book that looks for a balance between art and commerce.

“I think it risks a significant animosity and skepticism,” said Lessig. “The whole excitement about the place is that we can see what the public is watching, what the public likes, what’s important.”