Is Someone Playing A Joke? Why Would Penguin Force Colbert To Take Down Lessig's Remix?

from the something's-not-right dept

Last night, Larry Lessig went on The Colbert Report to talk up his latest book Remix. While I think Remix is an important book and Lessig is a brilliant commentator on these issues, I was a little disappointed by the performance, but I'm willing to chalk it up to the fact that appearing opposite Colbert is incredibly difficult (almost impossible), and Colbert is the best at throwing interviewees off their game.
Of course, pretty much everything Colbert does is satire, and included in the video was the joking suggestion that no one take the video and remix it. Colbert, of course, has been one of the champions of getting folks to remix videos for him. So, obviously, the idea was to get more folks to remix.

However, just a little while ago, some folks started noticing a message at the top of Colbertnation.com saying:
Lawrence Lessig's REMIX has been removed at the request of Penguin Publishers.
At this point, it's unclear what exactly has been removed. The video of the interview is still online, so that's not what's been removed. Some are wondering if Colbert originally posted a downloadable copy of the book itself that has been removed. Many folks have noticed that Remix is not available for download, despite promises that it would be. Apparently, the free version of the book has been delayed until May, which is pretty lame, itself. And, then, of course, there's the possibility that the "removal" notice itself is just a Colbert joke -- though, it almost seems too subtle for Colbert's style of humor. If anyone has more info on what happened here, it would be great to know. Update: Adam Green, who works with Lessig and was at the taping stopped by to say, indeed, that it was a joke. If so, it's a bit odd, since they never even bothered to make clear what it was that was taken down.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Arturo, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    I thought the interview was brilliant and hilarious! I just got done watching it and it made me get on Google News and type Larry's name which is how I got here. I got the impression that Larry missed who Colbert was, but this was OK because it got him really emotional and I thought it was a pretty cool way to get his points across. He is a very smart guy. Colbert was so over the top that I suspect, more than not, that the Penguin message is in fact a joke. Otherwise it does not really make much sense...

     

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  2.  
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    Stephen Downes (profile), Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Hulu

    Please do not use Hulu, not even if they pay you. Hulu just throws up a big error screen outside the U.S. - where 95 percent of people live.

     

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  3.  
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    hulu2, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Huh?

    95% of the people I know live in the US. ;)

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    sunil, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    Remix interview remixed

    I just found a remix of it a la Stephen's request...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOiA5WKvIXQ

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    A. Lloyd Flanagan, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Obvious

    Why Would Penguin Force Colbert To Take Down Lessig's Remix?

    Probably as part of another plot to "bring the City of Gotham to its knees". I admit I don't see the connection, but I'm not a deformed criminal mastermind with Joker envy. Thank God.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    A. L. Flanagan, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Watched the video

    I've got to say I wasn't disappointed. I thought it went pretty well. Do remember Colbert's not a real journalist, for which the profession is profoundly grateful I'm sure.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Hulu

    Childish Point: Well TechDirt is based in the US!
    Real Point: I don't think the show is available elsewhere online legally.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Moderation, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Steven and Jon are better "journalists" than most in the mainstream media today. They present information in such a way that the people get a little informed and want to find out more.

    Not to say that everything they say is pure "fact" or non biased... cuz that's completely untrue... but they lie about trying to be either.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Jarred, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    Re:

    Oh Lessig knows exactly who Colbert is... it's just impossible to actually get your point across when he "interviews" you. That's what's so brilliant about the show, though. If you go on Colbert, you are nothing but fodder. Basically, Lessig was smart enough to know that Colbert was being satirical and false, and to use him as a straw opponent. That's how Colbert works... he exaggerates ignorance and stubbornness to contrast to his guest... and he shows us that oftentimes, that facade of exaggerated ignorance and stubbornness reflects what we're like in real life.

     

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  10.  
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    Coises, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:56pm

    Second the motion on Hulu

    "We're sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States. For more information on Hulu's international availability, click here."

    I don't know if you care, or if you have any option; but if you do, please avoid using Hulu and other thoroughly aggravating video hosts who sniff IPs and frustrate those of us who are not physically located within the boundaries of what is apparently the only important country on the Earth.

    Yes, I know they probably have some legal reasons for this. They need to lose traffic not just viewers, but embedders to sites that somehow manage to function without IP-sniffing so they will have motivation to find a solution that doesn't apply the same tired, old "border-line-in-the-sand" practices to the Internet that limit us all in physical space.

     

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  11.  
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    CrushU, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Second the motion on Hulu

    You're quite welcome to make your own site where you can stream all broadcasts equally. And then get thrown in jail.

    Hulu does what they do in order to avoid legal reprecussion in lawsuit-happy USA. It is not their fault, they are trying to expand to other countries. The networks that allow Hulu to broadcast have stipulations on who Hulu can stream to. To my knowledge, Hulu is trying to be able to stream to other countries, so cut them some slack.

     

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  12.  
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    Mathew, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:27pm

    I'm in Australia and I can view full episodes on thedailyshow.com without trouble.. until they update their GeoIP database I guess :(

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re: Second the motion on Hulu

    You're quite welcome to make your own site where you can stream all broadcasts equally. And then get thrown in jail.
    He's also quite free to encourage people to avoid using Hulu if he wants to. And no, you don't get thrown in jail for that (in the US).

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    The Devil's Advocate, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 11:30pm

    Hulu Complainers

    You can view it in Canada here (maybe other countries can access it here): Comedy Central

    Outside of North America, I don't see the implicit relevance of the show. The rush to put it on videos outside of North America doesn't exist because of this lack of relevance. It's not like folks are going ape in North America about not being able to catch "The Late Edition" (UK's answer to The Daily Show). It's simply not relevant despite being entertaining.

    It's not a matter of the US being important, it's a matter of relevance.

    And you can always VPN around these IP blocks.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    The Devil's Advocate, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Hulu Complainers

    Sorry, that's Comedy Network in Canada, not Comedy Central. :)

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    qez, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 2:26am

    Re: Hulu Complainers

    The rush to put it on videos outside of North America doesn't exist because of this lack of relevance.

    You must be working for Hollywood because you don't seem to get it.

    And you can always VPN around these IP blocks.

    And go through all the hassle? Nah, I rather wait for the torrent. And when the torrent is available the episode will be automatically downloaded.

    This is a nice example why there's piracy.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Duane, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Not just the USA

    The BBC also has these kinds of policies in effect. You pretty much can't view any kind of video on their site from the US. I suspect this is because the British taxpayers fund their operations, but it is still damned inconvenient. of course, like the commenter above, I would not be interested in their online presence if their shows were not available through other means.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Addictv, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Remix interview remixed

    That's not a remix, that's distortion.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Adam Green, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 2:47pm

    Confirmation -- it was a joke

    Hi, this is Adam Green with Lawrence Lessig's Change Congress.

    I was with Lessig at the Colbert Report taping. Before the show, they informed us this joke was forthcoming. So, I'm breaking it on TechDirt first -- the takedown of Remix is very-officially a joke.

    After the show, Lessig taped a video in the green room that "exposed" something in Colbert's background. Is it also a joke? Hmmm...you be the judge. http://change-congress.org/video?partner=techdirt

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    James Stevens, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 7:10pm

    Hulu loses

    Since Hulu can't provide the show in other countries, ppl just torrent it.. it's that simple, they don't try to compete with piracy.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    MC Jack in the Box, Jan 11th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Lessig vs. Colbert remixed

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2009 @ 11:00pm

    Lessig vs. Colbert

    This is very funny stuff.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2009 @ 12:01am

    Back on Youtube..?

    It appears Larry (or someone posing as Larry) has re-posted the interview on Youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzsBv2HDaRo

    Also, dance beat ahoy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvvhDngERXo
    http://essenzamusic.com/ColbertRemix.mp3

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    HULU, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Hulu

    it is available legally
    and from ComedyCentrals site and ColbertNations site

    also

    Huffington Post seems to find CC streams with no problem

    and the Internet is a global community so your childish point is also a stupid
    point.

    I am a US citizen who spends 95% of my time abroad and I would like to keep informed about what is going on in my homeland.

    the Hulu point is a good one and it is a problem that I am seeing more and
    more, as it catches on in the states it is further alienating those not in the states.

    down with Hulu feeds
    long live Hulu (just not for blog posts and feeds. and hopefully the will get there international shit in line soon)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    wow your stupid too, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Second the motion on Hulu

    what is with you people?
    do you work for Hulu?

    there are plenty of legal feeds.
    Hulu is just easy, and has a nice interface.
    (someone suggested you may get some kickbacks for using it in your blogs
    but I don't know if that is true or not)

    sites that care to have a global audience need to stop using HULU....
    it is that simple

    if on the other hand you are so closed minded that you don't care about the rest of the world and want to keep it a USA boys club then by all means keep using Hulu feeds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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