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 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.

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

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Arturo says:

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…

Jarred (user link) says:

Re: 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.

HULU says:

Re: Re: Hulu

it is available legally
and from ComedyCentrals site and ColbertNations site


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

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)

Coises (user link) says:

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.

CrushU says:

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.

wow your stupid too says:

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.

The Devil's Advocate says:

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.

qez says:

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.

Duane says:

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.

Adam Green (user link) says:

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.

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