Charles Nesson, Weld Professor of Law and Co-founder and Faculty Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School gave some closing remarks to today’s panels at the Beyond Broadcast conference. Here’s some flavor of it:
We face large questions. We have the net in our hands. We are all capable of making remarkable products.
In law terms, the legal corporation was a lawyer’s structure. The essence was the severing from the human being from the business entity. Human values in the for-profit corporation are public relations.
The internet changes the ability of people to organize. That’s extraordinary.
We are not just talking about internet. We are talking about media integrated by internet.
Each of our organizations is looking for our identity in this environment. It’s true for Harvard.
… The Berkman Center is moving from being a center at Harvard Law School to being a center at Harvard University. We are changing our identity in this space.
The principles of openness recommend themselves. We need to balance openness and closedness. The internet invites a kind of forward motion that recommends inclusiveness.
The idea of people coming together around good has competitive advantage in this space. People have more willingness to aggregate around a good cause.
From Harvard’s point of view, this is a new world of education we are entering. Stressing open access to knowledge. The core value of a university is open knowledge, research for the public interest. It’s silly for us to be in an environment where we produce knowledge and then give it to a corporate entity that then sells it back to us.
This simple ideal of open knowledge becomes vitally important in the developing world because of the pay barriers they hit in order to get access.
At the end of the day the currency of the day is the power of your argument. This is a rhetorical space.
I am eager to engage in the idea that we are now capable of making change by making message.
If one looks for a future for public media. It’s wisdom to imagine a future in which institutions such as Harvard as being generators of open knowledge and collaborators with other educational institutions in the creation of an open commonwealth of knowledge.
I welcome any further collaboration that the Berkman center can do with you. I would love to make content that is good enough for you to include it in your aggregation. I am confident that content of quality will rise to the top.
Human values have to rest at the center of what we do in a technological world.
… We are in a downhill battle. Be confident. There is divinity in the net. The challenge is to be gentle to your enemies.