Lawrence Lessig gave a first peek at his new political reform movement at the ETech conference in San Diego last night. Others have already written about it, so I won't repeat everything here, but I did want to share Lessig's reaction to one question from the audience.

One audience member asked Lessig about his opinion regarding file swapping and the Pirate Party. Lessig replied that he wholeheartedly supported the idea to legalize non-commercial file sharing, but the pirates didn't get too much sympathy from the Creative Commons founder.

"I'm skeptical of the utility of something like the Pirate Party in the United States", Lessig said. He did agree that the party might have the ability to impact the public discourse in countries like Sweden, but said that it would be counter-productive for the US.

Hollywood already painted the debate as a confrontation between an honest industry on one side and thieves on the other. "Call your party the Pirate Party, and you'll reinforce that. The branding is not one that I would embrace here in the United States."

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