— Lawrence Lessig
Context: Here's a story: There was a documentary filmmaker who was making a documentary film about education in America. And he's shooting across this classroom with lots of people, kids, who are completely distracted at the television in the back of the classroom. When they get back to the editing room, they realize that on the television, you can barely make out the show for two seconds; it's "The Simpsons," Homer Simpson on the screen. So they call up Matt Groening, who was a friend of the documentary filmmaker, and say, you know, Is this going to be a problem? It's only a couple seconds. Matt says, No, no, no, it's not going to be a problem, call so and so. So they called so and so, and so and so said call so and so.
Eventually, the so and so turns out to be the lawyers, so when they got to the lawyers, they said, Is this going to be a problem? It's a documentary film. It's about education. It's a couple seconds. The so and so said 25,000 bucks. 25,000 bucks?! It's a couple seconds! What do you mean 25,000 bucks? The so and so said, I don't give a goddamn what it is for. $25,000 bucks or change your movie. Now you look at this and you say this is insane. It's insane. And if it is only Hollywood that has to deal with this, OK, that's fine. Let them be insane. The problem is their insane rules are now being applied to the whole world. This insanity of control is expanding as everything you do touches copyrights.