Larry Lessig lectures to Google employees

An Obama adviser denies he had blasphemous intent by including in his lectures a video of a ‘gay’ Jesus Christ sashaying nearly naked down a city street to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” only to get run over by a bus.

“I decided to stop using the video when one Christian whom I knew told me he thought it was unhelpful to the purpose for which I was using it,” said Stanford University law professor Larry Lessig on his website. “That seemed right, so I dropped it.”

The controversy began when Erick Erickson at the weblog RedState posted a video of Lessig giving an author’s talk to an audience of Google employees.

In his response, Lessig claimed the video, “Jesus Christ: The Musical,” was not made by him, but by filmmaker Javier Prato.

Prato’s website uses a picture of Che Guevara to present himself, instead of his own photograph.

“I used the video in probably five or six out of 200 talks over the last three years, in the section of my talks in which I show examples of ‘remix’ creativity,” Lessig argued.

See Lessig’s presentation of video

“Remix” describes a technique used by many amateur video producers to take popular songs, generally without copyright permission, and have them lip-synched for comic or other effect. The remixed videos are then typically posted for free viewing on Internet websites.

“The Jesus video was relevant to the story I was telling, because the artist was threatened by the copyright holders because of the video,” Lessig said.

Erickson commented in his RedState post that “it’s no secret that the Obama campaign does not want to be tied too directly to Lessig,”

“In addition to happily showing off blasphemous images of Christ, Lessig is also known as a digital communist,” Erickson said. “Lessig believes there should be no such thing as intellectual property rights – patents and copyrights should be tossed.”

Lessig has worked actively on behalf of Obama to explain to journalists the candidate’s technology plan, which calls for the appointment of a technology czar to serve in the White House under the title of chief technology officer.

Obama’s campaign website currently proclaims Lessig as one of the industry experts supporting his technology plan to create a chief technology officer.

Lessig, on his website, endorses Obama, describing the candidate as a friend and former colleague.

In August 2006, several people in the audience walked out when Lessig showed the “Jesus Will Survive” video in his keynote address to the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.

An extended one-hour version of the lecture Lessig gave Oct.3, 2006, in New York to the Google employees, including the “Jesus Christ: The Musical” clip, has been archived on

In the video, the Google employees are heard laughing during presentation of the Jesus piece.


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