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Innovation confronts the real estate monopoly

Stanford law professor challenges industry

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SAN FRANCISCO–As a child, Lawrence Lessig spent hours clipping MLS listings and arranging them on index cards for his mother, a real estate agent. He suggested to his mom that computers could revolutionize this tedious process. But then he learned about the layers of MLS rules and policies that stood in the way. Today, Lessig, a Stanford Law School professor, author and copyright expert, is a radical free-thinker who promotes the ideas of people who've gone against the grain. If you can't beat innovation, then join the new revolution ... or run, Lessig said. "Don't fight it. You can only switch to it. That's your option. That's the only sensible option that you should embrace," he said. There is always another option, he offered: "Run like hell." Unless, of course, you consider the innovation to be a threat to your own interests and you have the power to put it down. In this case, Lessig said, "You should work as hard as you can to crush innovation. Crush it until you can retire...