Synopses & Reviews
The author of Free Culture shows how we harm our childrenand almost anyone who creates, enjoys, or sells any art formwith a restrictive copyright system driven by corporate interests. Lessig reveals the solutions to this impasse offered by a collaborative yet profitable hybrid economy
Lawrence Lessig, the reigning authority on intellectual property in the Internet age, spotlights the newest and possibly the most harmful culture wara war waged against our kids and others who create and consume art. Americas copyright laws have ceased to perform their original, beneficial role: protecting artists creations while allowing them to build on previous creative works. In fact, our system now criminalizes those very actions.
For many, new technologies have made it irresistible to flout these unreasonable and ultimately untenable laws. Some of todays most talented artists are felons, and so are our kids, who see no reason why they shouldnt do what their computers and the Web let them do, from burning a copyrighted CD for a friend to biting riffs from films, videos, songs, etc and making new art from them.
Criminalizing our children and others is exactly what our society should not do, and Lessig shows how we can and must end this conflicta war as ill conceived and unwinnable as the war on drugs. By embracing read-write culture, which allows its users to create art as readily as they consume it, we can ensure that creators get the supportartistic, commercial, and ethicalthat they deserve and need. Indeed, we can already see glimmers of a new hybrid economy that combines the profit motives of traditional business with the sharing economy evident in such Web sites as Wikipedia and YouTube. The hybrid economy will become ever more prominent in every creative realmfrom news to musicand Lessig shows how we can and should use it to benefit those who make and consume culture.
Remix is an urgent, eloquent plea to end a war that harms our children and other intrepid creative users of new technologies. It also offers an inspiring vision of the post-war world where enormous opportunities await those who view art as a resource to be shared openly rather than a commodity to be hoarded.
"Should anyone besides libertarian hackers or record companies care about copyright in the online world? In this incisive treatise, Stanford law prof and Wired columnist Lessig (Free Culture) argues that we should. He frames the problem as a war between an old 'read-only' culture, in which media megaliths sell copyrighted music and movies to passive consumers, and a dawning digital 'read-write' culture, in which audiovisual products are freely downloaded and manipulated in an explosion of democratized creativity. Both cultures can thrive in a 'hybrid' economy, he contends, pioneered by Web entities like YouTube. Lessig's critique of draconian copyright laws highlighted by horror stories of entertainment conglomerates threatening tweens for putting up Harry Potter fan sites is trenchant. (Why, he asks, should sampling music and movies be illegal when quoting texts is fine?) Lessig worries that too stringent copyright laws could stifle such 'remix' masterpieces as a 'powerful' doctored video showing George Bush and Tony Blair lip-synching the song 'Endless Love,' or making scofflaws of America's youth by criminalizing their irrepressible downloading. We leave this (copyrighted) book feeling the stakes are pretty low, except for media corporations." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Lawrence Lessig is a prophet for the Internet age. . . . A splendidly combative manifesto-pungent, witty and persuasive."
" Once dubbed a 'philosopher king of Internet law,' [Lessig] writes with a unique mix of legal expertise, historic facts, and cultural curiosity. . . . The result is a wealth of interesting examples and theories on how and why digital technology and copyright law can promote professional and amateur art."
The author of "Free Culture" shows how the current copyright system harms anyone who creates, enjoys, or sells any art form. Lessig, the reigning authority on intellectual property, argues that artistic resources should be shared openly rather than a commodity to be hoarded.
The reigning authority on intellectual property in the Internet age, Lawrence Lessig spotlights the newest and possibly the most harmful culture war?a war waged against those who create and consume art. America?s copyright laws have ceased to perform their original, beneficial role: protecting artists? creations while allowing them to build on previous creative works. In fact, our system now criminalizes those very actions. Remix is an urgent, eloquent plea to end a war that harms every intrepid, creative user of new technologies. It also offers an inspiring vision of the postwar world where enormous opportunities await those who view art as a resource to be shared openly rather than a commodity to be hoarded.
About the Author
Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Schools Center for Internet and Society. He is the author of Free Culture, The Future of Ideas, and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, and is a columnist at Wired. He chairs the Creative Commons project and has won numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundations Freedom Award. He was named one of Scientific Americans Top 50 Visionaries and has also been listed as one of BusinessWeeks eBiz 25, the magazines roundup of the twenty-five most influential people in electronic business, several times.