Sunday, January 25, 2009

Remix: Lawrence Lessig on IP in the Digital Economy

The prolific and controversial web culture of piracy, particularly file sharing, has taken the world by storm, and for more than a decade, we've been waging a war in the name of the 20th Century's model of copyright law. The content industry has convinced the world that extremism in copyright regulation is good for business and economic growth.

In this lecture Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig argues that this view is false and discusses the potential creative accomplishments that our society could achieve, if only we viewed copyright and intellectual property (IP) laws differently. Lessig "spotlights the newest and possibly the most harmful culture war - a war waged against our kids and others 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. For many, new technologies have made it irresistible to flout these unreasonable and ultimately untenable laws. Lessig shows how we can and must end this conflict. 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 support - artistic, commercial, and ethical - they deserve and need."