Saturday, December 04, 2004

Free Culture

I'm an associate member of the Free Software Foundation, which means I give them some money to support their principles.

The other day I received a present from them: the book `Free Culture' by Lawrence Lessig. The subtitle is `How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity.' One could take this as a summary of the book. It explains how creativity of the individual is supressed by US copyright law and new technologies.

The book is extremely well written. Its clear structure makes it easy to follow its argument. With lots of well worked out examples it illustrates its message. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in copyright issues and freedom of creativity.

See its website.

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5 Comments:

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Power to the people! It's propaganda! Communist! Do you also promote the work of Karl Marx?

:-) Just kidding. The US sucks! Let's destroy it!

:-) Haha ... ha. ... Kidding again! I've my funnytrousers on!

:-) *shoots myself*

The book sounds cool. Can I borrow it sometimes? But I think, that in economy based on capitalism and a free marked, copyright can't be ignored or get rid of.

 
At 1:13 AM, Blogger Georg Muntingh said...

Ofcourse you can borrow it Jean. Anytime.

 
At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is copyright? It used to be a licence given by the king or emperor or pope to use a printing press to reproduce a manuscript. It was enforceable then because not everyone could have their own printing press. The means where no available to all.

Copyright always, from the beginning, protected the rights of the publishers (reproduction and distribution), even though it was presented and it still being presented as a protection for the author or creator. This is however not the way the world works.

These days anyone with a computer has the means to copy almost anything, it's easy and cheap. It's common sense to use these means: they get the job done. One can not restrict usage if the means which are common and of which the usage is normal and not harmful to others.

The current law, based on old ideas and concepts, seems to become more and more out of step with the common sense of the people. No just law can ever be against the common sense of the people.

With reproduction and distribution becomes as cheap as they are now, there is no more place for copyright as we know it these days. The logic behind it does not make sense anymore -- worse it seems to go against common sense.

Just as that with the advent of the industrialization there was no more place for slaves, not because we came to the conclusion that keeping slaves was immoral, but because their owners lost control over the political machine (and with that, they lost control over the law).

Only when factory owners became the new dominant elite who needed educated workers, slaves became redundant. The way people saw the world had changed because of advances in technology. This new world order brought with it a new common sense.

The same thing is happening at this very moment: A new way to see the world has emerged and it begins to make sense to people. In time these people will become leaders and they will write new laws, new laws which make sense in this new world.

Until then.... we will have to wait.

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you want to look at http://donatacom.com/archives/00000654.htm

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Georg Muntingh said...

You seem to agree with Lessig.

About the link, I don't think bloggers are an exception by being not able to cope with the copyright laws from now.

 

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