Monday, September 27, 2010

Remix by Lawrence Lessig (Book Review)

Copyright and fair use have become confusing and confounding. Not only is it unclear today what exactly we can copy and create, but it seems incredulous that record companies and movie studios would resort to suing children.

In Remix, Lawrence Lessig cuts through the confusion and details how American copyright laws have ceased to perform their original role of protecting artistic creation and allowing artists to build on previous creative works. Today, Lessig contends, digital technologies make it as easy for media artists to remix, as it does for writers to quote from other sources. Unfortunately, such remixing is in violation of the current laws and creates a stifling climate for creativity.

Lessig stridently argues against the continuation of such a limited "read only" culture and suggests five major changes to our copyright laws:
  1. Deregulation of amateur creativity
  2. Opt-in copyright
  3. Simplification of the copyright laws
  4. Decriminalizing copying
  5. Decriminalizing file sharing
Note: Remix, published in 2008, does not include any information about the purported looming Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

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