Lessig calls for copyright law remix

Lessig calls for copyright law remix

Summary: Larry Lessig made a call for the reform of copyright law this morning at Etech. Remixing culture is nothing new.


Larry Lessig made a call for the reform of copyright law this morning at Etech. Remixing culture is nothing new. Throughout history people have been doing it in "ordinary ways," mainly with text. This is how cultures are made, Lessig said. But now, new technologies have changed the ordinary ways so does that mean that our freedoms change as well? It comes down to either reforming the law or reforming the technology, and since 1998 Congress decided to reform the latter to conform to 18th century law, according to Lessig. To wage the war, he advised four things we can do:

  • Connect to lawmakers waging the war against new technology and speak their language
  • Teach them about how powerful it is by showing them what kids do with the technology
  • Change/update the idea of intellectual property
  • Punish those who don

Topic: Legal

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  • Not the first time

    Professor Lessig has been talking about changing our IP laws for years. Most often, he talks about copyright and the state of the public domain.

    Lessig's chief complaint, copyright length. Life of the author + 70 years is steep, and goes against virtually everything the copyright law was originally intended to do... help promote progress and intellectual pursuits. Not sure how we went from 14 years (in the beginning) to life plus 70. Oh, wait, I do know... lobbyists for special interest groups like Hollywood and the Gershwin estate.
    • Don't forget Disney

      Disney seems to be one of the real culprits here, every time the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, "Steamboat Willie" is about to go into the public domain, they get copyright extended another 20 odd years.

      Another really great thing Lessig is fighting for is the release of orphaned material--that is, material that's copyrighted, but no one can find the copyright holder to license the material. So instead of being used and licensed, it sits unused and falls into obscurity.
      tic swayback