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October 03, 2007

"Free Culture"

"...this book is about an effect of the Internet beyond the Internet
itself: an effect upon how culture is made. My claim is that the
Internet has induced an important and unrecognized change in that
process. That change will radically transform a tradition that is as old as the Republic itself. Most, if they recognized this change, would reject it. Yet most don’t even see the change that the Internet has introduced."
-Lessig "Fee Culture"

I agree with Lessig that the impact of the internet is indeed radical. Moreover, his notion that non-commercial culture is being regulated for the first time in our nation's history is alarming. That is, with the advent of the internet, what is free and what is regulated comes into question. Internet users must constantly ask themselves, is this "sharing" or "piracy"?

Lessig states: "we are less and less a free culture, more and more a permission culture." By this he means that the protection of non-commercial culture has gone too far. Individuals are no longer able to create without permission by the law. And those who want to develop a creator's ideas are restricted. If this continues, the development of ideas and the growth of our culture could be significantly hindered.

I do believe that there needs to be some regulation when it comes to sharing ideas and information. A creator should receive credit for his or her ideas. And yet, ideas should be shared so as to benefit society as a whole and not just the initial creator. Perhaps new ideas can build on old ones. After all, why come up with ideas if no one is going to use them?

In summary, I would like to say that I appreciate Lessig making his ideas so readily available to us. I think that by sharing them, he is making a positive impact on our culture.

Posted by leslieph at October 3, 2007 03:29 PM

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