Summary[ edit ] In Remix, Lawrence Lessig , a Harvard law professor and a respected voice in what he deems the " copyright wars", describes the disjuncture between the availability and relative simplicity of remix technologies and copyright law. Lessig insists that copyright law as it stands now is antiquated for digital media since every "time you use a creative work in a digital context, the technology is making a copy". It is the vernacular of today. The children growing up in a world where these technologies permeate their daily life are unable to comprehend why "remixing" is illegal.
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Please Sign Up to get full document. In , copyright laws and the creative industries they protect, have come face to face with the Internet in an unprecedented struggle for power. According to some, this is having a dramatic effect on our culture Lessig ; Lessig This essay seeks to discuss the concepts raised in the accompanying poster whilst also examining both the past and present relationship of the Internet and copyright and how and why new measures will directly impact our shared culture in the future.
Focusing primarily on the rhetoric of Lawrence Lessig, founder of the Creative Commons organization, this essay also looks at alternative measures to copyright legislation and how they are being implemented. An analysis of American rock band Nine Inch Nails NIN and their relationship with the Creative Commons, is also undertaken, in an effort to indicate the real world potential for such alternative measures.
In order to understand his arguments some broad definitions are necessary. Culture is broadly understood as the collective identity of a group of people, including their customs, arts, social groups and intellectual achievements Oxford Online Dictionary The cultural commons, or public domain, is thus the shared pool of cultural resources that serve as a collective record of our history and is frequently, if not always, drawn upon in the creation of new forms of art and creative expression.
In attempting to describe the Internet as the best evidence for the benefit of a creative commons to society, Lessig focuses on the architecture and beginnings of the Internet.
The World Wide Web, which in its current form is used by more than 2. The commons of the Internet created a neutral space where innovation and experimentation could occur on top of the controlled infrastructure and thus improved the value of the controlled space Lessig Initially a strict physical layer of infrastructure, the Internet, through an open framework has had a phenomenal impact on culture and the way it is shared.
This freedom on the Internet gives people access to a substantial amount of information and tools for creativity, research and education.
It has created a global culture where diverse peoples interact and are exposed to information they would have previously been unable to access. The landscape of the film and music industry contrasts greatly that of the Internet with its lack of a central governing body dictating its traffic. SOPA and PIPA were United States specific acts aimed at providing unprecedented powers to copyright holders to shut down both domestic and foreign websites, financial services and advertising services which may be connected to copyright infringements Barrett ; Horten On the surface these measures pose as an attempt to stop copyright infringements, however their influence runs far beyond that of just copyright.
These measures could have also impacted claims of fair use, criminalized many innocent people and may have also influenced free speech. With these effects considered, the cultural commons of the Internet could be left closed and devoid of cultural resources necessary for new forms of creativity. Lessig suggests that there is something remarkably hypocritical about the actions of the MPAA and the RIAA in not only defending their copyrights so aggressively but also in persistent lobbying to have them extended.
Lessig notes that the major Hollywood studios and record labels evolved out of a culture of piracy. Both these American industries grew out of equipment that was used either illegally or in a new and innovative way.
Nowadays, the major industries attempt to disrupt the same situations from repeating by inhibiting the evolution and spread of new innovations and Internet technologies and protecting their aged business models Lessig ; The key issue here is that these disruptions and attempts at maintaining their business models are building barriers into the Internet that need not be there. They will greatly affect the extent and breadth of the cultural commons that the Internet currently provides.
Whilst consequences such as region specific websites such as Netflix, are already seen on the Internet, the full consequences are yet to be realised. There is, however, a very real potential for a dramatic change in the landscape of the Internet and the World Wide Web Lessig Looking back at the accompanying poster, there have been attempts to raise awareness of the current copyright landscape as well as attempts to create an alternative copyright scheme in defence of the Internet.
Rip: A Remix Manifesto Galor echoes much of what Lessig suggests in demanding changes for the future. In saying this, it must also be reiterated that the past is vital in constructing the future from a creative stand point, however it cannot be allowed to serve as limitation on future innovation and technologies Galor ; Lessig , In supporting Lessig, through both the creation of the film from open source footage and his support of the creative commons movement in general, Galor presents a convincing case for copyright reform.
Such licences make it largely unnecessary for legislation such as SOPA and PIPA, as creators can licence works with a range of distributive rules and regulations that make sharing legal and often encouraged Creative Commons The maintenance of an incentive to produce is vitally important and was a major reason in the initial drafting of copyright laws many centuries ago Lessig Creative Commons licences ensure there is enough incentive for creators, but also, that there is a constant addition of new material and resources to the cultural commons.
There are, however, issues with creative commons licences. There are some licence incompatibilities affecting derivative works, however, the ability to create derivative works is far better than under typical copyright laws Creative Commons These licences therefore offer an alternative to current copyright laws for some creators. The widespread adoption of these licences by creators would dramatically increase size and quality of the public domain and assist in the creation of new forms of cultural production.
In the age of digital music players and multiple devices, tailoring music to suit the requirements of the individual is something that the governing bodies of the music industry have resisted Lessig ; By releasing their music in a wide range of formats, NIN appeal to a much broader fan base, from those looking for compressed files to store on digital music players or computers to audiophiles desiring high quality lossless files Corbcroft This approach also makes it much easier for fans to access their music either through official download channels as well as alternative channels such as peer-to-peer P2P networks.
The approach adopted by NIN in these releases shows the future of music releases as something which will no longer be constrained by the major record labels and governing bodies.
They also indicate the effectiveness in maintaining adequate incentive for creators to produce, a key issue that Lessig mentions. In the band began a viral marketing campaign by releasing numerous songs via USB drives n the venues of their tour Mackintosh These songs were legally spread on the Internet by fans and by the time the album was released, it was already available freely online Mackintosh In response to this the RIAA issued cease-and-desist letters to websites hosting the bands files Mackintosh Similar examples can be seen from Radiohead who released their album In Rainbows Tyrangiel online and by comedian Louis C.
Whilst these works are still copyrighted, they send a message to the MPAA and RIAA indicating the distrust and disillusionment with their aged business models. These artistic releases utilise the technologies of the Internet to provide cultural resources to people on a global scale. By releasing these works in such a way they remove the power from the controlling industries and return it to themselves and their fans. Together, the literature and case study paint a vivid image of the past, present and future of the Internet as a public domain.
More than a decade ago Lessig recognised the potential of the RIAA and the MPAA to directly and substantially impact the Internet as means of sharing culturally relevant resources. With Napster only having just been shutdown, it was a time when the power of the Internet was really just beginning to be understood Lessig ; However, there have been clear moves against the old industries in an effort to retain the diverse and dynamic shape of the Internet.
These creators resist the pressures of these bodies and ensure that the Internet remains free from centralised control and can remain as an immense tool for cultural resources. Thus both copyright reform and the Internet are vital to the maintenance and protection of the public domain now and into the future.
Horten, M. Lessig, L. Mackintosh, H.
Download Lessig's Remix, Then Remix It
The powerfully disruptive forces of technology are remaking the landscape, producing enormous winners and once-mighty losers, with the full impact on the culture, for good or for ill, yet to be determined. Meanwhile, the recorded-music industry has been suing its fans for making digital copies of songs, even as the industry itself has yet to find a business model that works. Then there is the movie industry, which fears being next as it becomes widely possible to download massive streams of video. Television broadcasters, for their part, are not sure whether the web is friend or foe. What with all this creative destruction in the air to borrow the apt phrase of the great economist Joseph Schumpeter , it is understandable that executives of traditional media companies have had little time for a sharp critique of what they regard as their most fundamental property right—their right, that is, to the intellectual content of their music, films, and video.
Lawrence Lessig takes the complicated issues surrounding modern copyright and explains them in terms laypeople can comprehend. Moreover, he makes a compelling argument from an economic standpoint as to why less copyright could lead to more profit. My favourite quotation from this book is: Copyright law has got to give up its obsession with "the copy. It should instead regulate uses—like public distributions of copies of copyrighted work—that connect directly to the economic incentive copyright law was intended to foster. Lessig succinctly reveals the flawed premise from which most corporations approach the concept of copyright in our digital age.
Lawrence Lessig: Decriminalizing the Remix
Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal chord left. He was describing how a technology We would become just consumers of culture, not also producers. The same is not true when you crack open a book: "For most of American history it was extraordinarily rare for ordinary citizens to trigger copyright law RO culture in the digital age is thus open to control in a way that was never possible in the analog age