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Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity [Paperback]

Lawrence Lessig
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.64
Price: 9.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2005
From "the most important thinker on intellectual property in the Internet era" ("The New Yorker"), a landmark manifesto about the genuine closing of the American mind.
Lawrence Lessig could be called a cultural environmentalist. One of America's most original and influential public intellectuals, his focus is the social dimension of creativity: how creative work builds on the past and how society encourages or inhibits that building with laws and technologies. In his two previous books, Code and The Future of Ideas, Lessig concentrated on the destruction of much of the original promise of the Internet. Now, in Free Culture, he widens his focus to consider the diminishment of the larger public domain of ideas. In this powerful wake-up call he shows how short-sighted interests blind to the long-term damage they're inflicting are poisoning the ecosystem that fosters innovation.
All creative works-books, movies, records, software, and so on-are a compromise between what can be imagined and what is possible-technologically and legally. For more than two hundred years, laws in America have sought a balance between rewarding creativity and allowing the borrowing from which new creativity springs. The original term of copyright set by the Constitution in 1787 was seventeen years. Now it is closer to two hundred. Thomas Jefferson considered protecting the public against overly long monopolies on creative works an essential government role. What did he know that we've forgotten?
Lawrence Lessig shows us that while new technologies always lead to new laws, never before have the big cultural monopolists used the fear created by new technologies, specifically the Internet, to shrink the public domain of ideas, even as the same corporations use the same technologies to control more and more what we can and can't do with culture. As more and more culture becomes digitized, more and more becomes controllable, even as laws are being toughened at the behest of the big media groups. What's at stake is our freedom-freedom to create, freedom to build, and ultimately, freedom to imagine.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Frequently Bought Together

Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity + Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy + The Future of Ideas (Vintage)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (1 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143034650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143034650
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Since the inception of the law regulating creative property, there has been a war against "piracy." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right on the cutting edge of the debate 14 Sep 2006
There's been a lot of talk about file sharing and copyright theft. But usually it's big greedy corporations talking about the public stealing its assets like we are going in and taking their desks. But what this book talks about is what I've upheld for some time, that copyright law should be all about protecting the creators rights, not the rights of the traditional megalithic distribution networks who basically contribute nothing to the creation of the works they claim to protect.

Wonderful stuff, well presented, cogent, relevant and totally absorbing. Lush historical perspective on how Hollywood and the music business were born from exactly the kind of piracy they now claim to be fighting against. Read the bit about how if P2P was having the impact that the record business claims that their drop in profits would be 100% not 7%. Brilliant!

A tour de force, and I don't say that about many things.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars he said it all 4 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This will educate you and open your eyes....it is one of the cheapest but innovative version of the story of copyright culture which has grown out of control. Originally intended to protect the artist this law is now being used to keep the pockets lined of fat multinational conglomerate companies. Whilst criminalising alot of children, the law has failed to respond to changes in technology such as the internet which has allowed for new forms of creativity which have made the old laws insubstatial.
It recognises a shift from when the laws were created with a balance to protect businesses but also the people.
Laws that protect the interest of large businesses have been pushed into evolution by pressure from these firms, but those to protect the people are not. And remain unchanged and therfore unequipped to protect those it was originally created to protect. Where does this leave us?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 4 Oct 2004
By A Customer
Casual and accessible book with interesting stories from the history of copyright. If you enjoyed "Code" and "The future of ideas" you will like this one. It is not a typical legal text book, but I found it very useful as Lessig helps you see copyright in a different perspective. Enjoyable anecdotes!
Useful for both non-lawyers and lawyers.
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