Thursday, June 16, 2005

Free Goo Hat Katie Culture

Finally an update to "A Bit of Light Reading" over in the sidebar. I finished off Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig and immediately promoted Dance of Death to the current read slot...I reserve that right for certain authors.

Free Culture offers an excellent explanation of the current copyright system, and how it came to be in it's current form. Since I'm not into reviewing books (just reading them), I offer the following excerpted review which I borrowed from Publishers Weekly via
Copyright law in the digital age has become a hot topic, thanks to millions of music downloaders and the controversial, high-profile legal efforts of the music industry to stop them. Here Lessig argues that copyright as designed by the Framers has become dangerously unbalanced, favoring the interests of corporate giants over the interests of citizens and would-be innovators. In clear, well-paced prose, Lessig illustrates how corporations attempt to stifle innovations, from FM radio and the instant camera to peer-to-peer technology. He debunks the myth that draconian new copyright enforcement is needed to combat the entertainment industry's expanded definition of piracy, and chillingly assesses the direct and collateral damage of the copyright war. Information technology student Jesse Jordan, for example, was forced to hand over his life savings to settle a lawsuit brought by the music industry—for merely fixing a glitch in an Internet search engine. Lessig also offers a very personal look into his failed Supreme Court bid to overturn the Copyright Term Extension Act, a law that added 20 years to copyright protections largely to protect Mickey Mouse from the public domain. In addition to offering a brilliant argument, Lessig also suggests a few solutions, including the Creative Commons licensing venture (an online licensing venture that streamlines the rights process for creators), as well as legislative solutions.

T minus 20.5