Friday, October 24, 2008

Remix - new title on copyright from Lawrence Lessig

For anybody who is interested in the 'copyright wars' - corporations wielding huge legal sticks against innocent consumers downloading stuff for personal use - Lawrence Lessig is essential reading.

This US law professor at Stanford has just released Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. A pretty ordinary title but a fascinating read. Lessig is a passionate advocate for copyright reform. He argues persuasively for a legal regime which recognises current technological realities and doesn't cast as a felon every teenager who downloads music, TV shows, movies and other copyrighted content from file sharing and other sites because it's free but mainly because it's available and accessible.

Don't read this title however before you read his earlier book Free Culture. This is a wonderful, invigorating, stimulating, provocative, angry and superbly argued treatise on everything that's wrong with our current copyright regime and the way media and publishing corporations abuse their power by abusing their customers and the very essence of creativity.

Both books are pubished by Penguin in the US. Get them from Amazon. Shamefully, they're not available in Australia (read my blog piece on parallel importation to find out why!)


Richard said...

Interestingly The Espresso Book Machine could have printed the books you mentioned while sipping a coffee, improving the customer experience, saving up to 54kg in CO2 and keeping a few extra dollars in Australia. Improving the supply chain is necessary and plausible.

Peter Donoughue said...

Well that's true, but not until publishers make new releases or in-copyright titles available digitally to Espresso machines, and that could be quite a few years yet, if ever. Right now they're being used exclusively for out-of-print titles.