Friday, January 9, 2009

Colbert Talks Copyright

Sra, I suppose this will especially be of interest to you. Lawrence Lessig's points are not only gripping but also relevant. I will be reviewing Remix, the book he is promoting on the Colbert Report next week.

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Anonymous said...

This is definitely a big problem. So many think that it is their prerogative to use other people's work without thinking twice. I can't help but wonder what's going to happen with the economics of ideas and creativity. If artists don't get the right share of the profits, will they be forced to stop creating?

Unknown said...

The creative class relies on creativity to not only make a living but to ensure the overall progress of the collective.
I do not know how 'remixes' could be held in check or controlled, however.
That's a book I want to read it, though.

Anonymous said...

Esp. appropriate in the context of blogging and Web 2.0 in general. Ideas circulate too fast and it's tough to hold on to them.

Sra said...

Rad, thanks for the clip. Check out Lessig's blog for a musical remix of the interview.

So, I think Lessig isn't very good in this clip at explaining what the whole Remix movement is about. Hopefully his book does a better job; I haven't read it yet.

Remix is not about limiting the rights of creators, but about extending rights to those who want to build on existing works, add value, make something new. We have to remember that copyright was designed to give creators an incentive to create. Remix is designed to do the same thing, but involving existing works.

So, I like to think about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the Tom Stoppard play, which is a kind of Remix of Shakespeare's Hamlet. (You might also call it fanfiction.) This takes an existing work (albeit one in the public domain), and creates a new story from a different perspective that weaves in and out of the original story. And what a great piece of literature it is!

Remix is about celebrating this building off of existing works, creating something new from something old.

Anonymous said...

Truly original ideas are tough to come by. Most of the work we see now is a reworked version of something else. The Dante's and Verdi's are, well, a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

We can't help but remix. Remixing is at the core of our society. It's as 21-st century as it gets. It's our version of originality, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I wondered about the book. I would have thought a similar book would have been published a while back. But then again, the more, the better?
Isn't that the premise of this?
We're perpetuating a cycle of revision?

Anonymous said...

There's nothing trivial about copyright issues. I don't think younger people treat this with the right kind of care. I look forward to your review of the book.

B.R. said...

-No, they won't be forced to stop creating. The creative impulse cannot be stopped. It will do its thing no matter what. However, better guidelines and fairer tools for the artists are urgently needed.
-I get Lessig's sense of urgency on this and most people are in some way aware of this.
-Thanks, Sra. Right, the point is to celebrate further creativity that's birthed from already existing creative sources and resources.
Tina, there's work on this but Lessig's book seems to be quite extensive. I will have more to say when I review it.

Unknown said...

Dug Sra's explanation. I thought about this today, actually.
I actually see the whole Web 2.0 movement as one that's sort of created to 'foster' imitation and creativity.