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The Future Of Ideas

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World (2001) is a book by Lawrence Lessig, at the time of writing a professor of law at Stanford Law School, who is well known as a critic of the extension of the copyright term in US. It is a continuation of his previous book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, which is about how computer programs can restrict freedom of ideas in cyberspace.
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This confusion is leading us to change the environment in ways that will change the prosperity.
Shapiro saw good and bad in both futures. Too much dis-intermediation, he warned, would interfere with collective governance; some balance was needed. But likewise, efforts to rearchitect the Net to reenable control
There are too many places for the devil to find details that will effectively kill important new technologies.
But now we have the potential to expand the reach of this creativity to an extraordinary range of culture and commerce.
Electronic Frontier Foundation, including John Gilmore and John Perry Barlow
It makes no sense to say that that world was “more creative” than ours. My point is not about quantity, or even quality, and my argument does not imagine a “golden age.” The point instead is about the nature of the constraints on this practice of creativity
The freedom that is my focus here is the creativity and innovation that marked the early Internet. This is the freedom that fueled the greatest technological revolution that our culture has seen since the Industrial Revolution. This is the freedom that promised a world of creativity different from the past.
e Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme
Apple, of course, wants to sell computers. Yet its ad touches an ideal that runs very deep in our history. For the technology that they (and of course others) sell could enable this generation to do with our culture what generations have done from the very beginning of human society: to take what is our culture; to “rip” it—meaning to copy it; to “mix” it—meaning to reform it however the user wants; and finally, and most important, to “burn” it—to publish it in a way that others can see and hear.9 Digital technology could enable an extraordinary range of ordinary people to become part of a creative process. To move from the life of a “consumer” (just think about what that word means—passive, couch potato, fed) of music—and not just music, but film, and art, and commerce—to a life where one can individually and collectively participate in making something new.
EARLY VERSIONS of this book were read by a number of people. I am grateful to those who offered critical (and sometimes especially critical) comments—in particular Bruce Ackerman, Yochai Benkler, David Bollier, Scott Hemphill, Dewayne Hendricks, Tom Maddox, Charles Nesson, Richard A. Posner, Barbara van Schewick, Timothy Wu, and Robert Young. My research was aided by an army of students, including Amy Ash, Scott Ashton, Aaron Bukofzer, Sky Canaves, Brian Gustafson, Drew Harris, Scott Hemphill, Matt Kahn, Matt Rice, Hilary Stockton, and Jonathan Sanders. Pauline Reich, Hilary Stockton, and Richard Taketa contributed examples to the text
The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense.
This depletion of a rivalrous resource
in a commons would implement the principle in the physical layer. The same idea can ope
THE ARGUMENT of this book is that always and everywhere, free resources have been crucial to inn
under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by
Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
greater control over our lives, and over the institutions, including government, that regulate our lives. The second was a less familiar warning—of the rebirth of technologies
those whose financial interests favor control, our social and political institutions are ratifying changes in the Internet
constraint for most who would create. These barriers are obviously not absolute; ours is an extraordinarily creative
Shapiro saw good and bad in both futures. Too much dis-intermediation, he warned, would interfere with collective governance; some balance was needed. But likewise, efforts to rearchitect the Net to reenable control threatened to undermine its potential for individual freedom and growth.

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