Is creativity being strangled by the law?

January 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm 3 comments

Stanford professor Larry Lessig seems to think so and many of us would tend to agree with him. Lessig is one of the foremost authorities on copyright issues, and has a vision for reconciling creative freedom with marketplace competition. He is the founder of Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. The New York Times says that “Lessig has built a reputation as the king of Internet law and as the most important next-wave thinker on intellectual property.”

As corporate interests have tried hard  to rein in the likes of Napster and YouTube, Lessig has fought back. His recent appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court to fight the extension of copyright protection from 50 years to 70 years – is one good example of the continuous struggle. He chairs Creative Commons, a nuanced, free licensing scheme for individual creators.

A lawyer by profession, Lessig has become a true hero to artists, authors, scientists, coders and creativity advocates everywhere because of his passion and belief that there needs to be a balance between having the freedom to create, to remix and to use what exists for self-expression and respect for the law.

This video of his talk at TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is informative, entertaining and gives one a lot of food for thought. Here Lessig cites John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights and the “ASCAP cartel” in his argument for reviving creative culture.

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