Thursday, December 10, 2009

FREE Culture

This week we watched a video discussing the idea of free culture. This idea has stemmed from the book called "Free Culture" by a lawyer named Lawrence Lessig, which has brought upon a movement known as the free culture movement. This was an interesting video because I have never heard of this movement or idea. I found this argument intriguing and it made me think about what my thoughts where on copyright laws and the copyleft idea. Even now I am still stuck between which side I would agree with and I keep coming to the same thought that copyright laws are necessary for people to earn a living as artists and writers rely on the copyright laws to support themselves and their family. At the same time I feel like our copyright laws are way to extensive.

In order for my argument to work we need to meet somewhere in the middle. We all know artists and writers need copyright laws, but when are they to extensive to the point where it slows down or brings cultural innovation and advancement to a halt. Right now I think copyright laws and patent laws have slowed down our advancements in arts, culture, and technology. Now, I tend to lump copyright laws and patent laws together because either way someone created something and by law no one else should be able to make money off of it besides that person who created it. But, that is not what we see today. Today, we create something, lets say a song, and not only do the artists make millions of dollars, but so do the record companies, the endorsers, and everyone else involved. This is alright if they had something to do with the production, but it is not alright if 70 years later the musician is dead and the other people are still making money off it while others can not modify or advance the song.

A quote I found from Lessig's book states, "There has never been a time in history when more of our 'culture' was as 'owned' as it is now. And yet there has never been a time when the concentration of power to control the uses of culture has been as unquestioningly accepted as it is now." (pg. 28) This really opened my eyes to this issue and I began to ask myself a lot of questions. One question is when will the people that vote realize the corruption behind copyright laws? There is no way we can completely get rid of copyright laws, but will we see a change in the future? If we do see a change I think it will lessen the length in which one has the right to a piece of work. If this does happen I think it could advance our culture and technology exponentially.

1 comment:

  1. I think the only way we will see a change is if the patents sleep with a famous person lol, or with the elite people who make up the 1% of our population start to lose money. It takes a revolution to battle corruption, so I think it is going to take more than votes.