QCQ 6 – Lessig

Quotation: “… the freedom to take and use freely is built into our assumptions about how we create what we write” (Lessig 157).

Comment: Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig has been advocating reduced legal restrictions on copyright and trademark for years now. Lessig begins the article by quoting American composer John Philip Sousa. Sousa argued against music players as he felt that they would ruin artistic development in the young since they would not sing the songs of the day but rather listen to these “infernal machines” and just become consumers of music. Lessig feels that throughout much of the 20th century Sousa was right, but that with the arrival of the digital age, the new technologies have made way for more amateurs to become creators. While the youth are busy remixing the culture, the copyright law in America has not adapted to these new creations and has turned these amateurs into criminals. Lessig argues for new sorts of copyright that allow for simple ways to allow for this new creative expression. As time continues, more of the youth use what they see on the internet to create new forms of media. Lessig through this quote is expressing how people assume what they see on the internet can be molded and or used to create something new. This quote suggests that there shouldn’t be consequences to using what we see to further create, but rather embrace copywriting as a form of paying tribute to the amazing things already created.

Question: Is using others work to create a new form of media seen as plagiarism or as a compliment to the creator?