Saturday, May 03, 2008

Once again for Lessig ! ! !

Institutional economists, such as Douglas North (Structure and Change in Economic History) have long argued that the protection of intellectual property was a necessary ingredient for the technology-driven economic growth of the post-industrial world.

North and others have been focusing on the importance of protecting private and intellectual property. Less attention has been given to the regulatory limits of such protection.

Over the years, copyright laws have expanded to include derivative work. It is not clear whether such expansion (to derivative work) is actually good for economic growth.

Once again, Stanford University Law professor Lawrence Lessig has written a wonderful book, this time on how new technologies affect our economic environment and our culture.

In this new book, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity, Lessig examines the changes made to the copyright law and how those changes can stifle creativity and an open culture.

His writing is meant to be accessible to all, including those who do not have any training in law and its methods. He takes care to bring out some of the legal subtleties involved in a very lucid and accessible prose.

Lessig is one of the few legal scholars who have really thought hard about how new communications technologies are changing our world. Reading his works would be useful for all who play a role in the creation of such technologies.

No comments: