Free Culture

Free Culture

One may describe Lawrence Lessig as a cultural environmentalist. He was one of the most sincere and significant thinkers in America, focusing on the social aspect of creativity: how works of creativity build upon the past and how social norms and technological advancements may either support or undermine that development. Lessig has extensively explored the effects of the initial promise of the Internet in his two previous works, “Code” and “The Future of Ideas,” frequently falling to the destructive forces that that promise also unleashed. Now, in “Free Culture,” he skillfully makes the case that the ability to stifle innovation has never been so concentrated in the hands of a select few, the so-called Big Media, throughout the course of human history. And the potential for culture has never been greater in human history. Lawrence Lessig cautions that “Never have the stakes been so high, and never has the possibility of a sterile, more regulated culture been more evident” in this battle for cultural dominance. It is essential to our culture and, if we can create it, to our future.

Book Excerpt

The idea of “taking risks” was not exclusive to Disney or the arts. Disney always made sure that its feature films were a specific length, compressing the repetition of old stories in its early cartoons. Success served as a barometer for uniqueness. With Disney, the word was what gave its animation life. Later, it combined its strengths with the cartoons from the manufacturing line, with which it was in competition. However, this foundation was borrowed in order to construct these extensions. Disney had already worked along with others to reinvent the past.

This idea was sometimes subtly expressed. It was substantial at times. Consider the fables of the Brothers Grimm. You could think that these stories are upbeat, sappy tales appropriate for any child’s bedtime if you’re as naive as I previously was. The Grimm stories are quite meaningful, at least for us. Only a select few, most ambitious parents would dare to read this to their children.


Free Culture

by – Lawrence Lessig

  • PUBLISHED: 2004
  • PAGES: 306
  • DOWNLOADS: 11,091



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