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Blogger Book Club: The Unanswered Question

By Brian Sacawa

As Lessig explains in the preface to Remix, a central motivation for his crusade calling for the reform of current copyright law is a concern for his children and the fate of their generation. In the current digital climate, certain activities that have become completely natural to kids, including many creative processes made available by digital technology, are deemed criminal acts. What will be the outcome, Lessig wonders, in a society when a whole generation is raised as criminals?

By relieving copyright’s firm grip on portions of digital media and promoting a freer “Read/Write” culture–a return to the time of the amateur–Lessig hopes to save the children. Though I’m whole-heartedly in favor of the majority of what Lessig argues for, this raised a question which went largely unanswered: What will perfect access–getting whatever you want whenever you want it–do to culture? Patience, that once-prized virtue, may become extinct.

Comments

  1. What will perfect access–getting whatever you want whenever you want it–do to culture?
    This is similar to the theory that easy-access information technology substitutes informational knowledge for procedural knowledge. If someone has a problem to solve, he or she can quickly get the solution by searching Google (informational). There’s no need to figure out *how* to arrive at the solution (procedural).

  2. What will be the outcome, Lessig wonders, in a society when a whole generation is raised as criminals?

    I remember encountering a similar concern a few years ago from an apostate lawyer who felt that it’s simply bad public policy to have on the books an inconsistently enforced law that most people break.

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