Currently rereading: Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, the chief founder of the Creative Commons project
This book was the reason why I made my music free to everyone who wants it. I use a Creative Commons license so people can share it freely, remix it, use it for their videos as long as they don’t use my work for commercial purposes, mention me and share their derivative works with the same license for the next person to use. I’ve met some wonderful people who built upon my work and used it for their projects and I’m very thankful for that. I find it way more collaborative and exciting than the “all rights reserved”, which means that even in the absence of a clear statement of ownership, people who want to build on or play with a creation have to expect legal blowback.
Like Stallman’s arguments for free software, an argument for free culture stumbles on a confusion that is hard to avoid, and even harder to understand. A free culture is not a culture without property; it is not a culture in which artists don’t get paid. A culture without property, or in which creators can’t get paid, is anarchy, not freedom. Anarchy is not what I advance here.
Instead, the free culture that I defend in this book is a balance between anarchy and control. A free culture, like a free market, is filled with property. It is filled with rules of property and contract that get enforced by the state. But just as a free market is perverted if its property becomes feudal, so too can a free culture be queered by extremism in the property rights that define it. That is what I fear about our culture today.It is against that extremism that this book is written.
Download/Read the book here: http://www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf
Watch the Flash presentation: http://randomfoo.net/oscon/2002/lessig/free.html