Did Mickey Mouse kill creative freedom for the digital age?

6 01 2010

As a digital native, I often get frustrated with today’s copyright laws regarding to the digital age. Simply put, it can be a big pain in the derriere–and we all have Walt Disney to thank for that (VIDEO:Copyright 101 via Disney illustration).

Stanford professor Larry Lessig discusses how today’s copyright law is killing creativity for today’s digital creative society.

He also mentions how the most important thing the Internet is doing is allowing digital technology to create a read-write web culture through user-generated content (watch below).

The examples Lessig shared in the second half of his presentation aren’t the best in illustrating the impact user-generated content can have on a community. But a point he does effectively convey is the difference between copyright infringement and recreating (it doesn’t take long to realize he is for deregulation of copyright laws).

Obviously, current US copyright laws often go against today’s digital culture.

One word to describe the very nature of online is connection.

More than the technical aspect of one modem connecting to another modem to access information, the very culture of today’s digital age is to connect with others.

And with this connection comes another culture of the Web: sharing.

But with today’s copyright laws, the second word is troublesome for many.

YouTube hosts millions and millions of videos–many (if not the majority) containing some kind of copyright infringements.

Yes, today’s sluggish legislation on copyright in the digital age is almost non-existent, if not vague.

Lessig thinks one solution to the problem is through private, open-market enterprise. I partially agree. The law does need to catch up.

It’s like the prohibition years: it was illegal to buy, sell and consume alcohol, but people did it anyway. The rest is history.

Related Reading

How to Destroy the Book part one

How to Destroy the Book part two

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