Blog #12 Lessig and RIP

Besides Lessig himself actually being in the film, Rip, and talking about a lot of the things he talks about in his book, there are a few other things that the particular section of reading and the movie had in common.

The film talks a lot about intellectual property and the fact that intellectual property is the property of someones mind. If someone “steals” that intellectual property it is against the law, and if stolen the thief needs to pay thousands and thousands of dollars. This crazy belief is what Lessig thinks is keeping our culture so locked up and unable to fully flourish as it should. “Indeed our intellectual biases about concepts like property lead us almost naturally to believe that the best strategy to produce wealth is to maximize control over the assets we have, including (and most important here) intellectual property assets”(228).

A quote from the movie that really stood out to me was when someone (not really sure who) was saying “are we supposed to say certain things are off limits to make art?” This was powerful because obviously the answer is no, certain things shouldn’t be off limits but that is essentially what has happened with copyright laws. People are being sued for things like putting videos of their baby dancing on the internet. However what Lessig explains to sum up the chapter is technology can be used for good, and obviously we shouldn’t be limited to what we can share with the world, especially if sharing these things can lead to real, honest wealth. “Technology had now given us the chance to tap human effort for extraordinary good. Subtle and insightful entrepreneurs could transform that opportunity into real wealth” (252).

The third connection I made to the movie and the book was Lessig’s thorough discussion of a hybrid economy which combines the sharing and commercial economies into one. In the past this was almost unheard of, however Lessig argues this hybrid economy is the answer to building a more free society. Which brings me to one of the main points of the movie, “To build free societies, you must limit the control of the past.” In this day in age technology is changing culture rapidly, old business models and ways of doing things in the commercial world are needing to change to try to keep up. We are needing new and creative ideas to keep businesses running rather than the same business model that has been used for the past 50 years. That is why limiting the control of the past is very important, and embracing new ways that will eventually make everyone more successful in the long run. If we limit the control of the past (when commercial and sharing have been separated) we can make room for this hybrid economy that can help community and commerce at the same time.

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4 Responses to Blog #12 Lessig and RIP

  1. Yeah, it is kind of interesting making connection between a book and a movie that feature the author. Having Lessig actually be in the film tempted me to do the lazy thing and rely on those bits for connections, but I think I mostly resisted that urge.

    I like the connection you made regarding the opportunities that can be found in a more open society. Like the end of the film discussed; it’s interesting to think of what we might accomplish if we were more willing/able to share our creativity and effort with each other rather than hoarding ideas for profit. And of course it’s made worse by the fact that so many “ideas” are controlled by so few (huge companies).

  2. Kristin Arola says:

    As Angela mentions, it’s much easier to make connections to the entire book than to this week’s readings, but you did a good job trying to connect the movie up to issues of the economy. For me, the clearest connections is what Angela mentions above, “it’s interesting to think of what we might accomplish if we were more willing/able to share our creativity and effort with each other rather than hoarding ideas for profit.”

  3. Simon Christensen says:

    I think you did a great job. I agree with Angela, I found myself doing the same thing. whenever i saw lessig on the screen i scrambled to make a connection, but really there a numerous connections that could be made from earlier on in the book. There are so many smart individuals trying to challenge and change current problem like copyright but the sad reality is that change doesnt seem as near or will probably be as drastic as we all hope.

  4. Alicia Carlson says:

    “To build free societies, you must limit the control of the past.”
    Not hoarding ideas will promote this, but it is difficult for corporations to get off the money tit. There is a fine line between idea sharing and profit and who should get what. I think if people were to open control completely there would be a difficulty in identifying who made what first. Already there are songs like, ‘harder, better, faster, stronger’ that have been almost completely ripped from originals, and it is hard to know if they got kickbacks from it. Online I think remixes just promote already known songs, as long as the artist identifies the influences. Good post.

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