Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture: Available in Text or Audio (For Free)

Lawrence Lessig, a law pro­fes­sor at Stan­ford, has made a big name for him­self by devel­op­ing a sus­tained cri­tique of how Con­gress, at the behest of cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca, has pro­gres­sive­ly sti­fled cul­tur­al and sci­en­tif­ic inno­va­tion by extend­ing the dura­tion and scope of copy­right laws. Out of this cri­tique, Lessig found­ed Cre­ative Com­mons, a non-prof­it which issues copy­right licens­es that allow authors and inno­va­tors to retain some con­trol over their works yet “ded­i­cate [them] to the pub­lic domain” where they will con­tribute to the flour­ish­ing of new cul­ture. And, even bet­ter, Lessig has pub­lished some of his own impor­tant works under these licens­es, includ­ing Free Cul­ture: How Big Media Uses Tech­nol­o­gy and the Law to Lock Down Cul­ture and Con­trol Cre­ativ­i­ty. What this means is that you can freely access the book in a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent for­mats (click here to pick), even an audio book ver­sion. This makes it utter­ly easy to find out what Lessig’s ground­break­ing argu­ments are all about. It gets his think­ing out there, into the com­mons, and vig­or­ous­ly shapes the debate on copy­right law. It brings about a free flow of ideas, the very thing that Lessig cares most about.

Read­ers may also want to check out Lessig’s pop­u­lar blog as well as his nov­el attempt to use a pub­lic wiki to update his book, Code and Oth­er Laws of Cyber­space.

Final­ly, you may also want to check out the recent work pub­lished by Lessig’s peer at Yale, Yochai Ben­kler: The Wealth of Net­works. Though released in hard­cov­er, it is also freely avail­able in wiki and PDF for­mats.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.