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Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

12-2004

Publication Citation

57 Federal Communications Law Journal 161 (2004)

Abstract

Book Review: Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity, Lawrence Lessig, New York: Penguin Press, 2004, 306 pages.

A review of Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity by Lawrence Lessig. Lawrence Lessig is a frequent commentator and prolific writer on media and communications topics. His body of work touches copyright issues, radio spectrum policy, media ownership issues, and legal ownership and control of the physical platforms that deliver broadband content. In this 2004 publication, he focuses on copyright policy. Lessig's analysis is often more complex and interdisciplinary than most practitioners', yet manages to focus on the everyday effects of policy choices on everyday people. Thus, he addresses the recording industry's attempts to stamp out music piracy from a perspective of what will best work for the millions of Americans downloading music, instead of what approach most faithfully adheres to the traditions of copyright law or what approach best clings to misapplied notions of property or piracy. Lessig concludes the book with proposals to rebalance copyright law, keeping in mind both the interests of the artist and the interests of a free culture.

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