Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig

I just watched Lawrence Lessig‘s speech, Free Culturefor a second time. The recording below was made at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention 2002 where Lessig delivered the keynote. It is a superb example of a well designed and delivered power point presentation. It is also very persuasive.

Throughout the presentation Lessig repeats the refrain:

  1. Creativity and

    innovation always

    builds on the past.
  2. The past always

    tries to control

    the creativity that

    builds on it.
  3. Free societies

    enable the future

    by limiting the past
  4. Ours is less and

    less a free


He concludes with the observation…

Extending copyright perpetually… is itself a form of theft – a theft of our common culture.

It worries me when a lawyer as smart as Lessig calls on people to defend long held freedoms. He strikes me as very level headed and clear thinking and when he claims there is something to be defended I believe he is probably right.

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