Weekly Create – Week 8

Upon viewing Larry Lessig’s TED Talk on Laws that Choke Creativity, I had already browsed some of Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s “Sharing and Giving it Away” on her Planned Obsolescence Blog, and found Lessig’s criticisms of contemporary copyright law and it’s flawed architecture, which does not keep up with usage, were similar to Fitzpatrick’s in that each advocated for new technologies to be developed in order to enable said digital shift. In his TED Talk, Lessig bemoans an “age of prohibitions” as we “live life against the law”, shifting from “passive to ‘pirates'”. He further criticizes our democracy for engendering such a “corrosive, corrupting” dichotomy.  Lessig hypothesizes that user-generated content spawned from digital technologies would allow for revival of ‘read/write’ (RW) culture that was lost at the turn of the century in a cultural shift that manifested itself as the ‘read only’ (RO) culture of the twentieth century going forward.

At the heart of each piece is the emerging culture surrounding open-access. As Fitzpatrick notes, “Making such a transition from a focus on content-for-sale to a focus on services and tools cannot be made without similar generosity on the part of our foundations and our federal granting agencies”. Ultimately, Lessig leaves off his TED Talk imploring for such a transition to materialize more cohesively.

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