One of the book covers“For more than a decade, we’ve been waging a war on our kids in the name of the 20th Century’s model of “copyright law.” In this, the last of his books about copyright, Lawrence Lessig maps both a way back to the 19th century, and to the promise of the 21st. Our past teaches us about the value in “remix.” We need to relearn the lesson. The present teaches us about the potential in a new “hybrid economy” — one where commercial entities leverage value from sharing economies. That future will benefit both commerce and community. If the lawyers could get out of the way, it could be a future we could celebrate.”

This is the introduction to Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy by Lawrence Lessig from the official website. It is a book, nearly 300 pages long, that I have been asked to read at my own pace. It discusses and provides solutions to the problem revolving around musical piracy. Taking time to sit down as read it, I managed to look at the introduction and beginning chapter. The first part describes innocent situations when people have been affected by copyright claims because they have provided music unjustly. The very first story is a mother’s YouTube video of their one year-old child dancing to Let’s Go Crazy by (the artist formerly known as) Prince. The video survived for a few months before Universal Records filed against the illegal use of their music in a video. YouTube notified the mother before removing it from their servers.

The video should never have been seen again on the Internet, but here it is. You can see that it is a precious moment for the mother and her relatives who wanted to watch it. The quality and length of the audio would never provoke somebody to listen to it instead of buying the actual record. Because of this, the mother went against Universal Records to combat their lawsuit. This is only one of many cases when people have fought back against people who have deleted their videos because of piracy. However, more than 99% of people allow deletion without consideration to get help. Lessig says that it is one thing for record companies to think this is normal, but the public also thinks it is okay to have videos deleted because of improper use of music.

The following chapters will delve into the past, present and future of piracy and what should be done to stop it. Perhaps it is a good idea to continue the trend that is being used today, but Lawrence Lessig has his own solution. Find out next time, when I have read more. Oh, and I do like it so far. The writer really knows how to make you feel welcome when reading his book, but also speaks intelligently about piracy. For now, the issues that are clearly being discussed are intellectual property (of the music) and control (of piracy). When I see complete, high-quality audio of a song or clip of a film being played on YouTube, I do not feel bad for the people who spent so much time and money creating it. But when an amateur is sharing something for free that is taken by somebody else for their credit, it makes me mad. I suppose I don’t like it when people are being exploited for fame because it is so easy to do so.

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