Koman, Richard.  “Remixing Culture:  An Interview with Lawrence Lessig.”  24 Feb. 2005.         O’Reilly Policy Development Center.  29 Apr. 2010.              <>.

  • Remix culture is made possible by “P2P, inexpensive digital input devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and reasonably affordable bandwidth.”
  • Lessig notes that the Grokster case is about whether a company/subject who creates a technology is responsible for how that technology is used.
  • Working from the Sony Betamax case, Lessig notes how the Supreme Court has stated that “as long as a technology is capable of substantial noninfringing uses, the technology itself would not be considered an infringement”
  • Creative Commons is meant to license content for reuse to encourage creativity – creativity builds on creativity.
  • Creative Commons also understands licensing at the creator level – not the corporate owner or distributor.
  • Lessig questions whether “writing” is allowed in our culture.  He reconceptualizes writing to include composing in other modes – other literacies – technologically.  This shifts the notion of “writing” to mean remixing.  Unfortunately, current IP regimes don’t allow this to happen very often.
  • Lessig advocates for an “opt-in” system of copyright instead of automatic copyright.  This will allow individuals to decide whether they actually want to copyright their material.
  • Fair use has been defined in terms of copying for personal reuse – not for reuse by the broader remix culture.  This is the problem according to Lessig.
  • Gilberto Gil and the free culture movement of Brazil are discussed at length.  Usually this discussion involves open-source software.
  • Lessig wants to make sure that this debate extends beyond the “commercial” toward a better view of balance between proprietary and non-proprietary IP.
  • Lessig ends by noting that Gil and himself want developing nations to be independent farmers, not sharecroppers.

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