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:
- Creativity and innovation always builds on the past.
- The past always tries to control the creativity that builds on it.
- Free societies enable the future by limiting the past
- Ours is less and less a free society.
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.