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Lawrence Lessig on Copyright vs. Creative Commons

I’ve always been fascinated by Lawrence Lessig’s writings and opinions. As the saying goes, the guy has forgotten more about copyright, IP, etc., than I’ll ever know.

According to this cnet article, Lessig was hyping the Creative Commons license (CCL) during a talk at LinuxWorld this week. Based on the article, I’m assuming he’s recommending that existing copyright law be abandoned and everything should shift to the Creative Commons model. Why?

Anyone who wants to is free to use the CCL for their content. Those who prefer a CCL alternative, and choose to hang onto all their rights, are able to go the traditional copyright route. Won’t the marketplace ultimately determine which of these models works best? If there are loads of CCL resources available for free, for example, why pay for something else, regardless of what license it happens to use? I realize this debate isn’t about free vs. paid content, but this example helps illustrate my point.

I tend to think both models can and will continue to coexist quite nicely.

P.S. -- After checking the frontmatter of Lawrence's last couple of books, it looks like he and his publisher opted for the traditional copyright approach, not Creative Commons (see the frontmatter for Free Culture and The Future of Ideas.  It will be interesting to see if he switches to Creative Commons for the upcoming Code Version 2.0.


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