Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig

“What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring of creativity based on creativity. This is not a certain future, however. Peer-to-peer is on the verge of being effectively outlawed. Continuation of the current copyright regime would mean that vast quantities of creative content will be forever locked away from remix artists.

Lessig is joining the battle for the remix future on several fronts: the court battle on the legality of P2P; another legal battle to free “orphan works” from their copyright gulag; rolling out new Creative Commons “sampling licenses” with the help of big-name artists like David Byrne; and supporting the “free culture” work of Brazilian musician and culture minister Gilberto Gil toward a society based on freedom of culture.”

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school’s Center for Internet and Society. Lessig was named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries, for arguing “against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online.” He is the author of The Future of Ideas and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. He also chairs the Creative Commons project. Professor Lessig is a boardmember of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a Board Member of the Center for the Public Domain, and a Commission Member of the Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community at the University of Pennsylvania.

Here’s an excerpt from the recent interview with Robert Koman of O’Reilly Net

Now I don’t personally support the idea of people using peer-to-peer technologies to commit acts that are considered illegal. So I’m not interested in peer-to-peer surviving for the purpose of enabling copyright infringement. But I am really eager that the technology be allowed to exist so that the many legal uses that it will encourage–including uses that will support the remix culture–will be able to take off.

Read the rest of the interview at