I must admit, I’ve been a slacker. I haven’t read Lawrence Lessig’s book Free Culture, and since you can actually get free copies of the book off the web, there really is no excuse. Indeed, today I decided to download the audiobook version to my iPod before I hit the treadmill to exercise. The audiobook is actually very cool: because the book itself is licensed under a liberal Creative Commons license, several people each read a chapter of the book and they were all merged together to produce a 9.7 hour long version of the book. Good stuff.
It really is a great book. I find Lessig to be very accessible, and he presents his thesis in a very straightforward manner. He believes (as do I) that increasingly the manner in which we create and extend our collective culture is falling under government regulation. The issue isn’t as simple as whether you are pro-piracy or pro-property rights: Lessig himself believes in intellectual property. He believes however that legislation of heretofore unregulated aspects of our culture are increasingly falling under regulatory control, and that this regulation stifles innovation, creativity, and even democracy itself.
It’s good stuff, and there is no reason not to read it.