Lessig, LawrenceThe Architecture of Innovation 2002
51Duke Law Journal 1783
  • We live in an era where the idea of property is taken for granted
  • Because we believe in the idea that the world is best managed when divided among private owners, we are changing the architecture of the internet to enable it to be divided and controlled and we are expanding and reinforcing control over content through IP law. We are remaking the internet to fit our ideology, we are the map makers who are remaking a city to fit the map.
  • Copyright has changed from a limited right, for a limited time, enforced against a limited group (“pirate publishers”); it is now a broad right, for a lengthy time, enforced against everyone. It has “exploded” to cover just about anything anyone does with a computer – largely because in 1909 the US statute shifted its terms to speak of “copies” and not printing, and in the technology age everything is deemed a “copy”
  • David Lange has called this “unconscionable overreaching”
  • The idea that the free might matter to creativity has become so invisible that when creativity is enclosed, we are convinced this is progress. “So enamored we are with the invisible hand, so convinced we are of the genius of property, so blind we are to what makes innovation possible, that we allow the undoing of the most significant chance for something different we have ever seen.”
  • “We defend the ideal of property, and then confuse its limits, and extend its reach to a space none of our founders would ever have imagined. We move through this moment of an architecture of innovation, to once again an architecture of control. Without noticing; without resistance; without a question.”

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