Lessig Reader

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The purpose of this page is to serve as starting point for random reviews, links to reviews, of Lessig's books. Please note that Anti-Lessig Reader contains the substantial criticism, and reserve this page for the rest (positive, serious discussions, fun, random links, in-progress analysis).

Free Culture


From GoodReads Review by Carly McKenna

Most of us assume that copyright law exists, first and foremost, to protect the intellectual property of creators. Free Culture, however, asks us to reconsider this assumption. Whose interests does copyright law serve, how has this changed throughout history and what implications does this have for our creative culture? These are the fundamental questions that this book takes up.

[...]Lessig eloquently argues that copyright law protects our existing media industries from potential competitors. Ultimately, copyright has come to serve the interests of powerful industries at the expense of our creative culture. This stifling of creativity, as a result of vested interests, is Lessig's fundamental concern- and it should be ours.[...]

This book [...] encouraged me to re-evaluate assumptions about intellectual property that I had taken for granted and accepted as fact.

From GoodReads Review by Martin Rose

I feel like if you had to pass a test in order to access and interact with the internet, this book would be required reading. It should be required reading. And I think the importance of this book is going to grow, in light of Aaron Swartz's suicide and the ugly events that precipitated it, and in light of the massive increase in copyright control being exerted today; as of this review, I got wind of a school whose board of education desired to copyright the intellectual property of all its students and teachers. I still do not know the outcome, if that decision was passed or if the effort of petitioners to stop it won the day. This issue will escalate in our lifetimes.

Snippets from more or less serious reviews

(Snippets from GoodReads and Google Books reviews. These may be just for fun. They made me smile!) -- Enyst (talk)

Copyright law! That's right, folks, I read a book about copyright law. And a fascinating book, at that. (melydia)

A great overview of where the topic of copyright law stands. Although the book is perhaps more cynical than it needs to be to make its point, it's still a great read if you're unfamiliar with the topic or if you just want to get angry all over again. (Louis)

I really got wrapped up in Lessig's ideas while reading this book, in fact getting so passionate about fighting our crappy copyright legislation that I made myself a nuisance in a librarian training session and picked a fight with my husband. So, Lessig, I'm behind you all the way, but your book is a homewrecker. (This review is Creative Commons licensed share-and-share-alike. Melissa)

Compelling because I already agree with him. I don't think I would be convinced if I were a record executive or "pro-business" republican. (Dustin)

2.4/5.0 I could steal a review, but then again that probably wouldn't be stealing. (Myles Osbourne)