Who Owns the Culture??

Dsc00270_8 Fred and I went to see an intriguing event called "Who Owns the Culture" at the New York Public Library last night.  It was incredibly thought provoking.  Fred wrote a great post on this event too. 

Larry Lessig,  a brilliant left wing liberal who totally gets culture, future, Internet, etc. was brilliant to listen to.  Obviously, if you have read my blog before, my kind of guy. 

Steven Johnson, was charming, funny and a really good moderator.  But the best was Jeff Tweedy.  You could see at the beginning he wasn’t so sure he was comfortable but he quickly settled in.  He is smart, witty and incredibly humble for a rock and roll Dsc00273_1success story.   To hear all of them talk about artists freedom vs. laws made you really wonder if our legal system is in touch with the year 2005. 

Larry Lessig pointed out that we are raising an entire generation of "criminals".  Our kids create cutting edge stuff with the technology out there, they down load songs off the Internet, they use other artists work and incorporate into theirs.  What they are doing is illegal but are we suppressing their creativity because it is illegal?  No, they will continue to be creative illegally but perhaps grow up thinking the laws are stupid and just thumb their nose at the Legal system.  How do we change that? 

Historically artists create being influenced by other artists.  If is if the system is trying to create a void instead of filling a void.  You can’t change the way people behave (such as downloading music) but you can create intelligent laws around the way people behave instead of just saying no.  That has not happened.   

Paul Holdengrabber, put the event on last night, and by the way, has only been at the Library for 150 days.  Pretty impressive event for only 150 days.  He is bringing more and more events like this to the Library to get the Library into the year 2005.  My hats off to Paul for an excellent evening.  I will definitely be back for more. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. tommy

    Thanks for raising the issue of artist’s rights and the developing crimminal culture surounding the theft of art. Not many speak about this part of the problem. All artists borrow ideas from each other. Copies for non-commercial use and reference are OK. But theft to EVADE payment is still theft. These ideas are simpllified versions of reality, and i realize that this issue can have huge complications and ambiguities, But we need to address it in a large way or we will discourage the creative community that makes art and content . I think we can solve this where everyone benefits, with comprimise, for all. But we had better do it fast for we are in way too deep already.