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Keep Culture Safe – Don’t You Dare to Touch It!

by Wolfgang Senges on March 24, 2009 in Art & Content, Copyright

Cinema Closed

© Chris Galbraith |

On another note, Michael Masnick had me checking out Richard Smith’s article on the issue of extending copyright. Richard Smith from London’s Guardian features the book “Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind” (free download under CreativeCommons license) by James Boyle, professor of law at Duke Law School, North Carolina. The books’ core statement is that “the world has made a colossal cultural mistake that shames our generation”. No question you wonder which mistake Boyle is talking about. It is the USA’s recent decision to extend copyright “to life plus 70 years”. Many artists may be puzzled about this… why moan? Hey, that’s great! Our property finally gets protected. Cost is: Our culture gets locked. By backdating the law to 1923 “virtually all 20th century cultural objects are locked up”.

Culture needs to develop upon the culture before. It is the same point Lawrence Lessig made when writing “Free Culture” (free download under CreativeCommons license). Now, Europe is about to decide the same way.

This post is also available in: German

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