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The Internet and corporate control of creativity in many endeavors, brings some concern on copyright issues and freedom to create.

The following books discuss those problems. Both books are available to download. Even if you only skim through them as I did, you will gain some idea of how our creativity is being stifled.

The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind, by James Boyle.

Our music, our culture, our science, and our economic welfare all depend on a delicate balance between those ideas that are controlled and those that are free, between intellectual property and the public domain. In The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (Yale University Press) James Boyle introduces readers to the idea of the public domain and describes how it is being tragically eroded by our current copyright, patent, and trademark laws. In a series of fascinating case studies, Boyle explains why gene sequences, basic business ideas and pairs of musical notes are now owned, why jazz might be illegal if it were invented today, why most of 20th century culture is legally unavailable to us, and why today?s policies would probably have smothered the World Wide Web at its inception. Appropriately given its theme, the book will be sold commercially but also made available online for free under a Creative Commons license.

I haven't read the book yet, but given the above quote, I think it is an interesting subject.

The book can be downloaded for free at this site (Click on Download).

Also Lawrence Lessig's book Free Culture is definitely worth a look. It is also available under the Creative Commons license.

"All creative works?books, movies, records, software, and so on?are a compromise between what can be imagined and what is possible?technologically and legally. For more than two hundred years, laws in America have sought a balance between rewarding creativity and allowing the borrowing from which new creativity springs. The original term of copyright set by the Constitution in 1787 was seventeen years. Now it is closer to two hundred. Thomas Jefferson considered protecting the public against overly long monopolies on creative works an essential government role. What did he know that we?ve forgotten?

"Lawrence Lessig shows us that while new technologies always lead to new laws, never before have the big cultural monopolists used the fear created by new technologies, specifically the Internet, to shrink the public domain of ideas, even as the same corporations use the same technologies to control more and more what we can and can?t do with culture. As more and more culture becomes digitized, more and more becomes controllable, even as laws are being toughened at the behest of the big media groups. What?s at stake is our freedom?freedom to create, freedom to build, and ultimately, freedom to imagine."

See Lawrence Lessig's site for other books. Reviews welcome to be added here.

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There's an outstanding article on copyright and appropriation by Jonathan Lethem, The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism, on the Harper's Magazine website at http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/02/0081387. It takes an entirely new slant on this topic. It's a long article, definitely worth your time. If you haven't read it previously, be sure to read the entire article, from beginning to end. You'll be surprised. Maybe even amazed.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Thanks Colin,

Jonathan Lethem's article is both in effect, a summation and an extension of Professor Lessig's book, Free Culture.

It is exciting to see this line of thought being openly discussed.

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