Sunday, May 03, 2009

Lawrence Lessig's Remix now available ccFree online

Lawrence Lessig has announced that his latest book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy is now available for free download. We have it in ardcopy and it's a highly recommended read!

Not only is the book itself now free for download, but the publisher--Bloomsbury Academic--has just launched a competition to remix Lessig's remix. According to the competition rules, your remix take the following forms:

And "No entry may be submitted that violates any copyright law" (via BoingBoing).

The competition ends on 31st May (U.S. time), and submissions seem to need to be submitted via Facebook.

We have actually remixed Lessig's work--with his consent--in a chapter in our edited collection, Digital Literacies (Chapter 12 - Digital Literacy and the Law: Remixing Elements of Lawrence Lessig’s Ideal of “Free Culture”. We took Lessig’s 2004 book, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity and two variants of his renowned illustrated oral address on the themes of copyright, free culture and Creative Commons that has been presented many times and in many places around the world, and mixed them together. Here's how we went about it (pp. 280-281):

[This chapter in Digital Literacies] is not “our own work” in any significant sense. It represents our particular selections, editing and re-voicing of excerpts from an extant corpus of written and oral texts authored by Lessig in accordance with our choice of argument structure. To produce this chapter we have done the following things.

First, we generated verbatim transcriptions of recordings of the two talks, so far as it was possible to “catch every word.” We spent a lot of time reading these transcripts, locating online as many as possible of the artifacts referred to in the talks, and consulting these artifacts.

Second, we then excerpted and arranged stretches of the transcriptions in accordance with a scope and sequence of argument we thought would meet our purposes for this book and, especially, that would provide a useful introduction to readers who may not previously have considered the kinds of issues Lessig addresses academically, professionally and politically. We have stayed as close as possible to the wordings in the transcriptions (from Lessig 2005a, 2005b) for each passage selected. Where appropriate, we have revoiced the text or reported content in the transcripts by paraphrasing. We have moved between the talks, using one talk to render a particular idea and the other talk to render another, according to our personal preferences. To a very large extent the words presented here from the talks correspond directly to passages from our verbatim transcriptions.

Third, we consulted Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity (pdf) and identified passages we thought would best augment content in the talks for our purposes here.

Fourth, we then excerpted (with full citation) and paraphrased passages from pages 7–8, 36–38, and 140–144 of Free Culture and integrated this content into our argument structure.

Fifth, we have inserted ourselves more directly into the text in the Conclusion,where we draw briefly on some current themes in educational theory and research to distinguish a “content transmission” view of education from an ideal of “expert performance” in a range of social roles and identities. The cultural transmission model raises the stakes for “ownership of intellectual property” and, to that extent, goes hand in glove with intensified copyright legislation and use of “digital rights management” technologies—to what Lessig (2005b) calls a permission culture. Th e expert performance model presupposes keeping culture as free as possible, so that learners have maximum scope to become experts through acts of tinkering and remixing.

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