Lawrence Lessig Quotes

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Lawrence Lessig

Lessig in 2015
Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University
Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
Incumbent
Assumed office
2005
Preceded by redrawn district
Personal details
Born Lester Lawrence Lessig III
(1961-06-03) June 3, 1961 (age 55)
Rapid City, South Dakota
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bettina Neuefeind (m. 1999)
Children 3
Education B.S. in management
B.A. in economics
M.A. in philosophy
J.D.
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Trinity College, Cambridge
Yale University
Website www.lessig.org

If the only way a library can offer an Internet exhibit about the New Deal is to hire a lawyer to clear the rights to every image and sound, then the copyright system is burdening creativity in a way that has never been seen before because there are no formalities.
Lawrence Lessig
We have a massive system to regulate creativity. A massive system of lawyers regulating creativity as copyright law has expanded in unrecognizable forms, going from a regulation of publishing to a regulation of copying.
Lawrence Lessig
A free culture is not a culture without property; it is not a culture in which artists don't get paid.
Lawrence Lessig
Now that copyrights can be just about a century long, the inability to know what is protected and what is not protected becomes a huge and obvious burden on the creative process.
Lawrence Lessig
Power runs with ideas that only the crazy would draw into doubt.
Of all the creative work produced by humans anywhere, a tiny fraction has continuing commercial value. For that tiny fraction, the copyright is a crucially important legal device.
Lawrence Lessig
As we've seen, our constitutional system requires limits on copyright as a way to assure that copyright holders do not too heavily influence the development and distribution of our culture.
Lawrence Lessig
Copyrights have not expired, and will not expire, so long as Congress is free to be bought to extend them again.
Lawrence Lessig
Believing we know what makes prosperity work, ignoring the nature of the actual prosperity all around, we change the rules within which the Internet revolution lives. These changes will end the revolution.
Lawrence Lessig
Americans have been selling this view around the world: that progress comes from perfect protection of intellectual property.
Lawrence Lessig
By the time Apple's Macintosh operating system finally falls into the public domain, there will be no machine that could possibly run it. The term of copyright for software is effectively unlimited.
Lawrence Lessig
Notwithstanding the fact that the most innovative and progressive space we've seen – the Internet – has been the place where intellectual property has been least respected. You know, facts don't get in the way of this ideology.
Lawrence Lessig
When government disappears, it's not as if paradise will take its place. When governments are gone, other interests will take their place.
Lawrence Lessig
Remember the refrain: We always build on the past; the past always tries to stop us. Freedom is about stopping the past, but we have lost that ideal.
Lawrence Lessig
The danger in media concentration comes not from the concentration, but instead from the feudalism that this concentration, tied to the change in copyright, produces.
Lawrence Lessig
Monopoly controls have been the exception in free societies; they have been the rule in closed societies.
Lawrence Lessig
A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about as by ideas that are taken for granted. The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense.
Lawrence Lessig
The real harm of term extension comes not from these famous works. The real harm is to the works that are not famous, not commercially exploited, and no longer available as a result.
Lawrence Lessig
In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt.
Lawrence Lessig
If the Internet teaches us anything, it is that great value comes from leaving core resources in a commons, where they're free for people to build upon as they see fit.
Lawrence Lessig
Before the monopoly should be permitted, there must be reason to believe it will do some good – for society, and not just for monopoly holders.
Lawrence Lessig
So uncritically do we accept the idea of property in culture that we don't even question when the control of that property removes our ability, as a people, to develop our culture democratically.
Lawrence Lessig
A culture without property, or in which creators can't get paid, is anarchy, not freedom.
Lawrence Lessig
All around us are the consequences of the most significant technological, and hence cultural, revolution in generations.
Lawrence Lessig
A free culture has been our past, but it will only be our future if we change the path we are on right now.
Lawrence Lessig
While the creative works from the 16th century can still be accessed and used by others, the data in some software programs from the 1990s is already inaccessible.
Lawrence Lessig
This does not mean that every copyright must prove its value initially. That would be a far too cumbersome system of control. But it does mean that every system or category of copyright or patent should prove its worth.
Lawrence Lessig