Book Review – Remix by Lawrence Lessig

Posted on March 29, 2012 by Patrick under Professional Issues

Yesterday I presented my book review for our Professional Issues class. The book I chose was ‘Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy’ by Lawrence Lessig. Throughout the book, Lessig outlines his views about copyright law and its relationship to the amateur culture of ‘remixing’. A remix is a practice whereby a person can take a song or a video and manipulate it in some way to create new meaning. Lessig argues that it is inappropriate to subject this amateur creativity to the same laws that govern the commercial sphere. A remix, in his view, is not the same as copying. Instead “sounds are being used like paint on a palette, but all the paint has been scratched off of other paintings.” Remixing is framed in the context of a copyright war that Lessig believes does nothing but make criminals of the younger generation. He argues in favor of what he calls a ‘Read-Write’ culture in which participants “create art as readily as they consume it.”