Last night, Lawrence Lessig, a close ally and former board member of EFF, chatted with Stephen Colbert about Lessig’s new book Remix, and how America’s broken copyright laws are criminalizing our kids:
Colbert: You say our copyright laws are turning our kids into criminals, because they’re keeping kids from doing all the remixing they want of pre-existing art and copywritten material, right?
Isn’t that like saying that arson laws are turning our kids into pyromaniacs?? They’re breaking the law! You can’t just throw the law out the window!
Lessig: “Totally failed war.” Is that familiar to you?
Colbert: No. No. You’re saying we need a surge?
Lessig: We tried the surge. For ten years we’ve been waging this war. Artists have not gotten any more money, businesses have not gotten any more profit, and our kids have been turned into criminals.
The whole thing is great - watch it!
Colbert also makes his personal stance on remix culture clear:
Colbert: Nobody should take my work and do anything with it that is not approved! Ever ever never ever take anything of mine and remix it! For instance, I will be very angry and possibly litigious if anyone out there takes this interview right here and remixes it with some great dance beat. And it starts showing up in clubs across America.
Lessig: Actually, we’re joint copyright owners. I’m ok with that. You can totally remix this. I’m fine with that.
And Mobile will help break this old copyright system. By recording, sharing and remixing everything you want… You will add value.