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October 28, 2004

Hilary Rosen on Larry Lessig [7:57 am]

From dead tree Wired: How I Learned to Love Larry

I was warming to Lessig. He wasn’t defending theft; in fact, he was against it. That’s why he had helped found the nonprofit Creative Commons. If the essence of copyright law is to allow creators to have control, he argued, then there are ways to maintain ownership of copyrighted works and still make it possible for the average person to license the use of those works. After all, what’s wrong with a licensing system that makes music more accessible to more people?

Until that moment, I had dismissed Creative Commons as a sleight-of-hand maneuver, a way to mouth platitudes about the benefits of copyright while in fact joining ranks with the Everything for Free Foundation. But Lessig was making a persuasive case. This is going in the wrong direction, I remember thinking. Had I lost my edge?

Hardly. I’m still cynical about its origins, but I’ve come to love Creative Commons.

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