Essay on Lawrence Lessig

2664 WordsMay 10, 201311 Pages
In 2012, copyright laws and the creative industries they protect, have come face to face with the Internet in an unprecedented struggle for power. According to some, this is having a dramatic effect on our culture (Lessig 2001; Lessig 2004). Whilst most of the attention has been focused towards the United States and the two controlling industry bodies, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the consequences for stricter copyright laws, or new measures to protect them will have international effects (Barrett 2012; Horten 2012; Lessig 2001; Lessig 2004). This essay seeks to discuss the concepts raised in the accompanying poster whilst also examining both the past and present…show more content…
ACTA represents an international framework for legislating Internet users and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in order to protect against copyright infringements (Barrett 2012; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2012; Horten 2012). SOPA and PIPA were United States specific acts aimed at providing unprecedented powers to copyright holders to shut down both domestic and foreign websites, financial services and advertising services which may be connected to copyright infringements (Barrett 2012; Horten 2012). On the surface these measures pose as an attempt to stop copyright infringements, however their influence runs far beyond that of just copyright. These measures threatened the very fabric of the Internet that Lessig (2001; 2004) sees as vital to the cultural commons; it is an attempt to “reintroduce the barriers that the internet originally removed”(Lessig 2001: 16) SOPA and PIPA would have substantially impacted the rights of allegedly infringing international corporations, individuals or ISPs by enacting laws that could shut them down before being proven guilty (Barrett 2012). These measures could have also impacted claims of fair use, criminalized many innocent people and may have also influenced free speech. With these effects considered, the cultural commons of the Internet could be left closed
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