Lessig’s arguments are familiar to me by now (as they will be to many readers) – what is striking and important about his work is that he buttresses these arguments about the rather dry topic of copyright law with well-chosen and interesting examples.
He suggests that copyright owners are no more entitled to use digital right management to hold back file sharing than “the Causbys had to hold back flight”:http://blogspace.com/freeculture/Introduction because property rights extend to the sky.
He points out that in the battle between the capabilities of new technology and law that would mis-regulate it, the common sense does not always win (citing the sad case of Edwin Howard Armstrong whose invention of FM radio was stifled by RCA in America).
And he slyly uses the example of “Disney’s own work”:http://blogspace.com/freeculture/Creators which was very often derived from or inspired by the work of others to suggest that it is wrong for corporations (like Disney) to prevent others from producing derivative works based on their own characters.
And that’s just what I’ve come across in the introduction and first chapter. Hopefully the accessibility and clear logic of this work will ensure it gets read more widely than just among us Internet policy wonks.
See my “earlier post”:http://blog.org/archives/cat_copyright.html#001080 for information about how to download or listen to the book – you may also wish to simply “buy it from Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594200068/lessigorg-20?creative=125581&camp=2321&link_code=as1 or “read it online”:http://blogspace.com/freeculture/Main_Page in an annotatable wiki form.