SEOUL, Korea (AVING Special Report on 'SDF 2006') -- <Visual News>
Lunch & Special Speech: “Read Only Culture vs. Read & Write Culture”, Lawrence Lessig
In 1906, John Philip Sousa traveled to Washington to talk about “talking machines.” He was not a fan of the talking machine. He called these machines Infernal machines. Read and Write Culture – where people participate. Sousa was worried that these machines would take people out of the picture. Read Only Culture – opposite of Read and Write Culture is a top-down culture. Consumption is the key and not creation.
21st century is reviving this culture. This is what internet has done. In Read Only Culture, we buy, consume anything, anywhere. For example, to download music into iPod, it only costs .99 cents. In Read and Write Culture, not just consuming is important but to create and to share that creativity is important. For example, anime+music, which is taking Japanese animation clips and creating a whole new music video on their own, is popular. It is mainly Americans who do this and share their re-creativity. Another example is the Beatles’s white album, which triggered black and grey albums. Another favorite example is Politics + Music lyrics).
The techniques of digital creativity have been democratized. Anyone connected to a computer have the tools of creativity, which are also created to be tools of speech. An important question is why we should care about the emergence of this new speech.
Money: Internet that enables read write to function is more profitable rather than those that support only read only…. It’s more vibrant and has huge potential. Copyright: Too much of it will smother the internet as it over burdens the world because it requires permission…..and permission is difficult to get and is almost never given. Copyright is a particular architecture for the digital age but we need to change that architecture. In doing so, we need the industry to participate. There are Pros vs. cons. to this view.
In 1839, The Daguerreotype was developed and it was very expensive to run. In 1888 George Eastman…. Developed Kodak and the market took off. There was a question in the Courts asking was there permission to capture someone else’s image? It was significant at that time. The Courts answered no. Images were considered free. And b/c of that decision the industry was able to take off. Without the permission to pirate what would have happened? We are faced with the same choice today……what would the market be like if copyright is strongly enforced? We should question what we want in the digital age which has huge potential, but with copyright read write is smothered.
<AVING Special Reports Team for Seoul Digital Forum 2006s: Caleb Ma, Paul Kim, Julie Youn, Rose Kim>