I have decided to dedicate some of my new found leisure time to educating myself about intellectual property. Anyone who has read any of my other blog entries knows this is an area of interest to me. The goal is to have an informed opinion on what I think may be the most important debate of the 21st century.
As any other geek would I am starting with Lawrence Lessig‘s books. I bought The Future of Ideas back in May but have not had time to read it until now. At the moment I am about half way through. So far, it has been an enjoyable read. This book is surprisingly fair to the companies and individuals who wish for stronger intellectual property controls though the argument goes against them. Since I did most of this reading in the local Chapters/Starbucks yesterday I picked up Lessig’s latest book, Free Culture while I was there.
Last night I wrote a little summary of the European history course I recently completed. In this summary I talked about the parallels I see between the Enlightenment and the current intellectual property debate. It turns out I was about five pages away from a point in The Future of Ideas where Lessig briefly writes about the Enlightenment. The point Lessig makes is different than mine but it is still strangely exciting to see someone as knowledgeable as Lessig see some of the same relationships I do.
The only problem with reading Lessig’s books is that he is a known opponent of stronger intellectual property laws and he sees the world through the eyes of the Internet much like I do. As interesting as the reading has been so far there has been nothing earth shattering for me. It’s basically a great presentation of ideas I already believe in. What I would like is to find some works that argue the opposite point of view. That will be the ultimate challenge to my opinions on this issue. At the present time I don’t know of any such works. If anyone reading this does please let me know.