The Internet revolution has come. Some say it has gone. What was responsible for its birth? Who is responsible for its demise?

In The Future of Ideas, Lawrence Lessig explains how the Internet revolution has produced a counterrevolution of devastating power and effect. The explosion of innovation we have seen in the environment of the Internet was not conjured from some new, previously unimagined technological magic; instead, it came from an ideal as old as the nation. Creativity flourished there because the Internet protected an innovation commons.

The Internet’s very design built a neutral platform upon which the widest range of creators could experiment. The legal architecture surrounding it protected this free space so that culture and information–the ideas of our era–could flow freely and inspire an unprecedented breadth of expression. But this structural design is changing–both legally and technically.

The Future of Ideas is the most important work yet written about the grave threat posed to innovation and creativity in America and throughout the world. Lawrence Lessig documents the rapid and largely undebated expansion of government-granted monopolies over broad swatches of the knowledge our society relies on, and compares this with the role common access to knowledge has always played in America’s vibrant culture and economy. He has written a Rosetta stone to what is a highly technical, legalistic debate that explains this trend in words the rest of us can understand. This is a debate that finds today’s largest global publishing and technology corporations on one side and Thomas Jefferson, the United States Constitution, and the rest of us on the other. If you are only going to read one thought-provoking book this year, this is the one to read.

–-Bob Young, entrepreneur, cofounder and chairman of Red Hat, Inc., and the Center for the Public Domain

Related Links:
The Future of Ideas’ Website
Larry Lessig’s Website
The Future of Ideas on Wikipedia
Larry Lessig on Wikipedia

Creative Commons License