THE FATE OF THE COMMONS IN A CONNECTED WORLD
 

Jacket

"The very best books give you new tools to think with and, as a result, change the way you see things you'd previously taken for granted. Like Larry Lessig's last book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, The Future of Ideas addresses the ways law and technology are nibbling away at our fundamental values and assumptions. Anyone who cares about the kind of world we leave to our grandchildren needs to read this book."
–-Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of high-tech publisher and online information provider O'Reilly & Associates.

"Larry Lessig knows something rare and vital: human creativity, like its species of origin, arises from the processes of nature. Like the rest of nature, all ideas are part of a seamless whole, a commons. If, in our greed, we chop the ecosystem of Mind into unconnected pieces, we will despoil it just as we are destroying the rest of our environment. Trying to own thought exclusively is as dangerous, selfish, and shortsighted as trying to own oxygen. We might enrich ourselves but asphyxiate our descendents. Read this book. Believe it. The future will be grateful."
–-John Perry Barlow, Berkman Fellow, Harvard Law School, cofounder and vice chairman, Electronic Frontier Foundation

"The public interest or 'the commons,' as Lawrence Lessig refers to it in this important book, has become an antique notion. The reigning assumption is that a free marketplace will protect the public and keep the Internet free and open. But as Lessig shows with eloquence and vivid clarity, an open Internet is menaced by commercial forces that are just doing what comes naturally–advancing their own business interests. So they use their control of the Internet's plumbing, or software code, or content, or the patent laws, to impede competition. This is neither another tome by a would-be guru, nor an ideological screed. As a thinker, Larry Lessig is as unpredictable as the weather. He is a modern-day Paul Revere. He doesn't shout, but his cool logic and clear prose produce a roar that should alarm every citizen, for he demonstrates the price citizens are paying in lost freedom of choice, lost innovation, lost competition."
–-Ken Auletta

"Lessig's masterly account warns us about the threats to the diversity and openness of information on the Internet and to innovation itself. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of information technology and its impact."
--Mitch Kapor, cofounder, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"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