Free Culture in the Digital Age

There’s an idea that everything that’s put on the internet, should be free and accessible for the public’s general usage. In today’s world where we can easily find entire copies of books online for free, it seems as though “free culture” is already starting to take root. Lawrence Lessig, one of the pioneers of this movement, is the founder of Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a site available to everyone that promotes the sharing of creative works and ideas. The idea that everything should be free to us on the internet stands in opposition to the capitalist society we live in where everything is sold and turned for a profit. In fact, the free culture movement is detested by record companies and copyright distributors, who state that the movement stunts economic growth and the salary of artists. Of course, it’s impossible to feel pity for artists like Beyonce who lose .000000001 of their million dollar salary every time someone downloads a song for free (not an actual statistic). However, struggling artists who are not making that type of money are at risk from the free culture idea as well. While free culture promotes accessibility to the creative works we admire, it also works against the artistic market, ultimately hurting the artist. It is a double-edged sword because we want to see more from our favorite musicians, authors, artists, etc., but we often don’t want to pay for it. 


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