« There's Island of Women | Main | Where the Real World ends... »

Mar 29, 2004



Reading a physical copy now. It's freaking awesome. Is there a more important intellectual on this planet? LL gets my vote.


Just a quick comment - I'm sure as always Lessig will provide lots of interesting things to think about. I do however want to put a plug in for a book that has gotten far too little attention on the subject - Rosemary Coombe's The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties. I've often wondered why this book doesn't turn up more in discussions on games and IP (and not at all in Lessig's work which is really a surprise to me). Coombe's 1998 book does a great job of broadening the IP issue beyond just a property question to thinking about the very construction and life of culture. It bridges law and anthropology and I highly recommend it for those interested in the kinds of issues Lessig also takes up.


I'd like to second TL's recommendation of Coombe's book, and add on Jessica Litman's Digital Copyright (and on the short list of important copyright scholarship, I'd include anything by Jessica Litman, Jane Ginsburg, or James Boyle.)

LL's book is a good read, as always, with plenty of interesting anecdotes. The thing I like the most about the book is that he followed Cory Doctorow's lead with the pricing/distribution strategy. There is plenty I disagree with, though. E.g., he says in the intro: "My method is not the usual method of an academic. I don’t want to plunge you into a complex argument, buttressed with references to obscure French theorists..." For those of us who appreciate complex argument and think French theorists are kind of important to understanding the concept of culture, this is a bit unfortunate. But I don't think TN is the place to debate copyright. If you do want to debate copyright, TN pal Ernest Miller has a new collablog here that I'd recommend, and they're posting about Lessig's book.

Tying Ren's call question to the book -- I'm sure LL does have thoughts on the issues we talk about here. As TN readers may or may not know, Julian co-taught a class with LL on Virtual Worlds last year. Gonzo gamer/journalist Justin Hall blogged it here and helped discuss things along with Jane of GGA. I realize LL is a busy guy, but I wonder if someday he'll comment here or otherwise share his ideas re the questions we kick around on TN.


"So are virtual items property?"

(I speak only in relation to MMORPG's as OLIVES may have different EULA's)

Sure they are. Property of the governing company that, at it's discretion, allows them to be borrowed by it's subscribers for use in the context of the game.

A better question is "do they have copywrite?" Since EQ has an item called the "Rusty Sword" does that mean no other game can have an item with the same name or would it be okay as long as the stats on the item were different? What of items that don't have stats? What of items with names that wouldn't be considered "common"? Could another game also have a "Short Sword of the Yakesha"?

The comments to this entry are closed.