Open 12: Freedom of Culture
Regulation and Privatization of Intellectual Property and Public Space
Edited by Jorinde Seijdel. Text by Stephen Wright, Brian Holmes, Dennis Kaspori, Willen van Weelden.
The contemporary public domain, the "free" space where culture is produced and exchanged, is under pressure. The exchange and distribution of cultural products ("content" in the form of music, image or text) is easier in digital society, but increasingly hemmed in by corresponding moves towards greater regulation and control, new copyright laws and intellectual property policy. Instead of enjoying a "free culture," we are watching the emergence of what Lawrence Lessig calls "a permission culture." Simultaneously, as an aspect of broader privatization and regulation processes, private entities are appropriating more and more of public culture, and deciding what is made available or publicly accessible. This issue of the Dutch architectural journal, Open, investigates the root causes of these developments, how they interrelate and what the implications are for the "free" production and practice of culture, as well as for the internal dynamics and balance of power in the public domain.