Read the first part here and part two here , part three here part four here if you need to catch up.

Conclusion: The Digital Revolution: Evolve or Die.

“In order to secure for individuals in society an adequate information environment, we would have to provide for resource spaces within which no one is susceptible to manipulation by others, at least not as a result of legally-backed rights to provide or deny access to information and communications resources. We also would have to secure sufficient minimal access to the means of producing and exchanging information and cultural expressions so as to provide to all a robust and diverse set of perspectives on how life can be lived and on why life is better lived one way than another.”

-Yochai Benkler -SIREN SONGS AND AMISH CHILDREN: AUTONOMY, INFORMATION, AND LAW


The digital revolution is a transformative age.  The current societal structures of our culture are in a desperate struggle for survival.  Media corporations are locked in a mortal battle trying to stave off the evolution of how we interact, produce and transmit culture.  The digital revolution has shown promise of increasing interaction within our society and the level of participation within the public sphere, participation that has been lacking for many decades.  Our society is dominated by corporations as they hold the money, the influence, and the access to power.  The digital revolution threatens their system of domination, and corporate interests are fighting to stop the cultural progress made possible through the Internet.  Corporate power struggles to achieve a permission based culture; by requiring permission and restitution before any creative work can be used it is structurally tailored to meet their needs.

This strict permission based copyright model is the antithesis of what our autonomous democratic society purports to be.  Reasonable access to cultural information and cultural expressions provides the plurality of choices necessary for individuals to realize their autonomy.  The permission model of copyright prevents individuals from realizing their autonomous potential while also choking off the cultural commons upon which so much of our society’s creativity is based.  Lawrence Lessig suggests a rational compromise in the form of the Eldred II act that would allow, with the instatement of formal copyright permissions, a two tiered copyright system that nurtures both the copyright holders and the cultural commons.  It is down this path we should travel.  The social costs of a permission-based cultural model, in terms of democracy, autonomy and creativity are unacceptably high.