We commonly use the language of body ownership as a way of claiming personal rights, though we do not normally mean it literally. Most people feel uneasy about markets in sexual or reproductive services, and though there is a substantial global trade in body tissues, the illicit trade in live human organs is widely condemned. But what, if any, is the problem with treating bodies as resources and/or possessions? Is there something about the body that makes it particularly inappropriate to apply to it the language of property, commodities, and things? Or is thinking the body special a kind of sentimentalism that blocks clear thinking about matters such as prostitution, surrogate motherhood, or the sale of spare kidneys?
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What is the future for art and ideas in an age when practically anything can be copied, pasted, downloaded, sampled, and re-imagined?
LIVE from the NYPL and WIRED Magazine kick off the Spring 2009 season with a spirited discussion of the emerging remix culture.
Our guides through this new world—who will take us from Jefferson’s Bible to Andre the Giant to Wikipedia—will be Lawrence Lessig, author of Remix, founder of Creative Commons, and one of the leading legal scholars on intellectual property issues in the Internet age; acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey, whose iconic Obama "HOPE" poster was recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery; and cultural historian Steven Johnson, whose new book, The Invention of Air, argues that remix culture has deep roots in the Enlightenment and among the American founding fathers.
When you download music or text from the web, you may be innocently breaking the law. Jim Lebans, a producer with CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, looks at the tangled world of intellectual property and how the digital age is challenging ideas about who owns our culture.