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Law, Lawyers, and Creativity

I’m catching up on some older items. Via a pointer at Boing Boing, I spotted this item at the Creative Commons blog pointing to an SF Bay Area public radio show on creative remixing. In a comment, a listener characterizes the show as focused, first, on “the important concept of keeping creativity and art out of the hands of the lawyers.”

That’s a very right but also a very odd statement, particularly in the context of Creative Commons. Let’s draw and keep in mind an important distinction between law and lawyers. I’m all for keeping lawyers out of the studio, but I’m not so thrilled about keeping out the law. Law is inevitably there. Law should be there, even needs to be there. Creative Commons itself is law It doesn’t just depend on the law; in several senses, it is law. We need to understand and appreciate the positive role that law has played, and continues to play, in supporting creativity and innovation.