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Copyright and Creativity in the news: Free Universal Construction Kit

Artist and hacker Golan Levin and his former student Shawn Sims have produced a set of toy blocks that connect incompatible toy block systems to each other, e.g. allowing you to make an object that uses both Legos and K’nex. Levin is quoted in this Forbes article:

One blog called it the “ultimate nerd dad triumph.” But as the proj­ect’s unprintable acronym implies, Levin and Sims are out to raise hackles—particularly those of intellectual property lawyers. “This isn’t a product. It’s a provocation,” says Levin. “We should be free to invent without having to worry about infringement, royalties, going to jail or being sued and bullied by large industries. We don’t want to see what happened in music and film play out in the area of shapes.”

In what ways is this project similar or different to the questions we were engaging with in discussion this week?

Posted in Motivations.

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2 Responses

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  1. Janice says

    Good question, Chrissy.
    Unfortunately, seems the answer might be “yes,” and, “is it knowledge or information that is public, anyway”?

  2. Christina says

    What I think is interesting about this is that technically it’s not copying any other toy. It’s similar to sampling. But what I find maybe concerning as all of this corporate copyright starts to crack down, and with Naomi’s post above from the economist, is that all academic work is also sampling. When capital tries to get more anti-intellectual, will this be the next place to go–the privatization of knowledge?

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