Prof. Lastowka on Amateur Creativity

Greg LastowkaIn the sixth and final installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Greg Lastowka of the Rugters School of Law-Camden, came to speak today about his new book, Virtual Justice: The New Laws of Online Worlds and amateur creativity.

Professor Lastowka discussed amateur creativity and its growing place in media production. Once viewed as a minor offshoot of creative works, amateurs now create content that rivals professional content. He pointed to the recent news that CNN let go of 50 photographers because amateur photographers are producing similar content for free. Prof. Lastowka then discussed the liability of user-generated content in virtual worlds. Who is responsible if a user creates infringing content using tools provided by the world’s creator? In response, Prof. Lastowka suggested broad means to change copyright that might allow amateur works to flourish, even derivative ones, while protecting professional work.

Many thanks to Professor Lastowka for visiting W&L and sharing his ideas with the faculty.

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