More on Creative Commons

The way Lessig sees it, art has always been about stealing, recycling and mixing: Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were said to borrow from each other’s brushwork. The 1990s hit “Clueless” with Alicia Silverstone was a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma.”

“At every turn in history we see this new model of distribution that people say is going to destroy art itself,” Doctorow said. But, he said, such fears been proven wrong time and time again.

Rewriting the rules of copyright