It's easy to understand who owns an object - for instance, a car. But who owns the technology that powers it? Who owns a piece of music? Artists and innovators are always drawing on the collective achievements of those who came before them, even as they invent new forms of expression and arrive at new breakthroughs. At what point does an insight or a particular arrangement of notes become theirs?
And who should profit from it? How can we see that they do, without limiting access to it? The conflict between authorship and the spread of information is one of the most critical of the 21st century. Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of the Berkman Center of Internet and Society, believes that free culture allows everyone to participate in the "making of meaning" collectively. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales examines the ethical boundaries of Western companies operating abroad. And Jaron Lanier takes us back to the birth of the web, arguing that the rapid, free expansion of the Internet will ultimately be as self-defeating as the excesses of modern finance.