By Cory Doctorow
Hailed by way of Bruce Sterling as “a political activist, gizmo freak, junk collector, programmer, entrepreneur, and all-around Renaissance geek,” the Internet’s favourite high-tech tradition maven is widely known with the 1st choice of his notorious articles, essays, and polemics. Irreverently championing unfastened speech and common entry to information—even if it really is only a loose obtain of the latest Britney Spears MP3—he leads off with a mutinous speak given at Microsoft on electronic rights administration, insisting that they cease treating their shoppers as criminals. Readers will notice how the United States selected chuffed Meal toys over copyright, why fb is taking a faceplant, how the web is essentially only a monstrous Xerox computer, why Wikipedia is a bad cousin of The Hitchhikers consultant to the Galaxy, and the way to take pleasure in loose e-books. working towards what he preaches, all the author's books, together with this one, are concurrently published in print and on the net lower than inventive Commons licenses that inspire their reuse and sharing. He argues persuasively that this tradition has significantly elevated his revenues by means of enlisting readers to advertise his paintings. obtainable to geeks and nontechies alike, it is a well timed assortment from an writer who without problems surfs the zeitgeist whereas regularly producing his personal wave.
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Additional info for Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future
This is why I give away digital copies of my books and make money on the printed editions: I’m not going to stop people from copying the electronic editions, so I might as well treat them as an enticement to buy the printed objects. But there is an information economy. You don’t even need a computer to participate. My barber, an avowed technophobe who rebuilds antique motorcycles and doesn’t own a PC, benefited from the information economy when I found him by googling for barbershops in my neighborhood.
It’s zero-sum: you’ve also been reading fewer words off of fewer pages as time went by: the dinosauric executive who prints his email and dictates a reply to his secretary is info-roadkill. Today, at this very second, people read words off of screens for every hour that they can find. Your kids stare at their Game Boys until their eyes fall out. Euroteens ring doorbells with their hypertrophied, SMS-twitching thumbs instead of their index fingers. Paper books are the packaging that books come in.
That compulsory license created a world where a thousand times more money was made by a thousand times more creators who made a thousand times more music that reached a thousand times more people. This story repeats itself throughout the technological century, every ten or fifteen years. Radio was enabled by a voluntary blanket license — the music companies got together and asked for a consent decree so that they could offer all their music for a flat fee. Cable TV took a compulsory: the only way cable operators could get their hands on broadcasts was to pirate them and shove them down the wire, and Congress saw fit to legalize this practice rather than screw around with their constituents’ TVs.