Copyfighter Cory Doctorow.

Secret copyright treaty leaks. It’s bad. Very bad.

This was the headline used by Cory Doctorow to break the news about ACTA to an unsuspecting Internet on November 3rd, 2009. Other Canadian copyfighters were also on the case, like lawyer Michael Geist and podcaster Jesse Brown. But I first read about ACTA on Cory’s post at Boing Boing.

If you didn’t know, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an initiative to blanket the world in US-style copyright enforcement, despite the non-participation of such notable countries as China and Russia. Critically, the ongoing negotiations of ACTA are taking place behind a veil of secrecy. That ACTA was discovered at all is no small feat.

It would seem that Doctorow has long had an interest in digital rights. His 2007 short story Scroogled paints a scary picture of a very possible future in which our online habits are used against us. If the title didn’t give it away, here’s the gist of it:

Immigration — Powered by Google.

A quick look at Cory’s biography shows his pedigree as a champion copyfighter:

Thanks in no small part to Mr. Doctorow you can now get your ACTA news from a number of sources, including a weekly podcast that I help out with. To read his latest you can bookmark his blog, follow him on Twitter and keep an eye out for his posts on Boing Boing.

6 comments:

  1. First of all, yes, I know this doesn’t have that much to do with this blogpost.

    But… some time after reading this, I started thinking about a question, and it’s in someway related to topic of this blog. And this post really is the main reason why this question came to my mind in the first place, so I’m posting it here.

    What will digitalisation do to Creative Commons, especially to novels?

    I know that without content being digital, it wouldn’t be easy and cheap or even free to copy it. Digitalisation brings clear need for licenses like CC and GPL, they most likely wouldn’t exist if only way to share text and information would be to print it. In that scenario someone _would_ make profit with it, and someone might see that they loose money because of that. Demand for open licenses would be a lot smaller.

    Situation at the moment is that you can publish your novel under CC, many will download it for free, but some traditional books still could be sold because they still have some superior qualities. This means that money actually could be made out of writing CC novels.

    Now lets say that eReaders will make it possible to have all good qualities of traditional books, and that you could download free version of “Book X”. There’s no actual need to buy it(, unless you don’t want to “tip” the author for some reason). Books that aren’t available under CC would still have to be bought.

    So, will it still be possible for writers like Cory Doctorow to write books, use CC and still make a living out of it?

    I mean really out of those books, not out of something that might or might not come with them. I know that there’s always magazines that want him to write columns for them, but it means that you get paid mainly because of the image/profile/karma/fame that you have. What if you just happened to get it by writing some stuff, that nobody ever paid for.

    I actually tried to find out, if either Doctorow, or Currie had written about a similar topic. After very minimal efforts, and finding nothing, I thought I could as well post this here. If someone feels like answering this question or even providing relevant links, then thank you. Even with no answers to this I get at least that false feeling of being heard, so thanks.

  2. First of all, yes, I know this doesn’t have that much to do with this blogpost.

    But… some time after reading this, I started thinking about a question, and it’s in someway related to topic of this blog. And this post really is the main reason why this question came to my mind in the first place, so I’m posting it here.

    What will digitalisation do to Creative Commons, especially to novels?

    I know that without content being digital, it wouldn’t be easy and cheap or even free to copy it. Digitalisation brings clear need for licenses like CC and GPL, they most likely wouldn’t exist if only way to share text and information would be to print it. In that scenario someone _would_ make profit with it, and someone might see that they loose money because of that. Demand for open licenses would be a lot smaller.

    Situation at the moment is that you can publish your novel under CC, many will download it for free, but some traditional books still could be sold because they still have some superior qualities. This means that money actually could be made out of writing CC novels.

    Now lets say that eReaders will make it possible to have all good qualities of traditional books, and that you could download free version of “Book X”. There’s no actual need to buy it(, unless you don’t want to “tip” the author for some reason). Books that aren’t available under CC would still have to be bought.

    So, will it still be possible for writers like Cory Doctorow to write books, use CC and still make a living out of it?

    I mean really out of those books, not out of something that might or might not come with them. I know that there’s always magazines that want him to write columns for them, but it means that you get paid mainly because of the image/profile/karma/fame that you have. What if you just happened to get it by writing some stuff, that nobody ever paid for.

    I actually tried to find out, if either Doctorow, or Currie had written about a similar topic. After very minimal efforts, and finding nothing, I thought I could as well post this here. If someone feels like answering this question or even providing relevant links, then thank you. Even with no answers to this I get at least that false feeling of being heard, so thanks.

  3. “So, will it still be possible for writers like Cory Doctorow to write books, use CC and still make a living out of it?”

    If you can hang in there until sometime next week, I’ve got a post in the queue that I think will address the question of making art in the 21st century…

  4. “So, will it still be possible for writers like Cory Doctorow to write books, use CC and still make a living out of it?”

    If you can hang in there until sometime next week, I’ve got a post in the queue that I think will address the question of making art in the 21st century…

Comments are closed.