Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future
by Cory Doctorow
Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and eBooks
Hailed by Bruce Sterling as a “political activist, gizmo freak, junk collector, programmer, entrepreneur, and all-around Renaissance geek,” Cory Doctorow is the Web’s most celebrated high-tech pop-culture maven. Content is the first collection of Doctorow’s infamous articles, essays, and polemics.
Here’s why Microsoft should stop treating its customers as criminals (through relentless digital-rights management); how America chose copyright and Happy Meal toys over jobs; why Facebook is taking a faceplant; how Wikipedia is a poor cousin of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; and, of course, why free e-books kick ass.
Accessible to geeks and noobs (if you’re not sure what that means, it’s you) alike, Content is a must-have compilation from Cory Doctorow, who will be glad to take you along for the ride as he effortlessly surfs the zeitgeist.
“Doctorow here proves he’s smart, funny, and good at accessibly boiling down issues he’s passionate about…. [A] pleasure to read, not to mention thought-provoking.”
“…more than just insightful, brilliant, and to the point—it’s also funny and fun to read.”
—Electronic Frontier Foundation
“If you want to know what’s happening at the sharp end of digital publication and new ideas about the relationships between authors and their readers—do yourself a favour and listen to what he has to say.”
Cory Doctorow is a science-fiction novelist, blogger, and technology activist whom Entertainment Weekly called “the William Gibson of his generation.” He is the author of the best-sellers Little Brother, Makers, Pirate Cinema, and Homeland and the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing. Doctorow is a contributor to the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired, Locus, and many other newspapers, magazines, and websites. He was the director of European Affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy standards, and treaties.
Praise for Cory Doctorow
“Doctorow uses science fiction as a kind of cultural WD-40, loosening hinges and dissolving adhesions to peer into some of society’s unlighted corners.”
—New York Times
“If you want to glimpse the future of copyright policing, video-game sweatshops, robotic intelligence, info war, and how computer geeks will survive the apocalypse…Doctorow is rapidly emerging as the William Gibson of his generation.”
“As a political activist, gizmo freak, junk collector, programmer, entrepreneur, and all-around Renaissance geek, Cory Doctorow is a science-fiction writer who can really drill down…. We should all hope and trust that our culture has the guts and moxie to follow this guy. He’s got a lot to tell us.”
Praise for Context
“Doctorow makes the complicated accessible throughout this great little guidebook, a GPS for the digital age.”
“Part Poor Benjamin, part Dr. Spock, Doctorow is by now a wise, trusted guide in this messy—but eminently navigable!—world in which we’ve landed”
“Context is a great example of why [Doctorow]’s more than just a great novelist.”
“Context is a deeply interesting and thought-provoking book…. The resulting collection is golden and an absolute must-read for anyone who’s ever asked where all of this technology stuff is heading.”
“If you are interested in the context of our Internet-centric lives, Context is a must-read collection of essays.”
—San Francisco Book Review
“There is plenty here to chew over here and will make you think.”
Visit the Cory Doctorow website.
Excerpt from Microsoft DRM talk
Greetings fellow pirates! Arrrrr!
I’m here today to talk to you about copyright, technology and DRM [digital rights management]. I work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation on copyright stuff (mostly), and I live in London. I’m not a lawyer—I’m a kind of mouthpiece/activist type, though occasionally they shave me and stuff me into my Bar Mitzvah suit and send me to a standards body or the UN to stir up trouble. I spend about three weeks a month on the road doing completely weird stuff like going to Microsoft to talk about DRM.
I lead a double life: I’m also a science fiction writer. That means I’ve got a dog in this fight, because I’ve been dreaming of making my living from writing since I was 12 years old. Admittedly, my IP-based biz isn’t as big as yours, but I guarantee you that it’s every bit as important to me as yours is to you.
Here’s what I’m here to convince you of:
1. That DRM systems don’t work
2. That DRM systems are bad for society
3. That DRM systems are bad for business
4. That DRM systems are bad for artists
5. That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT
It’s a big brief, this talk. Microsoft has sunk a lot of capital into DRM systems, and spent a lot of time sending folks like Martha and Brian and Peter around to various smoke-filled rooms to make sure that Microsoft DRM finds a hospitable home in the future world. Companies like Microsoft steer like old Buicks, and this issue has a lot of forward momentum that will be hard to soak up without driving the engine block back into the driver’s compartment. At best I think that Microsoft might convert some of that momentum on DRM into angular momentum, and in so doing, save all our asses.