Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cory Doctorow at UNC

Nice day to traipse across campus to Wilson Library to hear Cory Doctorow at Wilson Library. Billed, I think by Paul Jones, in Facebook as "Boingboing editor, EFF, SciFi Writer, Disney-obsessed Copyfighter, Fulbright Chair".

Cory was talking about DRM in an era where bits are always getting easier to copy, and how this reality will effect music, video, literature, and even the drivers for your computer.

DRM doesn't work, that's a reality, but media companies continue to try to push this business model. We consumers are hurt, because as media changes, we hold a shrinking set of rights to the media we own. It's only the fact that we're all pretty lazy consumers that the situation continues. What's it going to take? Observation that an iTunes release is followed on P-to-P pirate sites after a couple of minutes...what's the use.

A Q from the audience on how individual artists could suffer in a 'free' environment. Good points that current copyright does not benefit artists, only media companies. Joke about artist bargaining power with record labels. Efforts such as Creative Commons are an attempt to redefine media rights from the artists perspective, not the media company perspective. Most artists (tell me about it) are trying to overcome obscurity, not constrain use of their materials. I buy this line of argument, and had been less receptive to it in the past. Cory observed that we should judge a copyright system by whether it enriches participation.

Shouts out to the EFF and the various campus Free Culture Movement groups.

Two great consecutive presentations (yesterday was a ConsiderIT on SecondLife for Teaching and Learning). Went back and listened to James Brown on my iPod (all legal!)

No comments: