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Coryisms (from Cory Doctorow)

Cory Doctorow ( is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger -- the co-editor of Boing Boing ( and the author of the bestselling Tor Teens/HarperCollins UK novel Little Brother. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in London.
  • Artists' problem is not poverty, but obscurity.
  • His books are free, but they are digital - digital happens on a device on which sustained attention is difficult, so you would buy the book - you pay close attention to a book.
  • Nerdvana 
  • Scifi shows the anxieties we have about the technologies around us today.
  • Technological Stalinism
  • When you solve a problem you become a problem because you are invested in hanging around to keep solving the problem.
  • Commercial and non-commercial rights can apply to the same work - the guy who make Transformers owns one of Doctorow's books for commercial activity, but he doesn't control the rights for non-commercial activity.
  • There’s nobody out there who wants his next TV to be able to do fewer things than the one he has now.
  • Compete with 'free' by supplying a superior product.
  • Reducing the body to an entity that herds around the important bit just north of the neck.
  • Social networks have dropped the cost of rejection.
  • Tag clouds collect accidental collaborators.
  • Free and open source operating systems are like barn-raisings.
  • When the internal services don't work, we use the external services (gmail, IM).
  • It's cheaper to spend money on bandwidth, than to spend money on controlling who can do what when online.
  • When you are watching everyone, you are watching no one.
  • You can't sue everyone who fileshares - you don't have to prosecute them for the thing that they are doing, you can prosecute them for doing the thing that everyone is doing.
  • Facerecognition software is going to lead to a data Valdez.
  • CCTV can catch the murderer but we are not being made safer because our friends are still dead.
  • They don't need to know you are doing something wrong, they just need to know you are doing something different to target you for their suspicion.
  • - says "READ CAREFULLY. By accepting this you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies (”BOGUS AGREEMENTS”) that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.
  • Information economy means you need to control the quantity of information in order to make it scarce, to exclude people by limiting them.
  • Protect information by copying it into cockroach DNA, so that it will survive a nuclear war.
  • If you buy movies you get ripped off, but if you steal movies you own it forever.
  • Once you get the food coloring in the swimming pool it's very hard to get it out again. (The more copies out there the better.)
  • copyright erodes the social contract
  • creative commons introduces a social contract, increases evangelising
  • iTunes - imagine if you only had a toaster that would take the manufacturer's bread
  • iTunes - imagine if you had a dishwasher that would only take the manufacturer's dishes
  • iTunes attitude - You're not a reader, you're a user
  • We're removed from consequences about copyright, so we don't know how dangerous it is. If there was a faster feedback loop that was visible, we'd know what the consequences are.
  • When you lose access to the internet there are social consequences, England cuts you off if you abuse copyright three times. These delinquents are starting their own underground cultures that in any case gets around their lack of access and hacktivate.
  • You can't monetize obscurity
  • Shakespeare folios are valuable because Shakespeare books are everywhere, everyone has heard of him.
  • If your paywall is going to work, it has to be really really simple, otherwise people will bounce
  • email: adds people to addressbook that he knows, filters them and prioritises them
  • paying for attention with money is less valuable than paying for attention with attention
  • anybody who thinks that a free version cannot be made of DRMed book has never met a typist

Source: Boing Boing, et al


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