Information Doesn’t Want to be Free

“Digital locks are roach motels: copyrighted works check in, but they don’t check out. Creators and investors lose control of their business—they become commodity suppliers for a distribution channel that calls all the shots. Anti-circumvention isn’t copyright protection: it’s middleman protection.” (Information Doesn’t Want to be Free by Cory Doctorow)

Information Doesn't want to be free cover

Reading ‘Information Doesn’t Want to be Free‘ is like reading the non-fiction book hiding behind the thin veil of fiction in all Doctorow’s novels  (Little Brother, Homeland, etc). Though I love Doctorow’s way of integrating information into his fictional work, I almost prefer his nonfiction straight up and unadulterated. He is so clear and convincing, and his metaphors drive into your brain with the force and staying power of a sledgehammer.

I appreciate that Doctorow didn’t feel the need to flesh out his work to the standard 300 page American book. There is nothing worse than reading a nonfiction work and realizing that the only relevant information was presented in the first 100 pages, and every page after that was written to make a page-count goal. Doctorow writes 192 pages, and every single page, every single sentence, is necessary.

Here’s the bottom line: Anyone interested in technology, the internet, copyright, or making a living as a creative person should read this book. It may get you up-in-arms with righteous indignation for a week or two, but after that, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the world as it is now.

Recommended Action: Buy BorrowTBRAvoid
Further Reading: All of Doctorow’s books! He can’t help but cover similarly intriguing subjects in all of his work, supposedly fiction or otherwise.
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6 thoughts on “Information Doesn’t Want to be Free

  1. Reblogged this on Open the Vox and commented:
    Fascinating topic. I find it a shame that everyday the big guys use their complex internet strategies to push the little guy into a corner. Everyday, little by little; my tiny expression gets swallowed up by the Whales of culture. Soon, we’ll all have to get second or maybe third jobs to have even the faintest voice in any medium. In the future, freedom of expression will be replaced with paydom of expression. Even this reblog will have to be marketed! That’s the future- marketing. Industry will collapse and our society will crumble. But, no one will notice. Because, we’ll certainly leave behind some slick looking billboards. That’s right! Egypt has the Pyramids, England has Stonehenge and Modern America has all those Super Bowl Adds.

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