Saturday, August 9, 2008

Life in the Information Economy

As many of you know, I have been an advocate of creative commons licensing and the like for quite a while. Since before I even knew what it was called, really. Some of you have even had the pleasure of listening to me pontificate about this issue for long periods of time. (Many thanks to those of you who listened to me before my opinions were fulling formed. I have no doubt that at the time I sounded pretty moronic.) Most people I've talked to about this don't agree with me, which is fine. They have the right to be a pigheaded ignoramus. They will see the light eventually.

A couple months ago I discovered Cory Doctorow and to my surprise he was talking about all this stuff I had been thinking! (I am pretty sure he was thinking talking about this stuff long before I graced the internet with my presence, but for some perverse reason I had never heard of him before.) Through his blogs, books, and speeches he was voicing many of the same arguments and opinions that I myself had been employing. Only, they were far more polished and articulate than mine.

If you have any desire whatsoever to have a meaningful discussing on the subject of copyrights, the information age, and economics in said age, please take an hour to watch the talk that Cory gave at Cambridge. You can find it at his blog, here. I really enjoyed it. Both because the information was very logical and useful, and also because Cory Doctorow is fun to watch. Yes, it's an hour long, but hey, it's better than a lot of movies I've watched that were twice as long.

Another good resource is his book Little Brother, a kind of neo-1984 book about the government, which he distributes for free under a creative commons license. I copied it into a word document and stored it on my computer. I read books to get away from the computer, generally. I don't like reading books on my computer. For that reason, I haven't finished the book yet. But the most useful part of the book, in my opinion, is the forward in which he talks about his reasons for using the creative commons license. If you do nothing else, download the book and read the forward.

Blog out.


  1. Interesting arguments. I especially like the one about copying being a natural instinct. The classical education model uses a lot of copying of great works in order to become a creator of great works oneself. I, too, find it oppressive to be restrained from non- commercial copying, whether it be a book, CD, DVD, whatever. Is it my rebellious nature, or is it simply the fact that if the material is legally in my possession I should be able to do as I like with it?

  2. Got here from Ian's blog (somehow, I didn't have you in my reader). Anyhow, if you like Cory, try Lawrence Lessig (his blog is, who started the whole creative commons movement. On a lighter note, the XKCD comic series "1337" starting with stars many of the main players in this arena.


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