Whether free culture allowing all citizens to fully participate, or centrally owned/communicated/controlled culture, at the root of much of the debates are very different ideas on cultural policy.

Cory Doctorow: My novel-in-progress syndicated on Salon for next 10 weeks

Cory Doctrow's mailing list included the following notice:

I've been working on a new novel since last December, working title "Themepunks." The first third is in the can, and it is a short novel unto itself. The book is about a post-dotcom boom and bust, built on the ready availability of commodity hardware and open source code, and concerns itself with the lives of a gang of visionary tech entrepreneurs, journalists, bloggers, as well as Florida squatters, students in the midwest, and Brazilian geek activists. I've read aloud from it on a number of occasions, most recently at the Worldcon in Glasgow in August, and always to enthusiastic responses.

The Public Domain: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

In this article by Lawrence Lessig he accurately predicts that the current policy direction will completely erradicate the public domain.

Within every culture, there is a public domain—a lawyer-free zone, unregulated by the rules of copyright. Throughout history, this part of culture has been vital to the spread and development of creative work. It is the part that gets cultivated without the permission of anyone else.

Cory Doctorow appearance in Second Life

Canada-born and London-based author, blogger and campaigner Cory Doctorow was part of a "live" appearance before an audience of Second Life Residents last Sunday.

Among the top tier 'thought leaders' of the Internet age, Cory Doctorow is an award-winning writer, a passionate digital rights advocate, and the co-editor of the mammothly popular Boing Boing blog. His latest novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, is a deeply moving tale of magic, love, family, and Internet connectivity. Ladies and gentlemen, furries, faeries, space warriors, and other Second Life species of indeterminate gender and classification, I'm proud to present: Cory Doctorow's avatar!

Digital Citizens: The activist: Cory Doctorow

As part of a week-long BBC News website special they have been speaking to people whose creativity has been transformed in the digital age. An article by Darren Waters focuses on the Canada-born and London-based author, blogger and campaignerwriter Cory Doctorow.

Author, blogger and campaigner Cory Doctorow passionately believes the internet has helped unleash a new form of creativity based around collaboration.


But he says big media companies are trying to stifle the ability to share content in the name of protecting copyright.

Copy That: Cory Doctorow knows the future. And he is it

This THIS article by Alex Aylett about Canadian author and fair-copyright activist Cory Doctorow includes:

One central figure gets left out of this polarized version of the copyright wars: the artist. Putting aside the few vocal stars who have already made their millions, we seldom hear from actual creators. Enter Doctorow, guns drawn. “The copyright industry talks about how it needs to engage in further education of the general public so people understand more clearly what copyright does and doesn’t allow you to do,” he says. “If you need to understand copyright to listen to music or read a book, it’s like having to understand banking and securities law to withdraw five bucks for lunch. It’s nuts, and it tells you that the law has overreached.”

The Legal Magic of Harry Potter to make your rights disappear

It's magic how copyright extremists make new rights for publishers appear, and the rights of the average Canadian disappear. Please write your elected representatives and tell them you won't stand for this.

A Canadian Press article by Angela Pacienza includes the following extremism from a lawyer claiming prohibitions against Canadians far beyond what exist in the current copyright act.

"The Copyright Act grants a number of exclusive rights to the copyright holder," explains Glen Bloom, a lawyer with Ottawa's Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, a firm specializing in copyright law.


"All you get when you buy a book is the piece of paper," said Bloom. "You don't get any rights with it other than possession of the paper."

Poof.. the human rights protected in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights just disappears. Say goodbye to: property rights (Article 17), communications rights (Article 19), education rights (Article 26), cultural and creators rights (Article 27).

See also: Potter fans return early copies and Raincoast Books: Injunction Notice, Call by Richard Stallman and others to boycott Harry Potter

The Price of Canadian Heritage

The following is from the author's BLOG from July 10'th.

By Michael Geist's

Last week I received a deeply troubling email from the Frontier School Division, which serves thirty-five communities and forty-one schools in remote/northern Manitoba.  The school division wrote to the National Gallery of Canada last October requesting a copy of a photograph taken in 1850 of a then-young artist named Paul Kane.  The request came after the Stark Museum in Orange, Texas donated four reproductions of Kane's paintings to the school division.  The paintings were "coming home", with one of the portraits featuring Ogemawwah Chack, "The Spirit Chief," who is a direct ancestor of many local residents. It is the only likeness of this aboriginal elder in existence.   The school district requested the photograph since it wanted to create an explanatory text to accompany the paintings.

CBC viewpoint: I'm not in favour of stealing but …

This CBC viewpoint by Greg Hughes includes:

C-60 is dangerous and anti-democratic for many reasons. The proposed law is largely based on tenets of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s approach to copyright, which effectively places the role of intellectual property above the public interest of information sharing, collaboration and innovation.

US student: Dispatch from the True North, Strong and Free

Gavin Baker from wrote some notes on his BLOG after the Montreal copyright event.

Wired: God's Little Toys: Confessions of a cut & paste artist.

This article by William Gibson (Neuromancer, etc) includes:

Our culture no longer bothers to use words like appropriation or borrowing to describe those very activities. Today's audience isn't listening at all - it's participating. Indeed, audience is as antique a term as record, the one archaically passive, the other archaically physical. The record, not the remix, is the anomaly today. The remix is the very nature of the digital.

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