Monday, January 29, 2007

Sometimes Cory Is Smart

No, not me. I spell my name, correctly, like Corey Hart does. Me and Corey Hart, we may not be so smart, but damn we're pretty. And good with the spelling of our names.

No, this is an interview with Cory Doctorow, who may spell his name wrong but is otherwise pretty awesomely clever. He has said a lot of wise things about copyright and technology and for some reason this little interview (with I think I got from taky) outlines a lot of the ideas I find compelling of his:

If it turns out that P2P is the death knell for $300 million movies and artists who earn a living from recording, so what? Radio was bad news for Vaudeville, too.

...

P2P is enabling more filmmakers, more musicians, and more writers and other creators to produce a wider variety of works that please a wider audience than ever before. That's the purpose of copyright -- to enable maximal expression and cultural participation, even if it costs us Police Academy *n-1* and payola-driven boy-bands.

...

If you're in an industry that demands that bits be scarce, you have to change or die. Radio made it impossible to exclude non-paying audiences from a performance. VCRs made it impossible to ensure that audiences watched commercials. They foreclosed on some of the existing businesses of the day and created new ones.

...

Should people aspire to make a living off their creative work?

Cory: Sure, if they're prepared to starve. ... Writing, music and other forms of creative endeavor have never been a reliable way of earning a living for the vast majority of their practitioners. There was never a moment when even a large minority of people who wrote for money made a living at it. Artists are fundamentally irrational economic actors in that they continue to produce work even when there's no demand for it.

...

Copyright is supposed to safeguard creativity -- so you can tell it's working when there are more people being creative in more ways. Not when the cost of a movie goes from $200 million to $300 million.


See? Can't spell his own name, but otherwise, pretty smart.