Cory Doctorow gives a talk at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in regards to DRM.




  1. Mr. Fusion says:

    Very interesting and eye opening information about DRM.

    Although it is a little long, I recommend people watch it through to the end.

  2. J says:

    I concur.

  3. Mark Derail says:

    …and Cory Doctorow has gotten into copyright problems himself in the past, concerning fair use, on BoingBoing.Net

    Like quoting from a female author parts of her published work, and just adding a comment “Taken from “So & So, Book X”, when the Copyright Notice in Her Book clearly states:
    “No reproduction in any form w/o permission”

    So this blog, quoting a WSJ article, and linking back to the WSJ, may be against copyright if WSJ makes it so.

    Obviously “Fair Use” is a large gray area. My Son, quoting the same author, the same few paragraphs as Cory Doctorow, but for a school project.

    DRM is all about “Fair Use” in using technology to make it “single-user” with no redistribution.

    Imagine reading an Annne McCaffrey book and having it SELF-DESTRUCT five minutes after turning the last page.

    Just lifting a new book and looking at a few pages – you just bought it, because of the protected copyrighted content – then it destroy’s itself, because you don’t own it.

    It’s the 80’s all over again, remember the VCR scare tactics. Not being able to DUB a rented movie to another VCR player.

  4. amodedoma says:

    This is a problem only for those lame enough to not know any better. I’ve been collecting ebooks in txt, htm, chm, or pdf format on USENET for nearly 10 years now. A large percentage of those books I’d already bought at some time in paper. I’m sick and tired of buying the same media over and over. I bought vinyl, 8 track, cassette, and CD of Pink Floyd’s dark side of the moon, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna pay for a digital distribution. Same goes for the Dragonrider series of Anne McCafferty – bought all of those in Paperback, or StarTrek TOS – which I bought on VHS then they brought it out on DVD. I say screw em if they don’t want to learn. I don’t need their crappy DRM distributions.

  5. jccalhoun says:

    Here’s a post on boingboing explaining what Mark Derail is talking about in #3
    http://boingboing.net/2007/10/14/an-apology-to-ursula.html

    Basically Ursula Le Guin wrote a 600 word short story. Doctorow posted the whole thing without permission.

    This incident points out the flaw in the fair use doctrine. Because it is a doctrine and not an explicit law it is hazy and ill-defined. A 600 word quote from an epic length novel would probably be fair use but in this situation it probably wasn’t. But I Am Not A Lawyer.

    I do know that I”m done with DRM. I won’t buy anything with DRM that I know I can’t easily circumvent. So no Kindle for me.

  6. ArianeB says:

    “Fair use” has been upheld in courts, but there is no real legal definition of fair use. For every rule there are exceptions. Playing a few seconds of a song is fair use. Repeating those few seconds over and over again to create a rap song is not.

    Another rule: If your use does harm to the copyright holder, its not fair use. But quoting a work and writing a bad review of the work, IS fair use.

    Then there are public libraries which are allowed to loan out books, music, videos, etc. under “fair use”, but if we private citizens do the same thing it is piracy.

  7. chputney says:

    It was nice to hear that there is still DRM censorship. Check out 14:58 to 15:21

  8. Mr. Fusion says:

    #6, Arianne,

    If you own (bought or given) a legal copy of any work, you are very free to lend it out as much as you want to as many people as your big heart desires. What you (and the borrowers) may not do is copy that work and keep it.

    If you make an archival copy, then that may only be stored, not lent.

    This what all lending libraries do. Public and private.

  9. AdmFubar says:

    hey john, how about showing this to leo laporte? he’s always going on about how great audible is… i’ll laugh my ass off when all of his collection becomes useless when the drm servers for it are turned off..
    :))

  10. jccalhoun says:

    admFubar, Cory Doctorow was on TWiT and ranted against Audible. He hasn’t been on since.

    However, since Audible is owned by Amazon I don’t see them going out of business any time soon.

  11. dogday says:

    Cory’s line of reasoning is faulty.

    Just because something is easily and quickly available does not mean that it is meant to be free.

    Do you walk into a store grab things and walk out?

    You know when you are stealing so quit doing it and buy the content you consume.

  12. Improbus says:

    @AdmFubar

    As an Audible customer I know for a fact that their DRM is easily bypassed. I turn my Audible audiobooks into mp3s right after I download them so I can play them when and where I want them.

  13. Mr. Fusion says:

    #11, dogday,

    Just because something is easily and quickly available does not mean that it is meant to be free.

    Where in the video did he suggest that? Excepting the BBC broadcasts.

  14. ECA says:

    DRM is just another HAND, taking money from your pocket.

    This is like Copyrighting the word “THE”. having Lawyers to pay, to protect its use.
    and trying to SUE’ every person for the USE of the word “THE”.
    Every person that BUYS the use, is paying the Lawyer. I’M paying the Lawyer. The LAWYER is copying papers and sending them OUT to everyone that STOLE the use, of that word.
    In the end. only the lawyer is getting paid.

  15. sargasso says:

    Since when have Doctorow’s common sense, prior art, fair use and historical precedence arguments become valid legal antecedent?

  16. GregA says:

    He equated DRM with human slavery. Everything else he says after that is horseshit.

  17. prh says:

    #10 Actually Cory was last on TWiT February 23rd, 2009.

  18. 888 says:

    Never bought and never will buy anything DRM’ed.

    Idiots who put their trust in the hands of others to control what and how they can use what they have actually paid for – are… simply what I said first, idiots.

    Kindle is Amazon’s swindle

  19. deowll says:

    This point is solid. If the vendor demands drm then the vendor is the one that stands to gain by drm.

    Go to another source if you still have that option.

    I have ebooks. They are legal and they are drm free. My selection may be limited but I can back up my copies because they are in rtf format.


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