cory doctorow on free; 1906 quake footage

from movie city news: 17 minutes of footage from a drive through post-1906 quake san francisco & cory doctorow on what free means

As I’ve written here before, copying isn’t going to get harder, ever. Hard drives won’t magically get bulkier but hold fewer bits and cost more.

Networks won’t be harder to use. PCs won’t be slower. People won’t stop learning to type “Toy Story 3 bittorrent” into Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Anyone who claims otherwise is selling something – generally some kind of unworkable magic anti-copying beans that they swear, this time, will really work.


Viacom (NYSE: VIA) is just one of the many entertainment giants suing companies like Google for allowing everyday people to upload content to the internet without reviewing its copyright status in advance. Never mind that there’s 29 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, that there aren’t enough lawyers in all the world to undertake such a review, and that throttling the videos (by charging uploaders for legal review, for example) would put practically every person who finds in YouTube the opportunity for personal and creative expression out of business.

Never mind that if this principle were passed into law, it would shutter every message board, Twitter, social networking service, blog, and mailing list in a second. That’s bad enough, but in addition to these claims, Viacom has asked the court to order Google to make all user-uploaded content public so that Viacom can check it doesn’t infringe copyright – it thinks that its need to look at my videos is greater than my need to, say, flag a video of my two-year-old in the bath as private and visible only to me and her grandparents.


So yeah, if you want to try to control individual copies of your work on the internet, go ahead and try. I think it’s a fool’s errand, and so does almost every technical expert in the world, but what do we know?

But for so long as this plan involves embedding control, surveillance and censorship into the very fabric of the information society’s infrastructure, I’ll continue to tour the world, for free, spending every penny I have and every ounce of energy in my body to fight you.


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