Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cory Doctorow at Picnic

(credit: silvertje)
In blog, and in life, sometimes the quantity overtakes the quality. So this post and the following are dedicated to un-erasing several days of professional mediocrity brought on by the immense time pressure I suffer (And who doesn't? But I think I am a special case. And who doesn't? But I do...)

I interviewed Cory Doctorow at Picnic. Even though there was limited "news value" to what I could get out of him, it was fascinating from start to finish. It's the people who are most different in their way of thinking that sharpen your wit the most.

So what I'm saying is, we probably haven't read the same books.

Too bad the story only reflects the serious stuff, because he was very funny when discussing copyright.

If you don't believe me, click "More."

(credit: eschipul)

My main interest was to try to get him to talk about how "developments" in the digital liberties sphere are shaking out differently in Europe vs. in the United States, and to pick his brain a bit on who, what, where to keep my eyes on.

He compared the record companies who are filing lawsuits against music downloaders to the gnomes in one 'Simpsons' episode who steal everybody's underwear as part of a scheme for world domination. The problem with their scheme is that they've only got three steps:

1) Steal Underwear,
3) World Domination.

But there's no step 2.

The record companies have the same plan:
1) Sue Best Customers,
3) Profit.

His description of the bigger landscape was fascinating:
He says the record companies have figured out their winning tactic, which is intimidating people into settling civil suits, so they're pressing ahead with them in massive numbers.
Meanwhile, due to the nature of technology and people's desire for information to be free, downloaders have ever-better tools, and ever-faster connections, and of course are downloading ever-more files.

So in essence, both sides are winning on offense and losing on defense, and it's a battle royale out there...

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