World renown blogger, activist, and sci-fi author, Cory Doctorow exposed a large audience to a lively and enlightening discussion on the ineffectiveness of copyright right laws in the digital age in protecting respective content creators.
“Here in the digital age, we copy like we breath.” stated Doctorow. “And so the stakes for getting the rules right on copyright have never been higher.”
Doctorow maintains that copyright law should serve as an incentive to be creative and that a good copyright system should result in more people making more innovation or content.
Yet Doctorow indicated that the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty which called for nations to grant legal protection for “Technical Protection Measures,” resulted in digital rights management and digital tie-ups. This enabled those companies to have more say over creators works than the creators themselves, or even the publishers that invest in the work.
Doctorow shared his three laws on the subject:
1) Anytime someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and doesn’t give you the key, the lock is not there for your benefit.
2) Fame doesn’t guarantee fortune, but no one gets rich from being unknown.
3) Information doesn’t want to be free, people do.
In his summation, Doctorow qualified his optimistic outlook that a solution can be found, by also conveying that if the only solution to keep his trade as an author alive was to “redesign the devices the that fill our pockets, run our cars, carry our love notes, and comprise our entire system of political and civic engagement so that they can spy on us and betray us,” he’d go and get a “real job.”
For the first time ever, SIGGRAPH will release the entire keynote to the general public. Doctorow started his speech by stating that people could record the speech and replay it with his blessing. Here it is: