Consumerist on Information Doesn't Want to Be Free


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So on the one hand, large companies, who want to control cultural output can take things offline and artists get paid a bit (or not, if they’re on Spotify). Or, in Doctorow’s proposed utopia, huge companies like google can host content from artists, run adverts on it, and never have to worry about copyright assertions and artists never get paid at all.

It costs money to make art and record music. Maybe the world would be a better place if recording music was a hobby of those who have enough money to afford to buy all their own gear, with no monetary return, and the free time to learn to play stuff, but that still pulls creative power upwards and puts more resources into the hands of people who already have resources. In fact, it’s actively worse for a lot of people trying to make a living off of art.

But, sure, Rebecca Black is a good example of a wealthy hobbyist. Let’s have more of that. I’ll hardly miss having professional musicians, I’m sure.

I’m sorry, but those are just straw men. The book is quite clear on whether and how Google relates to an author’s income, and none of what you’ve written bears even a cursory relation to the arguments it raises.

If you’d like to send me an email, I’ll give you a PDF so that you can familiarize yourself with what I’ve proposed.


Happily, Locus Magazine has just published my summary of the book’s arguments:

It’s a 10-minute read, and will explain why the points you raise are not even cursorily related to the book.


How does that address police departments, and other governmental agencies, claiming copyright on privately made video of their (mid) deeds in public?

How does that “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts”?

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