Cory Doctorow churns out great fiction and even greater ( yeah, I know, grammar…) literature on Creative Commons, Copyright, and the state of idiocy facing us from the publishing companies. He created a great audio book, For the Win, about the rise of gaming businesses, playing the games for profit, across the globe. He wrote a great series of quick reads from speeches he gave, including one at Microsoft. He definitely supports freedom and common sense, not at the expense of profit like the RIAA, MPAA, and publishers would have you think, but for freedom for artists to do what they want.
He recently came out with his First Law. In it, he discusses finishing a book he wants to put out in eReader format that would be without restrictions. It’s his book, he figures he should do what he wants with it. Makes sense, right? But of course, the majority of the big named publishers do not make sense these days. They want authors to roll over to their demands to keep the ebooks so locked down that you cannot move an iPad book to a nook and back on to a Kindle. Thankfully, the good people at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and Kobo agree and will allow him to release his book on his terms.
He goes on to discuss previous books, how Apple would not include one in the iTunes store without DRM. DRM, as we know is Digital Rights Management, or ‘you are locked into our world and nowhere else.’ Thoroughly frustrating to Doctorow, Lessig, and all of us out in the consumer market who want to use what we buy across our different devices. Me, right now, consumes from a nook, my EVO phone, a Dell netbook, a Dell laptop, and a Dell desktop at work. When I buy a book or mp3, I want to use it across all these devices. I am not a pirate (arrrrrr!), I will not share this with other people, I just want the flexibility to use it how I want.
I do think we are beginning to make a dent. I worry, though, with Apple coming on board making secret deals with publishers. I do hope the government begins looking into these monopolistic behaviors, but that’s a post for a different day. For now, we need to continue to force publishers to make all these formats work together. I would even go forward to force all to work with one open format. For now, though, we will continue to support authors like Doctorow who will speak his mind for what’s right. Help by buying his books and listening to his podcasts.