A series of live dispatches by if:book’s own Meg Vann from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Publishing Conference in New York City.
Cory Doctorow has three laws.
1. “If someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and doesn’t give you the key, then they are not looking out for your interests.”
DRM basically puts bookcase sellers in charge of the market for our art. Once intermediaries take the whip hand, all of their offers converge on a basic set of terms which are not favourable to the artist.
There aren’t enough lawyer hours between now and the heat death of the universe to eliminate copyright infringements on YouTube. Converting fame into money is hard alchemy, and most people who do it, fail. Those who success use 5 strategies: sell things, ask for donations, charge for tickets, sell ads, sell licence, or take commissions – but only happens if you can reach an audience – which takes an intermediaries channel.
2. “Fame can’t make you rich, but you won’t get rich without fame.”
The collateral damage from organising computer networks to make it illegal to know what our computers are doing, and making it easy to hide what people are doing, all for censorship and copyright – well, that’s bad sauce. Cory becomes emotional when discussing the work of Aaron Schwartz.
3. “The job of the artist is not to be responsible for censorship and surveillance – if that’s how you’re doing art, then you’re doing art wrong.”