Doctorow to Microsoft: “DRM is a bad business-move”By Steffen • Oct 2nd, 2008 • Category: 26th Story, Big Ideas, Book News and Publishing, Technology
I’ve been a fan of Cory Doctorow‘s work for a long time (Bruce Sterling calls him “a political activist, gizmo freak, junk collector, programmer, entrepreneur, and all-around Renaissance geek”) but ever since I joined HarperStudio over the summer, I’ve developed a new found admiration for Doctorow’s advocacy for freedom of speech and freedom of information- as well as his general chutzpah. His new book, Content, should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of publishing.
Here’s an excerpt from a talk he gave at Microsoft (click here to download the book in its entirety, for free):
Greetings fellow pirates! Arrrrr!
I’m here today to talk to you about copyright, technology and DRM, I work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation on copyright stuff (mostly), and I live in London. I’m not a lawyer — I’m a kind of mouthpiece/activist type, though occasionally they shave me and stuff me into my Bar Mitzvah suit and send me to a standards body or the UN to stir up trouble. I spend about three weeks a month on the road doing completely weird stuff like going to Microsoft to talk about DRM.
I lead a double life: I’m also a science fiction writer. That means I’ve got a dog in this fight, because I’ve been dreaming of making my living from writing since I was 12 years old. Admittedly, my IP-based biz isn’t as big as yours, but I guarantee you that it’s every bit as important to me as yours is to you.
Here’s what I’m here to convince you of:
1. That DRM systems don’t work
2. That DRM systems are bad for society
3. That DRM systems are bad for business
4. That DRM systems are bad for artists
5. That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT
Publishers are still grappling with decisions about the importance of DRM. We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.