February 18th, 2007
During our interactive podcast with Cory Doctorow, the first question asked of him was one we think he felt very comfortable answering. As for the conversation, we’ll be posting transcripts here, and of course the audio will be up on Waxxi shortly.
Question, (via email) from Karen in Chicago:
Will DRM die, and if it does, what will be the conduit?
Cory’s profoundly simple answer, was this:
I think, ultimately the force that will drive DRM out of the marketplace — is the marketplace. There is no market for DRM. There is no customer who woke up this morning wishing that three was a way that she could do less with her music.
Here’s his answer, in its entirety:
“Well, I think DRM is definitely reeling. I was just preparing some stuff for the class I teach tomorrow, and I was going through Siva Vaidhyanathan’s wonderful book, The Anarchist in the Library, and he reminded me of something Iâ€™d totally forgotten about.
There was a guy in Germany who bought this CD in 2003 or 2004, and it wouldnâ€™t play on his computer because it had DRM on it. He wrote EMI a letter saying â€˜I bought this CD and it wonâ€™t work!â€™ EMI sent him back this incredibly awful note saying, ‘Look, thief! You better get used to it, because within months every single CD sold in the entire world will have DRM on it, and thereâ€™s no going back now.’
Now, the interesting thing about this is that EMI has just announced that theyâ€™re planning to a make a huge portion of catalogue available without any DRM at all, just as mp3s. Not just taking DRM off their CDs but actually just selling mp3s on the Internet. So thatâ€™s pretty amazing.
And, I think ultimately the force that will drive DRM out of the marketplace â€“ is the marketplace. There is no market for DRM. There is no customer who woke up this morning wishing that there a way that she could do less with her music. So, to the extent that these companies have shareholders, and these shareholders have got their eyes on the ball, they arenâ€™t very happy about the fact that these companies arenâ€™t making music available in the form that consumers want to buy it in.
Companies that are making music available in better forms are selling more, and ultimately all of these companies have to compete with the free market â€“ the infringing market. iTunes has shown that people will buy stuff even if you can get it for free.
So, you can compete with free, but it seems pretty implausible to think that you can compete with free by making something that sucks. Itâ€™s really hard to compete with anything if you start with a product that sucks.”
The audio really brings Cory’s words to life, along with his passion and intense intellectualism. Next up: Boing Boing, Steve Jobs, Google Book Search, and more.
February 14th, 2007
We’d like to thank everyone that attended Monday’s interactive podcast with Cory Doctorow, including of course, Mr. Doctorow himself. Some joined by IM, some by phone, and many – both. As expected, it was a fascinating, reeling conversation. Someone once said of Cory, quite accurately, that he was the ultimate interviewee. Fire off a question and what you get back is clear, concise, and brilliant mindshare; an explosion of thought, passion and analysis.
We discussed topics from Disney to DRM, the world of science fiction to the world of the copyfight, Google Book Search, Wikipedia, his upbringing, and (much) more. We’ll post some of the conversation here, and of course the podcast will be available on Waxxi, shortly.
Interestingly, during the recording we experience a slight technical glitch. Suffice to say, it felt more like twelve or so podcasts worth of technical difficulties all rolled into 10 minutes’ time. But what happened in the end is actually the fun part of the story. A participant named Rich (calling from the UK) swiftly took over the conversation, asked Cory questions, and took some from the crowd – like he had done it 1,000 times before. The crowd went wild! They loved it. And, after listening to this great banter for a bit, I came back in when the timing was just right, and continued on. Now that’s participatory.
We’ve always said at Waxxi, the Floor is Yours. We believe the interviewer should take a back seat, and the people should drive the conversation.
Our gratitude again goes out to Cory, as well as a few others:
* the dedicated, hard working, fun loving Waxxi team, which includes our partners-in-design, Inflatble3
January 31st, 2007
For many, Cory Doctorow needs little introduction. He’s co-editor of Boing Boing, one of the world’s most popular blogs (@ 2 million + unique visitors/month), an award winning sci-fi novelist, digital rights activist, and a wickedly brilliant (and nice) human.
Forbes and the World Economic Forum (WEF) tend to agree:
Top 25 Web Celebrities for 2007
WEF’s Young Global Leaders for 2007
I’ve had the chance to meet Cory at the Google Unbound event, and again at NYU’s Free Culture series. He’s been accurately described as a “walking, talking Wikipedia of digital rights” (as I witnessed at NYU), and he’s a self-described ‘nethead’ (meaning he’s been online for as long as he can remember, and has actually written his books online…for years).
To say he’s engaging is a massive understatement. You need only to hear/watch/witness him speak, and you’ll know how very true that is. But, look out. You’d better strap your brain in. Seth Godin on Cory:
I sat next to Cory at a conference today. It was like playing basketball next to Michael Jordan.
We’ll be elaborating on Cory and his work here, up through the event and beyond. For now, here are the details:
WHAT: Interactive Podcast with Cory Doctorow
WHEN: Monday, February 12, 2007 from 1:30-3:00pm PST
HOW: Register here. But hurry!
It’s free, as always, but spaces are limited and you’ll need to register in order to participate.
Cory’s latest short story collection, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present can be downloaded for free, listened to via podcast , and purchased one of many places (you can get an autographed copy delivered to your door, too).