cover image Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age

Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age

Cory Doctorow. McSweeney’s, $25 (218p) ISBN 978-1-940450-28-5

The Internet has expanded and cluttered the debate over intellectual property with technical terms and special interests, but Doctorow (Rapture of the Nerds), co-editor of the popular blog Boing Boing and a contributor to Publishers Weekly, breaks down some of the most fundamental concepts at work into plain language. The book is organized around Doctorow’s Three Laws, which consider DRM (digital rights management, which Doctorow simplifies to “digital locks”), piracy versus obscurity, and the way copyright ought to work. He excels at translating complex issues into pithy, digestible phrases, and challenges readers to rethink the idea of copyright and who it is meant serve. Doctorow argues that, rather than doing away with copyright as we know it, we need to rethink the way that it is enforced. He deftly explains how an open Internet directly affects freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and why censorship doesn’t solve problems. Equal parts manifesto and field guide, Doctorow’s primer for artists and creators delivers a healthy dose of clarity to the debate. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Nov.)