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Posts tagged cory doctorow

Cory Doctorow speaks on self-publishing, Amazon, DRM, Hachette, and a whole lot else besides
January 16, 2015 | 10:25 am

IMG_20150115_103208Cory Doctorow came over to Budapest at the invitation of the Center for Media, Data and Society of Central European University to speak on policing computers and other issues. In the course of a fascinating interview with me, he shared a slew of observations on a great many issues, many of which I'll be presenting in subsequent articles. To begin with, though, here are his thoughts on where self-publishing has got to, and what the whole Amazon-Hachette spat reveals about the impact of DRM on the market. The most important thing that self-publishing does isn’t merely enriching the people who succeed in...

Night Vale co-creator shares secrets of success: Love and integrity
November 17, 2014 | 6:35 pm

night-vale-logoWelcome to Night Vale has long passed the point where it needs any introduction, with the spinoff book deal just one of the many developments around the hugely popular, slightly unsettling podcast series bringing news and wackiness from America's spookiest community. Now, series co-creator Jeffrey Cranor has shared some of the secrets of his success on Boing Boing, as part of the recent series of creativity-focused guest posts commissioned by Cory Doctorow from some of his favorite creative peers. And Jeffrey Cranor's recipe for success is summarized under two heads: Integrity and love. Love in this case, or at least one...

Writers and GamerGate
October 24, 2014 | 10:25 am

tropesvswomen_thumb.jpgAnyone not living under the same rock that many of its adherents crawled out from under will surely know by now about GamerGate, the supposed activist movement to defend traditional computer gaming standards and values, which has mushroomed into an umbrella grouping for all kinds of self-righteous victimhood, hate speech, intimidation, trolling, and even death threats. The whole thing started around a woman journalist, but writers have by and large been out of the front line on this story - until now. For one thing, Theodore Beale AKA Vox Day, a fairly notorious right-wing science fiction author, apparently thought he could use...

Webcomic ‘Help Desk’ takes on e-book DRM
July 23, 2014 | 11:20 am

drm-rollIf you could use a good chuckle, webcomic “Help Desk” has just started a storyline focusing on e-book DRM. (The storyline then continues here.) It seems to have been inspired by the letter that Cory Doctorow received from Hachette about DRM. Since some authors publish with Tor in the USA but Hachette in the UK, and Tor went DRM-free two years ago, this means the US edition of their book would be DRM-free. Hachette didn’t like that, and wanted authors to insist that Tor put DRM on that edition to protect the sales of their UK edition. The letter was actually posted...

Dumping DRM is not a panacea
June 20, 2014 | 12:23 pm

As I’ve watched the e-book market develop, I’ve gradually lost a good deal of patience with the argument that DRM is the thing keeping people locked into the Amazon Kindle ecosystem. The latest example to pop up comes via Cory Doctorow’s latest column in The Guardian (found via BoingBoing). Doctorow feels Hachette is hoist by its own petard because of the DRM it insists Amazon (and the other e-book stores) use. It’s an old, old argument. And make no mistake, I don’t like DRM myself and would be just as glad if it all went away tomorrow. But Doctorow...

Cory Doctorow fights high school censorship with 200 copies of Little Brother
June 6, 2014 | 1:16 pm

littlebrotherOn BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow writes about a high school in Pensacola, Florida that had been scheduled to have his novel Little Brother in its summer reading program until the principal put his foot down. In an email conversation with Ms Griffith, the principal cited reviews that emphasized the book's positive view of questioning authority, lauding "hacker culture", and discussing sex and sexuality in passing. He mentioned that a parent had complained about profanity (there's no profanity in the book, though there's a reference to a swear word). In short, he made it clear that the...

London’s Literary Conference 2014 targets digiterati/digital wannabes
June 3, 2014 | 1:21 pm

The UK's Literary Consultancy, self-described as "the UK’s most established editorial consultancy, supported by Arts Council England," and "the UK's leading editorial assessment service," has launched The Literary Conference, billed as "an essential event for writers and those working with them, to catch up on the very latest in technology and thinking in the book publishing world." ...

Which Hachette books are affected by Amazon spat, and why Kindle users are locked in
May 29, 2014 | 6:34 am

Here’s some more assorted Amazon/Hachette coverage. First of all, Gizmodo has some examples of the books you find on “Amazon’s hit list,” with charts comparing pricing and availability at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The article itself is rather slanted, concluding with the call to action, “Amazon has every right to fight dirty. And you have every right to show them the consequences.” Nonetheless, the charts are interesting. It’s also interesting to look at at where the story slants are. You see plenty of pro-Hachette/anti-Amazon stuff in the media and the commercial blog networks (Gizmodo, GigaOm, etc.) and the...

New author advocacy group Authors Alliance seeks to counterbalance Authors Guild on fair use issues
May 14, 2014 | 11:28 am

Origin 5142014 112418 AM.bmpA group of writers and copyright experts concerned over Authors Guild overreach has formed its own new author advocacy group, the Authors Alliance, to advocate in favor of fair use of works. Publishers Weekly has a fairly long interview with one of its directors, law professor Pamela Samuelson of the UC Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. (Samuelson’s name has popped up a few times on TeleRead as one of the critics of the proposed Google Books settlement and the Authors Guild’s role in it, and an organizer of the Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project.) The Authors...

Humble Bundle about to launch third e-book bundle
March 18, 2014 | 12:10 pm

The launch of the new Humble Bundle is still just under two hours away (until then, you have one last chance to snag some terrific Android games, nine of them for under $4—Zombie Gunship is some crazy fun!) but Publishers Weekly has just revealed what the new one is going to be. It’s going to be Humble’s first e-books and audiobooks bundle. It’s not entirely clear from the PW article which books will have audiobooks and which will just be e-books, but it’s going to include some great titles: the audiobook of Homeland by Cory Doctorow, financed by Doctorow...

Humble Bundle plans to expand e-book, audiobook offerings
March 3, 2014 | 8:25 pm

humblelogoRemember the Humble E-Book Bundles? Humble’s done a couple of them (not counting the ones by other bundle sites) plus an audiobook bundle, and wants to do more. Calvin Reid has a great article at Publishers Weekly looking at the Humble Bundle e-book program in depth. It has some interesting facts. It turns out that the first two pay-what-you-want Humble E-Book Bundles were actually organized by Cory Doctorow. Not a big surprise given their DRM-free nature. The problem was that DRM-free nature meant Macmillan (whose Tor subsidiary had already gone DRM-free) was the only Big Five publisher willing to...

E-Books pit libraries against publishers, free against sales
August 7, 2013 | 8:28 pm

A few pieces on the sometimes adversarial relationship between libraries and publishers when it comes to e-books have come to my attention. First, there’s this piece covering Cory Doctorow’s appearance at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago, complete with a four-minute YouTube video. Doctorow notes that the most powerful interests in the book industry today do not have writers’ best interests at heart. Amazon wants to sell more books, but only because that makes them money. “Not because they’re evil, but because they’re a for-profit corporation and that’s their thing.” Publishers, on the other hand, want to sell...