Copyleft And Cory Doctorow Essay

1274 words - 5 pages

I value people that aren't afraid to fall on their face. I look up to those who take smart, legendary risks and that is why Cory Doctorow is my hero (see picture in appendix). He hasn't saved lives, discovered anything special or overcame anything, it is because he did something radically different with his writing talent. He is a science fiction writer and avid blogger. According to his web site, Doctorow has written five novels and won many awards. His young adult story, Little Brother was nominated for the 2008 Hugo, Nebula, Sunburst and Locus Awards. It won the Ontario Library White Pine Award, the Prometheus Award as well as the Indienet Award (Doctorow). He has been featured in Wired, Popular Science, Make, New York Times, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. The blog he co-edits; Boing Boing is "A Directory of Wonderful Things" and reports on things like Amazon's poor e-book system and other "wonderful" things (Doctorow - Boing Boing). In addition to his writing Cory Doctorow, is a copyleft activist. Copyleft is the general term for a license that requires the work created to be given away for free, and says derivative work must be licensed similarly. (See watermark)
Instead of copyrighting his work and hoping to sell books, he gives his work away for free. This not only helps spread the popularity of his work. It creates a whole new option to help new and existing writers share their content with others in the mosh pit that is the internet. If you are an independent artist and want to increase the popularity of your work, I suggest you follow in the steps of Cory Doctorow. I believe with his voice and copyleft licenses he has and will continue to change the way our books, movies, music and other content is shared, for the better.
Traditional copyright started as a way to encourage creativity while maintaining artist's rights like the way copyleft is today (Gaylor). The Statute of Anne, passed by the British Parliament in 1710 was the first copyright law and basis for the US copyright law passed eighty years later (Piatt). In order to keep the rights of the public, work was released into the public domain 14 years after copyrighted. This worked until more advanced forms of copying were created that broke the old business method. Each new method such as the printing press, VHS tapes and of course the internet allowed copies to be made without paying the content owners. What made the internet so different, was that it allowed content consumers to become content providers (Gaylor). Before the internet if you wanted to get content you had to go to a bookstore or a record store, pirating wasn't so simple. There was no YouTube to showcase the greatest average-joe creation, content was mostly all distributed by corporations in the form of different publishing companies. But as more advanced forms of copying were created and artists felt that their rights were being taken away, the year from when work enters the public domain in...

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