How to Destroy the Book, by Cory Doctorow
Dec 31, 2009, 20:47 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jade Colbert)
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"The premise of these licenses is forget copyright. Forget the
law in the public realm that gave you the rights to your books.
From now on, we write the law.
"These licenses are of course built with unenforceable clauses.
You can tell, because they're liberally peppered with language like
"If any part of this license is found to be unenforceable, the rest
of it will remain in effect." This is of course the lawyers' way of
saying, "We didn't limit this to the things we thought a judge
would smile upon. We put everything in here. It's a kind of
possible wish list and the only way that you'll find out which
parts are real and which parts are imaginary is to sue us over
"It's basically a way of saying that copyright is nonsense, and
that readers should stop paying attention to it, and only agree to
these crazy, abusive licenses.
"And on top of those licenses, they add digital rights
management technology. Digital rights management technology, of
course, has never stopped the book from escaping onto the Internet.
To those publishers here today who believe that you can buy DRM
that will stop your books from appearing on the Internet without
restriction, I say to you, "Behold, the typist.""