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How to Destroy the Book, by Cory Doctorow

Dec 31, 2009, 20:47 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jade Colbert)

"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 every point.

"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.""

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