In sharply argued, fast-moving chapters, Cory Doctorow’s Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free takes on the state of copyright and creative success in the digital age. Can small artists still thrive in the Internet era? Can giant record labels avoid alienating their audiences? This is a book about the pitfalls and the opportunities that creative industries (and individuals) are confronting today — about how the old models have failed or found new footing, and about what might soon replace them. An essential read for anyone with a stake in the future of the arts, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free offers a vivid guide to the ways creativity and the Internet interact today, and to what might be coming next.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. I listened to it via audiobook which was excellent. It was informative and eye-opening, and the author gave a good synopsis of the world of copyright. I would recommend it to anyone who is a creator, distributor, or consumer of any form of art and creative media of all types. The information is applicable to anyone who is a part of the creative community. More specifically, ranging from those involvement in music and film to traditional and digital artistry as well as social media consumers and influencers and anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.
The author, Cory Doctorow, was able to put together a well-organized, well-thought-out, and well-paced summary about the legal and creative aspects of copyright. It included compelling historical context that took me from the origins of intellectual property creation, protection, and distribution to how it has evolved to what we know today. And that was super interesting to me. This included everything from the reasons behind the westward migration of the film industry to the power and legal challenges of Napster. The author gave an insightful review of the changes and value placed on creative works and the ability for others to enjoy them.
I will say that some parts seemed to be more of a vent of internal frustrations having to do with the bad experiences the author faced within the industry, which I can somewhat understand and I did appreciate the stories for perspective. Also there was a great deal of the time spend on the topic of digital locks which was a hit and miss as far as maintaining my interest largely because in part, it’s truly a double-edged sword that probably could deserve its own book with a take on the technological perspective to explain its opportunities and challenges. And sometimes I had trouble following the quick-witted puns and inclusive references that were thrown in here and there. Perhaps it was a cultural barrier for me in understanding the seemingly humorous terms and my inability to understand the in-jokes, but it wasn’t horribly distracting for me.