Tuesday, May 12, 2009

#8 Blogging About Technology

The New York Times reports that the problem of pirated books has ballooned in recent months on file-sharing sites such as Scribd. Author Ursula K. Le Guin was browsing the Web one day and was surprised to find a complete copy of her 1969 Nebula and Hugo award-winning classic, The Left Hand of Darkness.

Authors Cory Doctorow and Harlan Ellison expressed two opposing views. Doctorow, author of the 2009 Hugo-finalist novel Little Brother, has long been a vocal opponent of DRM and has routinely, with his publisher's blessing, released his new novels onto the Web under a Creative Commons license, on the belief that free versions will entice new readers.

Ellison, also an award-winning science/speculative fiction author, has seen his work routinely pirated in print in many languages, and has spent a lifetime defending his copyrights. Ellison is 74, Doctorow is 37. Ellison just wants to get paid for his work. Doctorow says that obscurity is more to be feared than piracy.

Question 1: Who do you agree with and why?
Question 2: Why is it always science fiction authors?

1 comment:

  1. I like the creative commons approach, that allows people to give various rights to their book, while others may choose to retain their rights.
    I do think there is something, perhaps, generational between Doctorow and Ellison. Doctorow has seen many changes related to technology, information exchange and access to information. Ellison has seen those changes, but perhaps from afar- wanting to maintain the standard relationship of interacting with his readers. While Doctorow wants to interact on many levels with his readers, through the web as one for example.