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James Boyle's New Book Under CC License

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the far-from-the-common dept.

Books 80

An anonymous reader writes "James Boyle has released his new book, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (Yale University Press) under a Creative Commons License. It can be downloaded free or read online. There are chapters on Thomas Jefferson's views of IP, musical borrowing and the birth of soul, free software, and synthetic biology. Lessig is impressed. Doctorow says he is a law prof who writes like a comedian (is this a good thing?), and credits Boyle's first book for getting him involved in online rights."

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80 comments

Thomas Jefferson (5, Insightful)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25939901)

Philosophically Jefferson opposed slavery too ... but his slaves would tell you a different story.

Re:Thomas Jefferson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25939961)

Philosophically Jefferson opposed slavery too ... but his slaves would tell you a different story.

Slavery? MADNESS! THIS IS AMERICAAAA.

Re:Thomas Jefferson (2, Interesting)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940225)

I'm not one to shun a history lesson, but I think the important thing here is that acknowledgment that the work of brilliant people should be free to all.

Keep charging for Hollywood crap, I don't care. But if you're truly bright, you'll want the world to know what you think.

It would also behoove Hollywood et al. to adopt this model, as it substantially augments the agent's influence in the given domain, but hey, they'll learn that the hard way, I guess.

Re:Thomas Jefferson (1)

fugue (4373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946505)

I'm not one to shun a history lesson, but I think the important thing here is that acknowledgment that the work of brilliant people should be free to all.

Here's an amusing thought: in a purely anarchist or capitalist "society" (too strong a word, really), each person's brain belongs to only that person (assuming autodidacts everywhere). In a somewhat socialist society (such as here in the USA where society chips in to protect and educate people), your brilliance is partially a product of the freedom and education that society has given you--for example if you went to public school, watched PBS, got a government scholarship, spent time thinking rather than protecting yourself from predators or farming, etc. Therefore your brilliant work literally belongs--to some degree--to society. Society invested in you, and it expects dividends.

Perhaps the reversion of your work to the public domain after 237 years is sufficient?

Re:Thomas Jefferson (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25948749)

I'm not one to shun a history lesson, but I think the important thing here is that acknowledgment that the work of brilliant people should be free to all.

Really? How do you propose that brilliant people feed themselves?

Re:Thomas Jefferson (1)

Down8 (223459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25954811)

By working like the rest.

If they are truly brilliant, they will find time to show their brilliance. Einstein worked in the patent office while he did some of his most ground-breaking work.

-bZj

Re:Thomas Jefferson (1)

ITEric (1392795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940979)

Didn't he at least free them in his will? At least he made some kind of statement about it with his actions. I'd wager he was a better owner than many of his peers.

Re:Thomas Jefferson (1)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941475)

Philosophically Al Gore opposed climate change... but his electricity bill would tell you a different story.

But what the hell, he's done more to fight climate change than I ever have. I've heard Jefferson did quite a good job over slavery too.

Re:Thomas Jefferson (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941685)

May be that's why James Boyle brings it [yupnet.org] up before he even brings up Jefferson's arguments.

Admittedly, the massive conflicts between Jefferson's announced principles and his actions on the issue of slavery have led some, though not me, to doubt that there is any sincerity or moral instruction to be found in his words. But even those who find him a sham can hardly fail to see the continual and obvious joy he felt about knowledge and its spread.

Re:Thomas Jefferson (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947799)

Did Thomas Jefferson free all his slaves upon making that statement? No? Well, James Boyle freed his work by licensing it under the creative commons. Perfect.

So, what was your point again?

Jefferson's Legacy (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25949283)

And that is why we don't live the way Jefferson ran his plantation, but rather more like the way he ran his philosophy.

It's not like Jefferson was magic or something. He was just a brilliant person in a time of fundamental crisis, who came up with a lot of ways out of that crisis. A fundamental crisis that awaits whenever we ignore or abuse his contributions. One of which contributions was that ideas and laws, not the people who make them, are the standards according to which we should live our lives.

Comedy of law (5, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25939905)

a law prof who writes like a comedian (is this a good thing?)

I think so. The world of law is rich with ironies and absurdities. Unfortunately the people on the giving end are too invested in the system to see it, and the people on the receiving end are usually having a bad time, so the humor is rarely appreciated.

Re:Comedy of law (3, Interesting)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940241)

I don't have the book on hand, but Bill Bryson put it well towards the start of "A Short History of Nearly Everything" where he blames the dry and boring nature of science textbooks and the authors need to put questions at the end of every chapter for squashing his interest in science. He then goes on to praise scientific authors who can make their work informative and entertaining.

I agree wholeheartedly. Make an otherwise dry subject funny and interesting and it becomes more memorable and therefore easier to learn.

To demonstrate my point, I have deliberately made this post dry and dull. You will notice that within a week you will have forgotten it entirely.

Re:Comedy of law (4, Interesting)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940969)

Resnick, Halliday and Walker (Fundamentals of Physics) did a great job with this. I loved how each chapter would start with a story and a question formed from that. For example, Electromagnetics, I think, started with telling how Jimi Hendrix fiddled with his guitar pickups to change the kind of sound he got.

Pretty much one of the best Physics textbooks I had when in high school.

Re:Comedy of law (3, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25942201)

Richard Feynman's Lectures on Physics are good in that regard, too. For example, he starts his lecture on planetary motion by describing the medieval myth that planets were pushed around by invisible angels. He finishes by pointing out that because we don't really understand what gravity is, all we've really done is turn the invisible angel through 90 degrees and say how hard it pushes.

Re:Comedy of law (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25948203)

That doesn't really prove that I would have remembered it if it hadn't been dry and dull. To demonstrate that.. well, ideally I would put your post to song and dance, but instead I will simply reference Schoolhouse Rock [wikipedia.org].

Re:Comedy of law (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940349)

Of course comedy in law is a good thing! Ask Phoenix Wright!

Re:Comedy of law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940389)

Of course comedy in law is a good thing! Ask Phoenix Wright!

Objection!

If you want to bring in those sorts of statements, I'm afraid you'll need some COMPELLING EVIDENCE!

Re:Comedy of law (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940451)

I think so. The world of law is rich with ironies and absurdities. Unfortunately the people on the giving end are too invested in the system to see it, and the people on the receiving end are usually having a bad time, so the humor is rarely appreciated.

Yes... a law prof writing like a comedian is great.

Universities need to find more law profs like that, and make an intro to law by such a prof mandatory for all majors, even more important than English 101.

Re:Comedy of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940545)

Yes... a law prof writing like a comedian is great.

What's the deal on the copy-right? Does that mean it's right to copy? Is it a brand name, like Marks-a-lot? I mean, why don't they make the whole airplane out of it?

Re:Comedy of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25941897)

Now you mention it, I don't think I've ever heard any jokes about lawyers.

Re:Comedy of law -- really (1)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 5 years ago | (#25954483)

There is a lot of humor in law, especially the parts that are interwoven with human experioence. Law like science is an effort to explain and order the world, though without any promise of ultimate truth. The best teachers in law school used a lot of humor, at least in first year, as a way of sustaining attention and perhaps befriending the audience (it's soft Socratic, not like The Paper Chase any more).

Humor in the hands of the brilliant is the perception of and pointing out the truth of a situation in a way that almost forces understanding and agreement. Once the person laughs, they're in on the conspiracy, perhaps even with appreciation for the release of tension; and the point is made almost indelibly.

Prses? (2, Insightful)

solafide (845228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25939921)

Yale University Prses? are all /.'s editors lacking in both mechanical spellchecking and literacy simultaneously?

Re:Prses? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940005)

Hey, it's a word! If you're referring to Omicron Persei 8 and 9, then you're talking about Omicron uh... Prses...

Re:Prses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25941811)

"kdawson" is, at least.

Does anyone remember that t-shirt that says "Go away or I will replace you with a very small shell script"? I often think that for most of the Slashdot "editors", this is what already actually happened.

damn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25939985)

I've jacked it half a dozen times this weekend to this fine ass [tube8.com].

Re:damn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940125)

I've jacked it half a dozen times this weekend to this fine ass [tube8.com].

Nah, I like this [tnaflix.com] better.

CC: It works bitches (2, Insightful)

prayag (1252246) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940069)

I've never heard of this guy. Never would have bothered to buy his book. But now that I read it online (for free). If it is engrossing enough, I would like to buy a hard copy, or anything tangible if its available in my country.

I would also tell my friends about this book and they would do the same, at least some of them would. PROFIT !!!

Re:CC: It works bitches (2, Insightful)

Reichiru (1420795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940367)

In the case of books I wouldn't be surprised to see it work like that since there is a notable difference between electronic text and reading out of a book; but for a medium where the CC version and the paid version are essentially the same (ex: music... at least in the case of mp3) I don't see it working as idealistically as that. But I guess that is why you don't see it much in those types of media.

Re:CC: It works bitches (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941883)

In the case of books I wouldn't be surprised to see it work like that since there is a notable difference between electronic text and reading out of a book; but for a medium where the CC version and the paid version are essentially the same (ex: music... at least in the case of mp3) I don't see it working as idealistically as that.

I guess you also never go to live concerts, never listen to the radio, never go to movie theaters (in the case of mpgs), and never buy commemorative copies of DVDs and/or concert paraphernalia.

Re:CC: It works bitches (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25951483)

Actually, they can keep their music recording, it would be significant progress if just the lyrics and the musical sheet music were released under CC. May be, that's part of the problem, CC advocates have been focusing too much on the performance part of music. They(we)'re trying to replicate the current idiotic system, where the performer is king/God, when in fact we should be focusing on making the initial materials freely exchangeable to make the average Joe able to copy, remix, rewrite, remake, republish, and learn the art of making music/performing music.

Music shouldn't be made into a product, just to be "consumed". Music should be like dancing. It should be copied from the people around you. Everybody should partake in it, as imperfect as that process may be. It's the copying, the exchange, and finally the little variations that everybody adds (good or bad) that makes dancing so special and nourishing to the body and soul.

Not exactly (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25943171)

A couple of years back I downloaded a novel published under Creative Commons from a respected writer (excellent book, BTW.) The site included a PayPal "tip jar", so I put in five bucks. The writer wrote me soon afterward and kindly offered to send me a paperback copy of the book, as, after a few thousand downloads, I was the very first person to use the tip jar.

Not to knock Creative Commons, but our society may still need some rewiring to make it profitable profitable.

Good thing? (2, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940101)

Doctorow says he is a law prof who writes like a comedian(Is that a good thing?)

No, it's a meaningless thing given that Doctorow has little to no education, and is an author who has never been of sufficient caliber to get the attention of a publisher (and no, I do not count a company that publishes Halo fanfiction "books" to be a publisher.)

He's also a hypocritical little shit [arstechnica.com]; we never did see him press charges against the SFWA for filing illegal DMCA notices, now did we? Funny how he didn't get all up in their grill, but he's happy to incite riots among his BoingBoing readers when it doesn't involve him?

It's absolutely fascinating that both he and his wife [uscpublicdiplomacy.com] have managed to attain positions in academia despite having no fucking education. Seriously- she's a WoW player/Quake gamer, and USC calls her a "fellow"? What the FUCK? What drugs did she put in their water?

Mod parent up (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940197)

We shouldn't celebrate mediocrity just because it offers some sound bites for our use, but all too often in the Slashdot community we either do that, or elevate people like Lessig who, in fact, pursue goals different from what we'd like to see. Would that there were more critical voices of this Slashdot establishment figures.

Re:Good thing? (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940203)

Aren't we angry. Not a BoingBoing reader or terribly familiar with Doctorow myself but your vitriol seems mostly inspired by some personal vendetta than anything constructive.

Doctorow's education (or lack thereof) aside, he's free to make whatever point he wants. It's up to you to prove his lack of education in any way inhibits his ability to contribute to society. There have been many people who were never formally educated who have contributed greatly.

I do not count a company that publishes Halo fanfiction "books" to be a publisher.

What -you- consider a publisher is irrelevant. He started his own company and got ISBNs for his books and apparently they're readily available. He's gone and done more than most loud-mouthed slashbots who whine about "teh evil corporations" and do nothing about it.

He's also a hypocritical little shit

Hypocracy would only be the appropriate label if he decried the blind spamming of DMCA takedown notices... then went and did it himself and continued to decry the takedowns sent by others. Also, I don't think -he- can press charges, but I'm not up on how federal law works in that respect. If he can, then at worst I would chalk it up to apathy, before that, a lack of funds.

What drugs did she put in their water?

I don't know, but someone must've pissed in your coffee. You cite the fact that they mention she plays games and that's somehow a reason to deny her USC's conferrance of the title of "fellow"? Maybe you should go and talk to them, find out why they decided to grant them the titles. You may not like it, but you'd at least disagree while being informed instead of ranting based on the fact that they mentioned two GAMES. Oh no, GAMES.

Re:Good thing? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940649)

He's also a hypocritical little shit; we never did see him press charges against the SFWA for filing illegal DMCA notices, now did we? Funny how he didn't get all up in their grill, but he's happy to incite riots among his BoingBoing readers when it doesn't involve him?

It is because they were not "illegal DMCA notices" they were simple false. The DMCA only requires that the filer "believe" that the DMCA notice is justified, and showing that the SFWA's lawyers did not "believe" their DMCA notices were legit is essentially impossible. That's why no one, absolutely no one, has been taken to court for filing false DMCA notices. The law is firmly stacked in the favor of those issuing the notices, regardless of whether the filings are valid or not.

Re:Good thing? (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941143)

(and no, I do not count a company that publishes Halo fanfiction "books" to be a publisher.)

You mean Tor, the publishing company that puts out Vernor Vinge, Charlie Stross, Ken MacLeod, Robert Charles Wilson, John Scalzi, the Wheel of Time, and Malazan in addition to Doctorow's latest book?

There are many reasons to think Doctorow is an intellectual lightweight, wannabe Jacobin, and all-around poseur, but this ain't it.

Re:Good thing? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25942635)

He's also a hypocritical little shit; we never did see him press charges against the SFWA for filing illegal DMCA notices, now did we?

He never [boingboing.net] did say he was going to press charges.

Funny how he didn't get all up in their grill, but he's happy to incite riots among his BoingBoing readers when it doesn't involve him?

Where did he incite a riot? Besides, if you read the comments associated with that same story [boingboing.net], you'll notice that those same readers pointed out -- that the take down request wasn't even a real [craphound.com] DMCA request and that the scribdb guys were just idiots for responding to that email (or to the followup email [craphound.com] claiming that it was a DMCA request) the way they did.

It's absolutely fascinating that both he and his wife have managed to attain positions in academia despite having no fucking education. Seriously- she's a WoW player/Quake gamer, and USC calls her a "fellow"?

In most fields, a fellowship is just a scholarship. It doesn't mean much. It means someone/some organization is willing to fund your work. That's about it. Out of the 13 others they have listed as current 2007-2008 [uscpublicdiplomacy.com] fellows, three don't seem to have College degrees at all (at least not listed), and only one seems to have just a Bachelor degree. Also, I would think she qualified for the fellowship because of the work she did for the BBC, not because of the last bit listed in her bio. At least, that seems like the common thread between all those non-degreed fellows, they all seem to have done some work for some media company.

Credentialism (1)

Geof (153857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25949237)

I don't know what formal credentials Doctorow has. When he held a seminar with graduate students at my university he was anything but uneducated. Reading his popular arguments online you wouldn't know he can back them up with philosophy and theory. He can.

I have some ability to judge this. I just completed an MA in Communication, with a focus on the commons of ideas (and copyright). But it's not the letters in front of your name that make you educated: It's the reading and thinking, the talking and writing, that do. Obviously Doctorow has been doing some of those. Anyone who argues with a person's credentials instead of their ideas obviously hasn't done enough.

But of course authority (and credentialism) is what much of what the current battles over the control of knowledge, culture and ideas are about.

Distribution "rights" are immoral. (2, Interesting)

Saysys (976276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940147)

once it is on the internet it is difficult to have artistic control, however the producer has the rights to be credited for its creation. The one that is not responsible for the creation of the product that is put up on the internet is the thief if it is put up there without the creator's permission.

Taking an idea from someone else and giving it away is thievery, but once an idea has been sold it is no longer under the control if its author.

All of academia and our modern society is based on both the right of ideas to be free and for idea creators to sell their ideas.

So: no matter how the idea is distributed we should all have the right, and certainly do have the responsibility, to pay the originator of the idea for his material.

Distribution rights are unconstitutional immoral and antithetical to a free and prosperous society. Intellectual property rights are, on the other hand, the exact opposite.

James Boyle's New Book Under CC License (1)

PincusJr (1310977) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940149)

That doesn't tell us much really... At least in the blurb. Not all the CC licenses share the same goal, of freedom.

Re:James Boyle's New Book Under CC License (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25941395)

Thank you very much.

Creative Commons publishes many licenses which are very different. Therefore, to say that a work âoeuses a Creative Commons licenseâ is to leave the principal questions about the work's licensing unanswered. When you see such a statement in a work, please ask the author to highlight the substance of the license choices. And if someone proposes to âoeuse a Creative Commons licenseâ for a certain work, it is vital to ask immediately, âoeWhich one?â

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#which-cc [gnu.org]

I actually go further than these folks, I say "don't use any CC licence".

Copyright 2008 apathy maybe
You are free to use and modify this work, for any purpose, in any medium with the following condition:
This entire licence text is retained and applies to any copy and/or modification.

Simple, to the point, and does the job. Isn't wrapped in legalise, won't confuse anyone and applies no matter where in the world you are.

As I've said before, Creative Commons encourages people not to understand what they are doing. It provides everyone with a simplistic "non-legal" text. For example, even when I just "selected" a licence, it directed me to http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ [creativecommons.org] which doesn't contain the full text. If I just use that, I don't know what "rights" I'm giving up! It is only when I go to http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode [creativecommons.org] that I find this great bit of text... (emphasis added):

Except as otherwise agreed in writing by the Licensor or as may be otherwise permitted by applicable law, if You Reproduce, Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work either by itself or as part of any Adaptations or Collections, You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation. Licensor agrees that in those jurisdictions (e.g. Japan), in which any exercise of the right granted in Section 3(b) of this License (the right to make Adaptations) would be deemed to be a distortion, mutilation, modification or other derogatory action prejudicial to the Original Author's honor and reputation, the Licensor will waive or not assert, as appropriate, this Section, to the fullest extent permitted by the applicable national law, to enable You to reasonably exercise Your right under Section 3(b) of this License (right to make Adaptations) but not otherwise.

Not only is it hard to read (and legal texts don't have to be hard to read), it is putting restrictions upon anyone using the work that I find unacceptable.

Fuck off with "Creative Commons" shit.

(The licence that the book is published under is http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ [creativecommons.org] which has the same clause.)

----

On PDF: Sumatra, FLOSS PDF reading software for MS Windows [kowalczyk.info].

Re:James Boyle's New Book Under CC License (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941399)

Err WTF? Somehow I managed to post anonymously without meaning to.

That post up there, the one with "Copyright apathy maybe" is mine.

Re:James Boyle's New Book Under CC License (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25942267)

Not only is it hard to read (and legal texts don't have to be hard to read), it is putting restrictions upon anyone using the work that I find unacceptable.

Well, tough luck. It's up to the author what restrictions to place on the user, not up to you. The author is giving rights away for nothing that he'd be perfectly entitled to keep; why should he give a flying f--- what is acceptable to you?

Re:James Boyle's New Book Under CC License (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25943369)

If I'm releasing stuff, I'm not about to use a creative commons licence because of that (and others) issue.

But, most of the people who use these CC licences would not actually read the licence text. They would not know what the restrictions they are placing!

Re:James Boyle's New Book Under CC License (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944773)

Maybe, but there's a big difference between you not using it and telling others 'don't use any CC licence'. And maybe people who use CC licences means that they 'don't know what "rights" [they're] giving up', but the "unacceptable" example given was about rights being retained.

So let's see. I produce something that I don't expect to be worth more than pin-money. What are my choices?

  • Go to law school to learn enough about law to judge between licences or write my own;
  • Hire a lawyer, which will cost out of any proportion to the value of the work;
  • Don't explicitly protect the work in any way, in which case it may gain a measure of statutory protection by default which I really don't understand and which is likely to vary more between administrations than any CC license will;
  • Give up all rights by putting the work into the public domain; or
  • Use a ready-rolled license such as a CC one which may not be exactly what I want but which is likely to be near enough for what I need for a low-value use.

Only the last two seem to make any sense at all to me; both seem to be reasonable choices for the author, depending on what the author wants to achieve.

Re:J Boyle's Book Under CC License (MOD PARENT UP) (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25942441)

And the one this one is under doesn't have that goal.

"Creative Commons License The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License."

Please people, unless you are trying to cause confusion and trouble, when you mention that something us under a cc license, tell us which one.

Oh, and MOD PARENT UP please. This is an important point.

all the best,

drew

Comedians need to write more books (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940157)

Doctorow says he is a law prof who writes like a comedian (is this a good thing?)

Yes. Comedians are more thoughtful than is often apparent. They are logical and intelligent and perceptive. You can't be dumb and (deliberately) funny. It actually takes intelligence and a great deal of work to be as (deliberately) funny as Dan Quayle [wikipedia.org] for example. Comedians often derive their humour from pointing out the incongruities that most other people overlook. If all of us could be comedians then the world would be a far more intelligent (and funnier) place to live.

Re:Comedians need to write more books (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940569)

You can't be dumb and (deliberately) funny.

A certain drooling moron who repeatedly shouts "GIT-R-DONE!" would seem to offer evidence against your assertion.

Re:Comedians need to write more books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940609)

You think he's funny?

Re:Comedians need to write more books (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25949809)

He's a smart guy, he just plays a drooling idiot on TV.

(No, seriously).

Re:Comedians need to write more books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25941891)

If all of us could be comedians then the world would be a far more intelligent (and funnier) place to live.

Actually, no - that's like saying that if all us were basketball players, the world would be a taller place (well, so to speak).

"Doctorow" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940321)

Has this guy actually done anything much, other than be an opinonated internet celebrity whose views tend to correlate with those of ./ readers with respect to IP issues, to warrant constant random references in stories on this site?

I find him slightly preachy and less well-informed than he makes himself out to be, personally.

Cue the typical slashdot bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940327)

About the PDF format.

hint: Acrobat Reader on Windows sucks, get a better PDF reader or switch to Mac which handles PDF files natively.

Copyright Shows Why Capitalism Doesn't WORK (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25940475)

The idealism of copyright is that people want stuff that is non-rivalrous (you can copy it, I can copy it, so apparently no-one will ever pay for more than one copy). To encourage "artists" to create the stuff that people want, you give them exclusive rights to make copies, and magically the non-rivalrous good becomes a rivalrous good and now the market system works and the people get what they want.

The thing is, people don't know what they want. If we're talking about the market for potatoes, sure, we all know a good potato from a bad one, but we're not. We're talking about "artistic" goods. If the people knew what they wanted, they'd just make it themselves. So how do they decide what is "art" and what is not? Why, marketing of course. The "artists" just pump out crap and the people consume.

Compare this to the old patronage system. You go to an artist, you say "I want X" and when they make Y you say, "no, I want X" and you keep saying it until you get X. If the artist can't give you X, you go find an artist who can. That is a market.

Re:Copyright Shows Why Capitalism Doesn't WORK (1)

Panseh (1072370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941013)

If only there was some way for people to preview art before they purchase, like test-driving a car.

Also, what's stopping today's nobility from hiring an artist to personally satisfy his taste in art? The market for art today is live and well.

Re:Copyright Shows Why Capitalism Doesn't WORK (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25942031)

So how do they decide what is "art" and what is not? Why, marketing of course. The "artists" just pump out crap and the people consume.

Call it what you will, but music is closely interlinked to memory. A song (or a similar tune) needs to be primed into memory before it becomes catchy.

That is why radio stations get paid to play the same songs over and over again, over our public airways. If you ask me, that is not a problem of capitalism. That is a problem of government intervention and centralized planning. Without government intervention, corporate radio stations wouldn't be as large and as centralized as they are now, and they would have no where as much influence over our music choices as they do now.

Re:Copyright Shows Why Capitalism Doesn't WORK (1)

yakmans_dad (1144003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25950261)

Copyright, whatever it's merits, has spit to do with whether capitalism works or not.

Personally, I think the current copyright structure is ludicrous and -- like alcohol prohibition -- encourages disrespect for the law and the rights of others.

It's entirely reasonable that artists (people who consciously shape material) be given the sole right to benefit from their efforts for a reasonable length of time. The old 28 years with a single renewal was a reasonable length of time. Half of that would be reasonable. A bit longer would also be reasonable. Currently, the novel Ulysses (1922) is under copyright. I believe the poem "If" by Kipling is also under copyright. Both have long ago passed into our common heritage and demonstrate the ludicrous side of our current copyright regime.

The new model due to digital media is apparently a copyright span of nanoseconds. That's also unreasonable.

Lecture: musical borrowing and the birth of soul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940611)

Boyle gave a lunchtime lecture, those are open to everyone, a few weeks ago on musical borrowing and the birth of soul. Duke makes those lectures available online [duke.edu].

His lectures are as amusing as his writings.

Re:Lecture: musical borrowing and the birth of sou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944479)

That is fantastic. It almost makes me wish I could go to law school and have a professor like him. I just don't want to deal with the crippling debt.

Free book released in PDF format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25940641)

The first thing that pops up on my computer is a licensing agreement for the Adobe PDF reader. If they really wanted to it to be free, they should have released it in an ASCII text format (or is there a patent on that now?).

Re:Free book released in PDF format. (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946633)

The licensing agreement is for Acrobat Reader, not the file. You might want to use some other PDF viewer instead (ghostscript for example).

License: by-nc-sa (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941359)

Specifically, the license is the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Noncommercial mean it is not entirely free, but it is still one of the more free cc licenses. Just saying that something is cc-licenses means almost nothing, there are cc licenses that give very little freedom.

Re:License: by-nc-sa (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25942495)

"but it is still one of the more free cc licenses."

Not quite, BY and BY-SA are the "Free" ones, the NC and ND ones certainly aren't close to those two.

all the best,

drew

Wow! It's about copyrights and stuff! (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941461)

An unexpected development! A Creative Commons -licensed book about copyright and licensing! I would have never expected them to- ... okay, I expected them to do this.

Just a small suggestion to people: Creative Commons was founded in 2001, and as such, there's been just a little bit of discussion about copyright and licensing (and consequently why CC rocks) since then. Can we finally move away from meta-stuff and start to celebrate the real-world use of Creative Commons licenses? Please???

I'd really love it if Slashdot would post more about Creative Commons -licensed (and other free-culture) stuff that interests geeks, but I'd also love it if we would step away from discussion about copyrights and licensing in itself and touting CC as the main selling point. Can we get away from the mechanism and move on to the substance?

Re:Wow! It's about copyrights and stuff! (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25942585)

"I'd really love it if Slashdot would post more about Creative Commons -licensed (and other free-culture) stuff that interests geeks, but I'd also love it if we would step away from discussion about copyrights and licensing in itself and touting CC as the main selling point. Can we get away from the mechanism and move on to the substance?"

Well, while people still speak of a cc license and don't name it and when you speak of "(and other free-culture) stuff" when the licnese on this book is not a Free one, we are likely to still have these meta mechanism over substance discussions. I agree though that it would be good to move beyond it if we can move beyond the confusion.

all the best,

drew

How about a "download with donation" option (1)

davide marney (231845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941611)

The way this is set up, you can either download the file for free, or buy the book (hardcover). I don't want a book, I want a file -- but I also want to financially support the author and his publisher.

How about a "download with donation" option, with a 50/50 split to the author and the publisher? (For those who might object to giving the publisher anything, just ask any author how much work goes into getting a book ready for publication. Splitting the donation is plenty fair, I can assure you.)

Re:How about a "download with donation" option (1)

size8 (1067704) | more than 5 years ago | (#25941751)

If you *want* to pay for the file, why don't you just go ahead and pay for it? Is it too difficult for you to pay if there isn't a little button for you to click? Diddums.

Re:How about a "download with donation" option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25942727)

There is a missing option for the question !

A brief review of the first chapter (1)

Garwulf (708651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945123)

I don't have time to read much more than that - my own work and the grad student shuffle have demands on my time I can't ignore - but I do have some comments on the first chapter of the book.

First of all, having tried to read Lessig's Free Culture at least twice, and having been stopped by some massive and often bizarre leaps of logic, I was very happy to see no such thing so far in this book. Boyle manages to make his argument without any strange leaps of logic, and he backs up what he says. I think he doesn't give enough weight to certain things, but he may cover that later in the book anyway.

There are some things in his introductory chapter that I wish he had gone into greater detail on, or that he missed outright. Like Lessig, he treats American copyright so far as though it exists in a vacuum, which isn't true. The international dimension is an important one, and has a tremendous impact. To give an example, copyright in the United States would have stayed at lifetime + 50 years if Europe hadn't moved to lifetime +70, and declared that it would use the laws of the country of origin to determine when a work goes into the public domain - so there is a strong foreign policy component of what actually goes onto the law books.

(As a further example, would the DMCA have ever been written if it wasn't for the WIPO agreements?)

I also hope that the economy of supply and demand is gone into in greater depth, as well as the interaction between it and copyright. In the first chapter, Boyle touches on it, but the economics of whether people are buying a product has more impact on whether that product survives the test of time than any copyright law. That's something worth a great deal of examination, and I hope Boyle does that in later chapters.

On a final note, I hope Boyle discusses means of dealing with "orphaned works" - I know that Canada has a mechanism for moving an orphaned work into the public domain if the copyright holder can't be tracked down, but is there such a mechanism in the United States? What about Great Britain or Europe?

One thing that I hope Boyle will avoid is confusing plagiarism with creativity - they are not the same thing, and it's a mistake that Lessig fell into (to the point that one reviewer argued that Lessig was trying to fight for the right to plagiarize instead of the right to create). If Boyle is as good as he seems to be, he'll explore the difference, and what it means to copyright law.

So, this book is off to a vastly superior start to Lessig's Free Culture, and I hope that it proves to keep that quality when I finally have time to read the rest of it.

Anyone got an ebook version? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947471)

PDF is great an all but he should really put it into a variety of eBook formats... even just a plain text file would be better than a PDF... though I suppose you'd lose the "typesetting" and "formatting" of the printed material.

And no I don't think an HTML version would be any better than PDF. Possibly for google searches, otherwise no.

Interesting, except for what Doctorow thinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25953129)

Doctorow's the most overrated "sci-fi" writer of the last few years. He's been riding the BB wave to boost his writing "career". I can hardly read three sentences into his text without puking.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25954511)

Hey, it's a word! If you're referring to Omicron Persei 8 and 9, then you're talking about Omicron uh... Prses...
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