Cory Doctorow is a guy who is always pushing the leading edge of what publishing and copyright could and should be. His new book is out, and like his other two books, he’s released it under a Creative Commons license.
You can send it around, paste it into a chat, beam it to a friend’s PDA, or print out a chapter to hand out in the university common room. Like Woody Guthrie said, “Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”
Since he’s done the same with his other books, this really isn’t news.
What is interesting is that this book is released under the new Creative Commons Developing Nations License, which basically says that anyone from a low-income country can republish, resell, make a movie or audiobook or translation of his book without paying a cent in royalties.
This sounds, I think, like a pretty neat idea. After all, if you want to export capitalism and whatnot to developing nations, it helps if you give them something cool to sell. Like the old saying goes.. give a man a fish…. you know the rest. But teaching a man to fish doesn’t do much good if you take the fishing rod with you when you go.
But then again, if I were to write the license, I’d exclude government workers/leaders and their friends and family. You just know this idea will die a humiliating death if Robert Mugabe and his friends start up a publishing company.