Tim Longhurst's Blog

Futures of media – Cory Doctorow talk on increasing access to knowledge

April 20th, 2006 · No Comments

doctorowMovies, TV shows and music are all available via the internet for free. Filesharing software is becoming more sophisticated and the library of content is becoming increasingly rich. What does this mean for the future of media?

Over 90 minutes, Cory crystalised his perspective: new media, like all new technology in history, is going to create winners and losers. “Ask a blacksmith if he thinks the railway is a good idea and he’s likely to say no.” With internet and filesharing, the winners, in Cory’s opinion, are those people most able to adapt and take advantage of the benefits of cheap distribution.

“My problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity. People that haven’t heard of me aren’t going to buy my book.”

And so Doctrow argues that filesharing technologies work great for him as an author, because although he releases his content under Creative Commons license on the internet, he also publishes his books in hard copy and they sell, mainly because people know of him because of the internet. “Technology giveth and technology taketh away.”

According to Doctorow, conversation, not content is king, and it is inspiring and facilitating conversation that will determine success in the internet age.

For more on Cory Doctrow, including a mind map and MP3 of Cory’s talk, check out Delicate Genius Blog.

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Category: Communication and connection

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