cory doctorow

Cory Doctorow’s “For The Win”

Jane Park, May 11th, 2010


Longtime supporter of CC and NYTimes best selling author Cory Doctorow has released his latest work of fiction, For The Win, under a CC BY-NC-SA license. For The Win is about a virtual future of gamers, Big Sister, and shadow economies. Cory encourages you to remix the work and also to convert it to your favorite format. You can download the book for free, donate, or buy the book at his site.

His last book, Little Brother, was available for download under the same license and spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. For more on why Cory uses CC for his works, see his posts for Locus Magazine on Creative Commons and Why I Copyfight.

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Snitchtown: The Photo Essay

Cameron Parkins, June 29th, 2009

Over at Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow points readers to Snitchtown: The Photo Essay, a wonderful adaptation of his essay, Snitchtown. Originally a CC BY-NC-SA licensed editorial on “the future of urban surveillance” – specifically the ubiquity of CCTV cameras found in the the UK – the new work, authored by Emma Byrne, is a photo essay that puts images alongside Doctorow’s words, specifically photos of CCTV cameras. Naturally, it is CC BY-NC-SA licensed as well.

These stories are inspiring for us as they show our licenses at work doing excatly what we intended them to – helping facilitate interesting and poignant reuse that make the original work richer. Even better is Doctorow’s reaction:

This is, I believe, my absolute favorite CC adaptation of my work to date; in that it’s the first adaptation that I prefer to my original.

A free PDF download of Snitchtown: The Photo Essay is available here.

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Advice for Authors on Negotiating With a Publisher About CC Licenses

Cameron Parkins, March 30th, 2009

Cory Doctorow points us towards an excellent essay from the team behind Digital Foundations on ten key steps to negotiating a CC-licensed release with a large scale publisher:

4. Pitch it with facts

Use case studies to argue with facts. It also helps for them to see that other reputable publishers have licensed books Creative Commons. O’Reilly has some a study on an Asterisk book that we used very effectively.

http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/06/free_downloads.html

The Asterisk book sold 19k copies over two years (about what comparable books from O’Reilly were selling), but was downloaded 180,000 times from *one* of the 5 sites that mirrored it.

Also consider google as arbiter:

Results from google search breakdown of references to the two books in the oreilly case study (at the time of negotiation, early 2008):
asterisk: 139,000 references in 2 years (2005-2007), or 70,000 per year

understanding the linux kernel, 42,000 references in 7 years (2000-2007), 6,000 per year

So there was 10x the press/blog/reference/hits for the CC licensed book.

Treading the sometimes delicate waters of negotiating a CC license with those immediately apprehensive to the idea is difficult at the very least – this type of information, from those who have gone through the process, is invaluable. While the Digital Foundations piece focuses on print publishing, the information therein is applicable across media formats, especially when combined with our ever growing case study database.

We would be remiss not to mention James Boyle’s thoughts on the matter, particularly regarding his experience in licensing The Public Domain: Enclosing The Commons of the Mind under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

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“RiP: A Remix Manifesto” Released, Online Remixing Through Kaltura

Cameron Parkins, March 23rd, 2009

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RiP: A Remix Manifesto, a community-driven documentary that focuses on copyright and remix culture (covered earlier here and here) is just beginning to creep out into theaters, having its U.S. premier last week at SXSW. While the film largely focuses on the story of Greg Gillis (Girl Talk) it includes interviews with a wide variety of figures, including both Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow.

Perhaps most interesting is that the filmmakers have teamed up with open source video platform Kaltura (early coverage here) enabling anyone with a computer to remix the film only at opersourcecinema.org. All the footage of the film is released under a CC BY-NC license.

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Sundman returns

Mike Linksvayer, December 16th, 2008

John Sundman has published his third gonzo SF novel, The Pains, under a CC BY-NC-ND license. As usual when it comes to CC-licensed SF, Cory Doctorow has more on the story over at Boing Boing.

We published an interview with Sundman about his use of CC licenses back in 2006.

You can download, buy, or donate in support of all three of Sundman’s novels on his wetmachine.com site.

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Cory Doctorow @ Locus Magazine: Why I Copyfight

Eric Steuer, November 17th, 2008

Author, blogger, and permissive copyright activist Cory Doctorow writes a regular column for Locus, a monthly magazine that covers science fiction and fantasy publishing. His current column, “Why I Copyfight,” is filled with thoughtful analysis of why writers are increasingly using open approaches to distributing their work. A year ago, Doctorow wrote a great piece about Creative Commons for Locus; both columns are highly recommended.

I was recently talking to a friend, D.K. Thompson, who has been posting pieces of a YA novel entitled Unbelievable Origin of Superspiff and the Toothpick Kid, for the past several months. We’d never talked directly about Creative Commons before, so I was particularly interested to hear that he was publishing the entire story via poscast under a CC BY-NC-ND license. He, like other authors I have met, told me that he’s using CC because it helps define clear usage permissions and extends the work’s reach. Superspiff is a lot of fun – you can download episodes from it on D.K.’s site.

Literary publishing is a quickly-changing field, with new distribution models emerging regularly. We’re always eager to hear about authors who are using our tools to achieve their desired ends. If you or someone you know is offering their novel, short stories, poetry, or other literature under Creative Commons licenses (or if you’re a reader who has enjoyed someone else’s work that has been made available under CC terms), we’d be grateful if you would point us to it in the comments section of this post.

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Trailer for “RiP: A Remix Manifesto” Released

Cameron Parkins, October 20th, 2008

The new trailer for RiP: A Remix Manifesto – the Girl Talk featuring, community edited documentary that focuses on copyright and remix culture – was posted online recently and looks to be coming along excellently. The trailer features clips with Greg Gillis, Cory Doctorow, Lawrence Lessig, and a slew of other big names in the copyright/remix world. From Opensource Cinema:

Imagine a world where ideas and culture, from “Happy Birthday” to Mickey Mouse, are horded under lock and key by copyright laws. Even ideas that could lead to a cure for cancer would be off-limits. Stop imagining now, because this is the world you live in. Although pop culture giants such as Walt Disney and the Rolling Stones built on the past to produce their art, the door is closing behind them.

I’ve been making a documentary for over 6 years that explores this issue: RiP: A Remix Manifesto.

Digital technology has opened up an unprecedented global economy of ideas. RiP explores the robber barons and revolutionaries squaring off across this new frontier as the film journeys from the hallways of Washington to the favelas of Brazil. Our central protagonist is Gregg Gillis, the Pittsburgh biomedical engineer who moonlights as Girl Talk, a mash-up artist rearranging the pop charts’ DNA with his incongruous entirely sample based songs. Along the way, I met key figures on the complexities of intellectual property in the digital era, among them Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig, culture critic Cory Doctorow, Brazilian musician and Minister of Cultural Affairs Gilberto Gil, and Jammie Thomas, the single mom successfully sued by the RIAA for illegal downloading.

Footage from the film is being continuously posted to RiP’s remix site for viewers to see an remix – similarly the soundtrack is being created collaboratively online by the ccMixter community.

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Cory Doctorow Releases “Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future”

Cameron Parkins, September 9th, 2008

CC evangelist and acclaimed author Cory Doctorow announced today the release of his new book, Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future. Content is exactly what it claims to be – 28 essays on “everything from copyright and DRM to the layout of phone-keypads, the fallacy of the semantic web, the nature of futurism, the necessity of privacy in a digital world, the reason to love Wikipedia, the miracle of fanfic, and many other subjects”. If that wasn’t inciting enough, Content also boasts an introduction from EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow and book design by acclaimed typographer John D Berry.

Like his other novels, Doctorow has chosen to release Content both as a print book for sale and as a free-to-download CC BY-NC-SA licensed PDF. In his essay, “Giving it Away” (originally published in Forbes, December 2006 – republished in Content), Doctorow describes his decision to use CC licences and the benefit he has seen as a result:

When my first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, was published by Tor Books in January 2003, I also put the entire electronic text of the novel on the Internet under a Creative Commons license that encouraged my readers to copy it far and wide. Within a day, there were 30,000 downloads from my site (and those downloaders were in turn free to make more copies). Three years and six printings later, more than 700,000 copies of the book have been downloaded from my site. The book’s been translated into more languages than I can keep track of, key concepts from it have been adopted for software projects, and there are two competing fan audio adaptations online.

Most people who download the book don’t end up buying it, but they wouldn’t have bought it in any event, so I haven’t lost any sales, I’ve just won an audience. A tiny minority of downloaders treat the free ebook as a substitute for the printed book — those are the lost sales. But a much larger minority treat the ebook as an enticement to buy the printed book. They’re gained sales. As long as gained sales outnumber lost sales, I’m ahead of the game. After all, distributing nearly a million copies of my book has cost me nothing.

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