Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Digital rights? Hey have none...

Dave Winer's post about the EFF's love-in with bloggers cites this podcast. For some strange reason I missed this one when it first came out. I listened to it on the way in to work this morning and the first thing that came to mind about Cory Doctorow's demeanour was - what a rude immature prick! A discussion involves listening and consideration , not just foisting your views on top of everybody else. Being an influential member of the technology community and a published and celebrated author makes it even more astonishing how inconsiderate he was to Robert Scoble. Just totally unaccepting that someone else might have a point worth considering.

A few points for you to consider Cory (which you likely won't anyway):

1. I know you can't stand the term 'content producer' (you mentioned that fact ad nauseum during the podcast). Whether you call them 'people who write stuff' or 'content producers', I think people are smart enough to know you mean the same thing. 'Content producer' is just easier to say and to write than the other term. Are you trying to say that Joe Public can't understand the term? If so, you are treating the public like a bunch of idiots. They are smarter than you think. Besides, do we now have to devise names like 'people who record audio things' or 'people who video record things'. C'mon, they're all producing or providing content. Get over it.

2. The way I see it, these days more and more, the users ARE the 'people who write stuff'. They are becoming one in the same. Who are you protecting them from? You might be surprised to find that once people find the power in personal publishing (those people being users AND ..ick..content producers), they will in fact care about what they write. So much in fact that they will not want things added to that content nor will they want it changed.

3. Take my content, do something with it by all means. But do it somewhere else, use it to enhance your own, excerpt it, quote it, link to it, but don't change the meaning of what I wrote in my space. If I wanted a link to Amazon I'd have put one there. If I didn't then people can choose by themselves where they want to find the information. If you're pissed that I don't link ISBN numbers to a bookstore then too fucking bad. Go somewhere else.

4. It is ridiculous in this industry NOT to consider what might happen in the future. You are having a conversation about technology that is changing day by day. To squelch criticism by saying 'well they haven't done anything evil so we can't criticize them' is a bunch of hooey. Let them prove everybody wrong by doing the right thing, but don't take away my absolute right to complain or worry.

5. Although you're high up the chain, you'd better be careful, because from way down here you really sounded like a boorish, loudmouthed brat. And I wasn't the only one listening... far from it.