Hailed by Bruce Sterling as “a political activist, gizmo freak, junk collector, programmer, entrepreneur, and all-around Renaissance geek,” the Internet’s favorite high-tech culture maven is celebrated with the first collection of his infamous articles, essays, and polemics. Irreverently championing free speech and universal access to information—even if it's just a free download of the newest Britney Spears MP3—he leads off with a mutinous talk given at Microsoft on digital rights management, insisting that they stop treating their customers as criminals. Readers will discover how America chose Happy Meal toys over copyright, why Facebook is taking a faceplant, how the Internet is basically just a giant Xerox machine, why Wikipedia is a poor cousin of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and how to enjoy free e-books. Practicing what he preaches, all of the author's books, including this one, are simultaneously released in print and on the Internet under Creative Commons licenses that encourage their reuse and sharing. He argues persuasively that this practice has considerably increased his sales by enlisting readers to promote his work. Accessible to geeks and nontechies alike, this is a timely collection from an author who effortlessly surfs the zeitgeist while always generating his own wave.
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Doctorow here proves he’s smart, funny, and good at accessibly boiling down issues he’s passionate about.
Regina Schroeder, Booklist