I’ve accepted a Fulbright Chair at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, starting this August. I’ll be researching and writing a book on DRM called SET TOP COP: HOLLYWOOD’S SECRET WAR ON AMERICA’S LIVING ROOMS and teaching a course on the same subject.
I’m really, really excited about this! I’m moving to Los Angeles for a year, and I’ll be dipping my toe in academic waters with more seriousness than I’ve had since I dropped out of the University of Waterloo to program CD ROMs for Bob Stein’s Voyager Company, ten years ago (Small world: Bob’s also at USC).
Even more exciting is the idea of being able to teach and write about this subject that’s so important to me. I think the world has yet to see a really cogent book on how DRM is bad for democracy, speech, and discourse — how it turns technology from something that enables into something that denies. This has profound implications for public diplomacy, and for communications, which is why the USC Annenberg School for Communication is also sponsoring my position at USC.
I’m even planning on trying to transplant the London Copyfighters Drunken Brunch and Talking Shops (where we have a fake-Champagne brunch and give speeches on copyright at Speakers’ Corner) to Venice Beach, substituting Bible-bashers for roller-bladers.