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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.

26 Responses to “Moving to LA for a year, teaching at USC”

  1. Chris Bloom

    Congratulations! I’ve been following your career(s) and writing via BB and eventually via your podcasts. You inspire me, both to write and to think! Good luck and welcome back to the (not-so-)good-ol’ USA

  2. Nate Schutta

    Congrats Cory, that’s really cool – and I’m looking forward to the book! For those of us that aren’t students at USC – any chance some of those lectures will see the light of day as podcasts? Best of luck!

  3. jp

    Very Cool. I’d really like to hear your lectures also. Of course under some sort of CC license. Good luck

  4. Ross

    Fight on! Any idea what classes you’ll be teaching on campus yet?

  5. Gordon Gower

    Hey, I guess that this gives me the update I was looking for. This sounds great Cory! Bob Stien, that name takes me back. Last I saw of Bob was meeting up with him for coffees on Amsterdam street about 6 years ago… Can’t remember the name of his company at that time. Certain it was a few companies ago for him.

    Anyhow, enjoy the SUN!

  6. Ross

    And now realizing the semi-stupidity/vagueness of my last statement, seeing as it specifically says the subject you’ll be teaching about, I was really meaning to ask for some specific information on the course / number so those of us who are SC students and are interested can check it out :)

  7. Overwatch

    Way to go man. A new position in academia, a new book, evrything is coming up Cory! Cant wait to read STC. Oh… and welcome back to the US. Please excuse the politics. :)

  8. John Knowles

    Hey Cory, glad to see you moving our way. I’ve been jealous of not being able to attend any drunken copyfights, looking forward to attending one now. Let me know if you need a list of good British pubs in LA (if you don’t already have a list) in case you get homesick for a good pint and a plate of bangers and mash…

  9. Hal Bergman

    That book seems so goddamned cool, I can’t wait to read it.

    As an aside, I am also a fellow LA-dweller within walking distance of Venice Beach (my girlfriend works at a hotel _on_ the beach) and would love to be involved in a copyfight brunch if you were to bring it to Venice.

  10. Cory Doctorow

    Hey, gang! Thanks for all the kind words and the encouragement!

    Regarding the course — the first semester, it’ll be a graduate seminar on DRM; the second semester will be a broader undergraduate one about architectures of control and their role in enabling or limiting civic engagement.

  11. Claude Almansi

    Pity California is so far away from Switzerland: I listened to your lecture at Orin College through your podcast, and was very impressed by your clear, humorous way of explaining complex issues. Will you podcast your courses from L.A.?

  12. Steve

    Congrats on the job. Enjoy your time in California. I am looking forward to the next book.

  13. David Barr Kirtley

    Hey Cory. I’m currently a grad student at USC, and I live just a few blocks from campus. Really looking forward to having you around. Good luck with the move, and I hope you enjoy L.A.

  14. Dannie Jost

    Congratulations! That is indeed an excellent opportunity. Besides that, the weather in LA is somewhat better than in London.

  15. Algae

    Welcome to So.Cal
    I saw you give a talk at an O’Reilly conf. a couple of years ago in San Diego and was most impressed. Now that you’ll be in the area again, I’ll keep an eye out for more public appearances.

  16. gordsellar

    Hey, congratulations! That’s wonderful news, and I’m very curious to see this new book. Hope fiction doesn’t go too far back onto the backburner, though. :) And I for one would love to hear your lectures podcast, as long as you, your students, and the Uni were all okay with it.

  17. Alex Cox (not the famous one)

    Congratulations Cory! I can’t wait to read the book!

  18. Sarah

    Keen! I read about your Fullbright Chair in the USC Chronicle and recognized your name from April’s issue of Wired. I wonder what it’d take for a university staff member to sit in on one of your classes, they sound terrifically interesting…

  19. James Boardwell

    I’m sure you’ve come across this Cory but Micheal Warner’s book The Letters of The Republic is an excellent account of information and the public sphere which could serve to frame contemporary DRM issues within historical discourses of democracy and freedom.

  20. PJ Cabrera

    Hey Cory, pick a continent, will ya? LOL

    I’m just waiting to hear, within the next ten months, that you’ve found a hot gig in China or India.


    j/k, from psycho fan #101101101

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