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The monthly Report on Business magazine in the Canadian national paper The Globe and Mail profiled my work on DRM reform, as well as my science fiction writing and my work on Boing Boing.

I’m grateful to Alec Scott for the coverage, and especially glad that the question of the World Wide Web Consortium’s terrible decision to standardize DRM as part of HTML5 is getting wider attention.

If you want learn more, here’s a FAQ, and here’s a letter you can sign onto in which we’re asking the W3C to take steps to protect security disclosures and competition on the web.

He doesn’t always have the last word with Berners-Lee, though. “I was surprised and disappointed that he recently announced that W3C was going to start standardizing DRM.…There is a sense among a lot of people that the Web is cooked.”

W3C is the World Wide Web Consortium, which Berners-Lee runs, and Doctorow is upset because it’s setting up a standardized regime for digital rights management, or DRM—the locks that tech and entertainment companies put on their products—to prevent people from sharing their wares.

Doctorow criticizes American and Canadian legislation that makes it an offence to tamper with these locks. After all, analog publishers can’t control what use purchasers make of their books. And the locks seldom help the creatives who originally produced the content. (1) In joking homage to Isaac Asimov’s laws of robotics, Doctorow has his own law: “Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won’t give you the key, that lock isn’t there for your benefit.”


The crusader fighting lock-happy entertainment conglomerates
[Alec Scott/The Globe and Mail]

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