My latest Guardian column, Allow Clean Reader to swap ‘bad’ words in books – it’s a matter of free speech expands on last week’s editorial about the controversial ebook reader, which lets readers mangle the books they read by programatically swapping swear-words for milder alternatives.
My latest Locus column is “It’s Time to Stop Talking About Copyright,” about the way that concentrating on “copyright” instead of “Internet policy” or “policy” causes us to miss the big picture:
The disconnection laws that the entertainment industry has bought for itself in the UK, New Zealand and France provide for removing whole households from the Internet on the strength of their copyright accusations. If the net were just cable TV, this might make sense, but for families all over the world, the net is work, socialization, health, education, access to tools and ideas, freedom of speech, assembly and the press, as well as the conduit to political and civic engagement.
There just isn’t such a thing as ‘‘copyright policy’’ anymore. Every modern copyright policy becomes Internet policy – policy that touches on every aspect of how we use the net.
And as we make the transition from a world where everything we do includes an online component to a world where everything we do requires an online component, it’s becoming the case that there’s no such thing as ‘‘Internet policy’’ – there’s just policy.
I’ve just put up the site for my latest book, a slim chapbook in PM Press’s Outspoken Authors series called The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow. The book contains a novella (“There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow/Now is the Best Time of Your Life”), an essay on futurism, the transcript of a lecture on copyright and creativity, and a wide-ranging interview with Terry Bisson. As with all my books, it’s available as a CC-licensed download in a number of formats, and I’m looking for libraries and schools who’d like free hardcopies bought for them from downloaders who want to pay me back for the ebooks. I really like how this little book came out, and it’s as good an introduction to my work and beliefs as you’re likely to find.