Cory Doctorow’s Keynote Address at SIGGRAPH 2011

Cory Doctorow was a keynote speaker at SIGGRAPH 2011, the annual conference on computer graphics, and one I’d like to attend someday. As you might expect, he talked about copyright, because hey, that’s his thing. And as he says, the stakes have never been higher.

We copy as often as we breathe; whenever we talk about moving digital information about, we’re actually copying it. In his presentation, he tries to answer these questions: What do we want make copyright do? How do we make copyright do that?

In the presentation, he lists what he calls “Doctorow’s Laws” of copyright:

  • Doctorow’s First Law: Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and they won’t give you the key, they didn’t put the lock there for your benefit.
  • Doctorow’s Second Law: Fame won’t guarantee fortune, but no one got rich by being obscure. (Cory cites Tim O’Reilly for this one)
  • Doctorow’s Third Law: Information doesn’t want to be free; people do.

It’s a worthwhile watch, especially if you’re a frequent user of digital devices and media (which I suspect most readers of this blog are).