Coming up on Thursday the 28th at the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at Kansas University, Cory Doctorow will be doing a lecture entitled The Coming War on General Purpose Computing: Every single political issue will end up rehashing the stupid Internet copyright fight. I wish I was anywhere near there so I could attend and hear one of the most innovative and insightful thinkers of the last dozen years give this presentation. If you are nearby, don’t miss it; seating is free, but limited, so you want to get there early. If someone records it and puts in on TED or YouTube, I will post it here, which will at least be better than missing it entirely.
In the meantime, here is a very related presentation he gave back in 2011 that should give you an idea of the subject matter. The Copyright and Intellectual Property questions are very complex, because the solutions to protect one group’s rights would often wipe out every other group’s rights, and what we need is a system that will protect everyone’s rights at once. There is a solution to be found, but not without a lot of work to find common ground and implement a best practices list that actually works for all of us. I appreciate the fact that Doctorow looks at the problem from lots of angles and is not shy about expressing his opinions about all of the components involved with the process.
This stuff is important; it deserves your attention and understanding. Yeah, it may take a bit of time and effort to comprehend but the rewards of getting it right will be amazing for the entire human race. Don’t let the future be determined without taking a moment to find out about the arguments and making your voice heard in favor of the aspects you consider worth fighting for.