Friday, January 15, 2010

The peasants are revolting

In his new book, You Are Not a Gadget, musician and avant-garde computer scientist Jaron Lanier examines the downsides to the internet’s free culture, according to a new New York Times review. He calls artists the “new peasants,” saying that by freely sharing their work, they have undermined not only the traditional media that once allowed artists to be paid for contributing creatively to society but also themselves. And even their art.

He rages against “hive thinking” and “digital Maoism”: in other words, “the glorification of open-source software, free information, and collective work at the expense of individual creativity.”

From FW Weekly.

9 million and counting

A study by a company that helps track pirated digital books estimates that there were 9 million illegal downloads of copyrighted books in the final months of last year. Attributor, which works for publishers including Hachette Book Group and John Wiley & Sons, scanned 25 Web sites that offer readers downloadable content, looking for 913 titles across categories ranging from business and investing to fiction.

From the NYT