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If you're a US citizen, you may want to register some outrage today with the Obama Administration (which, I think most of you know, I generally support with great enthusiasm).

Here's why: The United States along with the other Big Rich Nations, is busy opposing a treaty introduced yesterday at the World Intellectual Property Organization. The treaty would help blind and reading-impaired people gain access to reading material (audio, braille, large-print and other expensive-to-produce formats). The opposition, as far as I can tell, is from the "content" industries.

Cory Doctorow, one of the world's great defenders of freedom of information, has the whole scoop.

There's a Twitterfeed you can follow too.

Here's what I posted on Whitehouse.gov. Feel free to borrow. Anyone know a more targeted way to protest? Let me know.

I'm appalled and disappointed that the US has opposed a treaty that would secure the access of blind and reading-impaired people to reading material, at the World Intellectual Property Organization last night in Geneva.

Doesn't the US have better things to do right now than defend the coffers of a few rich and scared publishing conglomerates? Please, Mr President, withdraw our country's opposition to this treaty and sign on.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
The content industries seem to be idiotic, and Doctorow for all his faults is bang right about it. Good for you for making a comment.
May. 29th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
While I don't doubt that he has them, I'm now wondering what Doctorow's faults are. The only one I've perceived so far in following him on Twitter and Boing-Boing is the normal arrogant egotism of the successful author. Care to elucidate?

Just curious.

And yes, the content industries are INSANE on this topic. The very term "Intellectual Property," which I believe was coined in fairly recent years, is sheer Newspeak.
May. 29th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Sorry, it was a pretty unthinking comment. I just know that some of my lj-friends get annoyed by him, so I think I sort of reflectively covered my ass as it were.
May. 29th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Ah. Hee! Well, I guess at a minimum his arrogance has communicated itself pretty generally. He's an awfully good prose stylist--hard for me to find fault there. His politics might not sit well with some.

Funny, I've never actually read any of his fiction. Maybe it's ghastly!
May. 29th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
My issues with Cory Doctorow stem basically from the fact that, as a well-known author son of a well-known author, he can support himself and/or a family even if he gives away his work. All well and good, but he then tends to harp on others to also give away their work, even if they don't have the same support system in place.

He's still got some really brilliant ideas.
May. 29th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
I wasn't sure he was E.L.'s offspring--really don't know much about him, but it's VERY clear from his podcasts that money is no object for him. Jetting around the world, living in the heart of London when he's not in LA, etc.

I don't hear him advocating giving away all work all the time, so much as a sort of "free samples" model, but on the internet a sample is the whole store. The whole question of information freedom, digital rights, and new business models is an area I'm very interested in, but that I don't have a good understanding of. Reading Doctorow going forward, I'll keep your caveat in mind.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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