Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cory Doctorow

Cory made an appearance at Clemson University yesterday and I was lucky enough to break away from work to hear him speak. His talk was titled "From International Standards to Web Practices, IP Mania Has Undermined the Idea of Real Property, of Freedom, of Creativity." It was held at the lovely and historic Strom Thurmond Institute (see picture below).

Cory was an entertaining and informative speaker and I encourage any of you that get the chance to make time for hearing him. While the part of his talk concerning licenses was familiar to me, as I suspect would be to many of my p.g.o readers as well, I enjoyed his history lesson concerning WIPO's formation and how our (U.S.) free trade treaties are forcing developing countries to adopt our draconian IP laws as well as other measures that we would not tolerate in our country. His example of one is our treaty with Russia forcing them to license their optical media presses and be subject to command inspections. Good thing we aren't as worried about their printing presses eh? I thought his call to arms at the end was especially well received and when an audience member pointed out that the talk was being recorded and asked if it would be available, Cory released it in its entirety to the public domain. As such, when I can get a copy, I'll post it on YouTube and add a link from this blog to it.

Thanks Cory for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit us in Clemson!

There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image. AttributionShare Alike Cory Doctorow

Also, because someone on Flickr asked what's studied at the institute, I'll explain it here. The institute houses all of the documents from Strom Thurmond's time in the U.S. Senate. It is much akin to a president's library but less expensive and without the touristy stuff. It also houses the special collections from Clemson's library. The research arm of the institute is concerned with public policy at all levels of government.

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