Content is King

In his book ©ontent: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future, author Cory Doctorow argues that digital rights management (DRM) is bad for artists, not the least of which are writers.

He feels that such measures meant to liberate artistic creativity instead manage to limit it. In the age of the iPad and similar devices designed to facilitate the digital reading experience, his commentary is made all the more compelling.

According to Doctorow, “New media don’t succeed because they’re like the old media, only better: they succeed because they’re worse than the old media at the stuff the old media is good at, and better at the stuff the old media are bad at.”

The point he makes is that content is king and thus made to morph: “Books are good at being paperwhite, high-resolution, low-infrastructure, cheap and disposable. Ebooks are good at being everywhere in the world at the same time for free in a form that is so malleable that you can just pastebomb it.”

I don’t know that I’m on the exact same page as Doctorow but I do find myself agreeing with his overall thesis: “New technology always gives us more art with a wider reach: that’s what tech is for. Tech gives us bigger pies that more artists can get a bite out of.”