Uncategorized

Free As In Speech . . .

Although I will mostly use this blog to explore the issues in Free Ride, I also wanted to point readers to this interview I did with the Scottish novelist Ewan Morrison. I met Ewan about a month ago, at the Edinburgh Literary Festival, where he sat on a panel about the end of books and asked important questions about what that might mean for authors. To vastly oversimplify, he thinks it could be very bad – and I obviously agree.

More than most writers on this topic, Ewan is also asking some interesting political questions: How “free” helps the technology business, how free culture became identified with the left, and why progressives feel so comfortable helping companies at the expense of artists. I don’t have all the answers, but I think these are important questions to ask. Why are many progressives so uncomfortable with Wal-Mart and so enthusiastic about Amazon when both companies use their scale to give consumers more value for their money at the expense of small businesses and working conditions alike. Making iPods in China may not be a great job, but workers in at least one Amazon warehouse face sweatshop conditions in the U.S.

This intellectual inconsistency bothers me. While the Internet has generated impressive economic growth, the vast majority of it seems to go to a relatively small group of people – an idea that progressives have traditionally found distasteful. And yet Arianna Huffington can’t say enough good things about Silicon Valley start-up culture. At this point, anyone concerned about corporate power ought to worry much more about Google than Universal Music.

 

 

About these ads

Discussion

One thought on “Free As In Speech . . .

  1. To be human…
    … is to be a hypocrite!
    (at least that’s how it seems most of the time)
    Though.. much of it has to do with the masses being mis-informed, un-informed, or un-concerned.

    As for Huffington… well… funny how a few hundred million dollars can change your world views overnight…

    Posted by James_J | September 23, 2011, 1:04 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What people are saying

"A wonderfully clear-eyed account of this colossal struggle over the future of our cultural lives."
—Bill Keller, New York Times

"A book that should change the debate about the future of culture."
—New York Times Book Review

“A timely and impressive book.”
—Businessweek

A “smart, caustic tour of the modern culture industry.”
—Fortune

PLUS MORE

Buy My Book

Appearances

Hodges Figgis bookstore
6:30pm, January 24
Dublin, Ireland

Digital Biscuit conference
11:15am, January 25
With Bill Whelan
Dublin, Ireland

Institute of International and European Affairs
1pm, January 25
Dublin, Ireland

Video

Keynote speech,
OnCopyright 2012

Keynote speech,
Canadian Music Week

Keynote speech,
Brussels Creators Conference

Television interview,
"The Agenda with Steve Paikin"

Keynote interview,
World Copyright Summit

Speech on journalism,
USC's Annenberg School

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,153 other followers

%d bloggers like this: