Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Come, friends of piracy
Posted by Christopher Moore
Someone's promoting a free (but you need tickets) public event in Toronto soon to explain to authors how they can prosper in the new digital age. Oddly, the event is hosted by Michael Geist, the University of Toronto, and the University of Toronto libraries, all proponents of the theory that universities have the right to appropriate authors' works -- particularly their digital works -- without payment or permission.
(When students appropriate intellectual property without permission, universities call it plagiarism and expel them. When universities appropriate intellectual property without permission, they call it "fair dealing" and build it into their budgets.)
The Toronto event is run by a branch plant of the American "Authors Alliance" a well-funded (they're hiring) group that seems entirely made up of university administrators, academic librarians, and free-copy scholars, people who have always been committed to undermining writers' ability to prosper in the new digital age. It's troubling, though, that among those listed as attending is the historian Natalie Zemon Davis, a longtime proponent of speaking truth to power, rather than the other way round.