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We Copy Like We Breathe: Cory Doctorow's SIGGRAPH 2011 Keynote

Still image from Cory Doctorow's Keynote speech at SIGGRAPH 2011

When Cory Doctorow started his Keynote speech at this year's SIGGRAPH conference he started bravely by granting the audience "unequivocal permission to record video, audio, and to use those recordings ... in all media now known or yet to be invented throughout the known universe." This past Wednesday, two days after the speech, the Keynote was available on YouTube.

In the speech, Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing, outlined copyright and digital rights management's current state of affairs by providing details and examples that took the conversation far beyond the typically polarized copyright debate that divides the analysis into two mutually exclusive parts - either bad or good. In warming up to a proposal of his own set of laws he outlined an important issue that affects those experimenting on multiple portable platforms such as the iPhone, iPad, Android, and other emerging devices. Apple worked as the central example because of their sophisticated management of DRM, supported by the fact that they are generally good at what they do. Doctorow's concern about Apple's proprietary restrictions on transferring purchases from iTunes or the App Store were compounded by a recent announcement in the Guardian that German patent court has granted Apple a preliminary injunction that would prevent any import of Samsung's new Galaxy tablet into the country. This is certainly a concern for consumers and adds to the importance of Doctorow’s speech - but it’s an even bigger concern for artists who are experimenting on these platforms. As more artists make apps for the App Store they are opting into a restricted environment. If a consumer buys their app, and wants to transfer it to another device, they have no recourse except to ask Apple for permission. The chance that Apple will forego their ownership of the app's DRM for creative freedom is slim. Combined with the myriad of extraneous copyright laws that Doctorow outlines and the fact, as he states it, that artists are by far the most aggressive content copiers and producers - there is definitely a reason to be concerned.

The second half of the Keynote was spent reviewing Doctorow's three laws:

1: "Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won't give you the key, they didn't put the lock there for your benefit."
2: "Fame won't guarantee fortune, but no one has ever gotten rich by being obscure."
3: "Information doesn't want to be free, people do."

Throughout his explanation of the laws, Doctorow raises many interesting points and manages to make a few well-timed jokes - there is even one about kittens. In the end, the laws serve more to highlight the unfair copyright practices currently in use around the world and give his argument a more critical angle. Before his speech’s conclusion he made a universal plea asking for freedom for his daughter, his country, and our collective digital future. He finished with a charge to take action and call for laws friendly to creatives and creative industries - laws that encourage production without the fear of surveillance or a loss of rights.


[intro music]

Hi there.  So notwithstanding the remarks you've heard earlier in the sign you saw by the door, for my talk only, I grant you unequivocal permission to record video, audio, and to use those recordings as the legal doctoral has it in all media now known or yet to be invented throughout the known universe.  All I ask, is if you do something cool with it, send me an email.  I'm the first Cory in Google, I'm easy to find.

So, that's not actually a bad way to prefigure the talk, which is of course about copyright.  If you know, what I do is I go around and I talk about copyright.  And whenever we argue about copyright, we get bogged down in a kind of ridiculous "copy right is good/copyright is bad" polarized debate.  And of course that's very silly.  

After all, all copyright is, is a set of technical rules to manage the entertainment industry and its supply chains.  And it makes perfect sense to have rules for a big complicated industry like that, and arguing about whether rules themselves are a bad idea is dumb.  What we should be talking about is which rules we want.

So everyone knows that "taking away rules is always better" is a really silly rhetorical proposition, and it's a cheap debating trick to say that anyone who wants to reform the rules wants to abolish them.  It's possible to say, "I disagree with you.  This roadway should be running at 120 kilometers an hour, and not 90," without actually meaning, "I don't want to have a speed limit at all".

At the same time, "more rules are always better" doesn't make sense.  You may notice that your neighborhood has improved since they put a stop sign at every corner, it doesn't follow that it will improve again if they put a stop sign halfway between each of those standing stop signs.  

So here in the Digital Age, everything we do involves making copies.  Millions and billions of copies.  Collectively, the people in this room have probably made more mechanical copies than the entire human race had up to 1909, when the first nonliterary copyrights were brought in, in the United States.  

Here in the Digital Age, we copy like we breathe.  And so the stakes for getting the rules right on copyright have never been higher.  So today I want to get beyond that "copyright is good/copyright is bad" argument, and dig into some meatier questions, like, "What do we want copyright do, and how do we make a copyright that does that?"

Let's start with something that everyone in this room I think will agree with.  Copyright should serve as an incentive to creativity.  A good copyright system results in more people making more creations.  One of copyrights most important goals is to serve creators.  Now about 15 years ago, the world's government started looking at modernizing copyright for the Digital Age.  Pretty much the first order of business was to insure that the technologies intended to prevent copying got some special protections in the law.  

So WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, is the UN agency that makes the world's multilateral copyright treaties.  I sometimes say they have the same relationship to bad copyright law that Mordor has to evil.  But having served as a delegate to WIPO, I can tell you that there are some very good people there who want to do good.  

And in 1996 they promulgated the WIPO copyright treaty, that said that nations should adopt special protections for, what WIPO calls "technical protection measures", but you probably know them better as digital rights management, or in Canada recently, they've called them "digital locks".  And in 1998, this came to the US in law, in something called the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act", or DMCA, which you've no doubt heard about, it's one of the most notorious pieces of legislation of our century.  

And the DMCA didn't just do what WIPO's treaty demanded of it, in respect to digital locks, it went further.  It said that, "We won't just protect locks that are protecting copyright, we will protect the locks themselves regardless of whether or not they prevent you from doing something that copyright would allow."  

That's a complicated idea.  What does it mean?  Well it means that if you're the user behind a creative work, we have this dichotomy between users and creators, and I'll get into that in a bit; but if user of a creative work, it meant that the stuff the law had allowed you, that Congress had sat down and said users should get, was all of the sudden taken away from you.  

So even though the law might allow you to format, shift, or backup, or time shift, or quote for the purposes of criticism or discussion, if a digital lock prevented you from doing that, you were no longer allowed to do that in the law; because breaking the lock was illegal, even if you wanted to break the lock to do something that the law allowed.

And of course, the most voracious consumers of information are creators.  There's a reason that whenever you see an author's head shot, including this one here they've got of me at the start of this talk, their shot against the backdrop of a bookcase crammed with books, and you see filmmakers standing in front of large libraries of film, or stills from film, and so on; and that's because in order to create, you must use a lot of creative works.

But for people who were especially engaged in creation and publication, there was a secondary effect of this special protection under the law that was much subtler and much more drastic.  It meant that DRM companies got more in a say over our works than we have.  

So for an example of that, look at the iTunes store, which has mandatory DRM policies for video and audio books.  If you're a video book maker, an audio book maker, and you want to sell your works through the iTunes store, Apple requires you to add their DRM to it.  It's not negotiable.  

So say you sell a million dollars worth of audio books through Apple's audio book channel, which is run by Audible; and between iTunes and Audible that's 90 percent of the entire worldwide audio book market, right in that channel.  And you decide afterwards that you actually think you can get a better deal out of one of Apple's competitors, some spunky new startup that's in the process of doing to iTunes what iTunes did to all those really lame music and video stores before they came along.

So there's one problem.  You can't grant your customers, your listeners, your readers, permission to break DRM from iTunes off of their audio books, and bring them with them to the new platform.  Neither can the publisher.  The only entity that's allowed to authorize people to take works that were sold in Apple's store to a competitor's media management platform, is Apple.  And Apple, historically, has not been in the "go ahead and break our DRM" business.  

So that means that your fans either have to abandon you, or maintain two separate, non-interoperable, parallel libraries of your stuff, and use different devices, different managers, and different systems to get at them.  

So here you have three all-important entities in the copyright equation.  Someone who wrote a book, a company that invested in making the audio edition and publishing it, and a company that contributed no creative labor whatsoever, and made no investment in the book's production, but did take the step of adding DRM to it.  So who gets the line share of copyright?  Who gets to say, yes you are allowed to copy this file made up of my precious, expensive to produce, creative bits?  It's not the creator, it's not the investor.  It's the DRM provider.  

And of course, this is even worse for those of you who create episodic or series content like TV shows, where every penny your audience spends is a penny they'll have to forfeit to follow you to some competing platform.  This isn't copyright as a friend of a creator, this is copyright as the friend of a DRM vendor.  The funny thing is that it would be piss-easy to write a version of the DMCA that made sure that creators got the line share of copyright.  All you have to say is, "It's illegal to break DRM, unless you're doing so for a purpose that copyright allows".  It's easy.  

If you want to make sure that it's illegal to break DRM to make illegal copies, then just write a law that says, "It's illegal to break DRM to do something illegal".  Because otherwise, what you're saying is, whatever use your DRM locks up, illegal, legal, left, right, up or down, we will spend an infinite number of tax dollars making sure that no one ever breaks that law, and no one ever makes those uses.

So what company wouldn't take up the government on an offer like this?  Now some companies have figured out how to do this like virtuosos.  And Exhibit A is the Apple iOS ecosystem, and I don't mean to pick on Apple, but they're very good at this.  They're very good at most of the things that they do.  

So if you want to see how laws protecting DRM can go wrong, look at how Apple uses it with iOS.  Apple uses DRM to make sure that only apps bought from Apple will run on iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads.  So even if you go ahead and write some code that's compatible with Apple's platform, you can't sell it, or give it away to an iOS user, unless Apple approves it and adds it to the App Store.  And Apple, of course, gets to take their 30 percent.  

If Apple doesn't like your app, they won't sell it, and that's fair enough.   I used to work in a bookstore; if I didn't like your book, I wouldn't sell it either.  But it's against the law for anyone to open a competing store that users can visit if they don't like Apple's judgment.  

If Apple sells your app to me, and I wanted to ditch my iOS device, and run the same app inside a runtime on a competing platform, like Android, or whatever it is Nokia's doing this week; only Apple can give me permission to move your apps when I go.  And only Apple can give me permission to run your code on my device.  

So every time someone buys into the iOS ecosystem and increases its footprint, it increases the need for software authors and interactive media creators to sell their wares there; but every time someone buys an app from Apple, it makes it more expensive for creators and audiences to move to competitors.  And the more popular Apple has gotten, the worse the deal has gotten for creators.  

Now that Apple has established itself as the powerhouse distribution channel for interactive media, it's decided that not only do you have to give them 30 percent of the purchase price of your apps, but 30 percent of every dollar that someone spends using your app, even after the sale has been executed.  

Now there has never in history been a time where tight controls over distribution were good for artists.  Fewer labels always means worse deals for musicians.  Fewer studios always means worse deals for people who work in the movies.  Fewer publishers always means worse deals for authors.  And it's no different with the distribution bottlenecks created by the DMCA and handed to canny companies like Apple.  

Now you might think that 15 years after the US got it so terribly wrong with the DMCA, that other governments would be lining up to get it right. But you'd be wrong.  So there's a guy named James Moore.  He's the conservative member of Parliament for Port Moody, Westwood, Port Coquitlam, which is only about 20 kilometers from here.  He's the coauthor of Bill C-32, introduced in Canada's last Parliament to be Canada's version of the DMCA.  And he made exactly, and precisely the same mistake that the Americans made in 1998.  

Making a mistake about the way that digital copyright should work in 1998 is forgivable.  It might have been hard to see way back then how things might go, but more than a decade later, with all the facts in hand about what happens with DMCA-like rules, it is inexcusable to repeat those mistakes.  Certainly, we can't characterize it as an accident.

Now worst of all, many of Canada's creators and studios, labels and publishers, endorse this bizarre proposal to give the media's part of Canada's copyright protection over to companies that made DRM, not creative works.  It's a real throat-cutting business, backing proposals like this.  I mean, it's not as if DRM actually stops copying.  The DRM in iOS is usually broken a day after it's updated.  And what could be a bigger joke than DRM on ebooks?  I mean, it's like publishers have never heard of typists.  

Why doesn't DRM work?  Well, because in order to make DRM work, you have to design a device that can successfully resist the commands given to it by its owner.  That is, you have to design general purpose computing platforms that only run programs when they don't upset the platform's owner's applecart.  

And the thing is, to make that work, you have to make sure the smartest person in the world can't break it, because once it's broken for that guy, it's broken for everyone.  Because either the crack appears on the net, or the unencrypted file appears on the net.  And then all you need to do to be a leet haxor with that DRM, is type "Smurfs Movie BitTorrent"  into Google.  


Real security experts and cryptographers think that DRM is an impossibility.  We can't design security systems that never leak, that can't be patched, and that attempt to hide their secrets and equipment belonging to adversaries who have infinite capital, infinite expertise, and infinite technology; and whose very nature makes it break once, break everywhere.  

Now entertainment companies may have been convinced that there's hope for DRM, but they're wrong.  And when they're fooled into endorsing laws like Bill C-32, they're stabbing themselves in the back, by creating a marketplace where the DRM vendors hold all the cards, and where the only way to get a fully functional, pristine copy of their works, is to steal it.  Because when you buy it, you end up with a crippled computer that tries to control its owner, you.  

Now I call this Doctorow's first law.  It's my grandiose first law.  Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won't give you the key, they didn't put the lock there for your benefit.  I mean, duh.  


Now, if you're paying close attention, you'll notice I said Doctorow's FIRST law, which implies there are more, and indeed there are two more laws, and that's what the rest of this talk will be about.  

Here's my second law.  Fame won't guarantee fortune, but no one has ever gotten rich by being obscure.  This is an important corollary to "DRM doesn't work" stuff.  After all, the internet is a copying machine.  Computers are copying machines.  "A bit that can't be copied," in the immortal words of Bruce Schneier, "is like water that isn't wet."  

We talk about reading and writing bits, but there is no "reading" bits, there's only "copying" bits.  We talk about streaming versus downloading, but unless you're sending that video to the remote side through a cunning array of mirrors and tubes, you have sent them a copy.  


The technology sage, Tim O'Reilly, has said many famous things, but one of my favorites is, "For most artists, the problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity."  Now a lot of people that hear that think that what Tim meant was that if you'll get famous you'll be rich.  And of course that's not true.  

There are a lot of people out there who have been made famous without becoming rich at all, and the entertainment world is full of people who can tell you about how their movie, or game, or book, or song was copied millions of times, and they never saw a dime from all that exposure.  Fame is nice, but you can't eat it, you can't use it to pay your kids' dentist bills, and you certainly can't get a ticket to SIGGRAPH with it.  


So there are plenty of people for whom fame has not worked.  But there's one important thing to note about fame.  Everyone who has attained commercial success had it.  That is, it's a contradiction in terms to be both unknown and commercially successful.  Creative fame might not make you rich, but you can't get rich without it.  If people who might love your stuff don't know it exists, they can't pay you for it.

They might still not pay you for it once they know it exists, of course.  But satisfying the "people who want to buy my stuff know it exists" condition is an obvious dependency for executing the "people who like my stuff have paid me for it" program.  

There are lots of ways to turn fame into money.  You can sell stuff, you can ask for donations, you can perform, you can wrap works in advertisements, you can license it, you can take commissions, but whatever it is you plan to do to make money, you can't do any of it unless people want to be your audience.  And lucky for us, we have the internet, which in addition to being a copying machine, is also an audience machine.  

It's never been easier to put a work into the hands of someone who wants to see it.  It's never been easier to get distribution, and while getting paid for it is hard, it's always been hard.  But compare delivering to three consoles by selling cartridges in big box stores to delivering your games to browsers, consoles, tablets, phones, all via everything from your DYI shopping cart with a PayPal back into Steam.  

Or compare narrow theatrical exhibition windows, three national broadcasters and half a dozen major DVD retailers, with all the ways we have now to distribute video to the world.  Figuring about how to get people to care enough about your stuff to download it is still a hard problem, and it's always been a hard problem, although things like Twitter and Blogger have made it a little easier, and so has easy, low cost copying.  

Copying solves the "getting stuff to your audience" problem.  You can stick your video on YouTube, or Vimeo, or Archive.org; you can stick your ebook in the Kindle Store on Smashwords; or stick a donate button on your website.  Games, photos, 3D meshes, there's never been more easy to search, easy to enter distribution channels than there are today.  

But this is only possible because intermediaries, companies like YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon, The Internet Archive, Blogger, WordPress, Thingiverse, Rackspace; and your mom and pop ISP on the corner are not required in law to act as bad content cops and make sure everything is clean before it goes live.  

After all, it's inconceivable that those intermediaries could do it.  Imagine if YouTube had to get a copyright lawyer to every video they get, all 50 plus hours of every minute of every day.  There just aren't enough lawyer hours between now and the heat death of the universe for them to accomplish this task.  

But all over the world, entertainment companies and their pals in Western governments are trying to pass laws that will make intermediaries responsible for what their users do.  They're saying that our countries should copy Syria and China, and run off the cliff with them, and build national firewalls, and then use those firewalls to block sites that are used by pirates.  

They're saying that those sites used by pirates need to shape up or ship out, that they should have the duty to police their servers and kill anything that infringes copyright.  But "sites used by pirates" is just another way of saying "sites used by everybody".  Because there isn't a single file that the Pirate Bay indexes that isn't indexed on Google and Bing.

An India tour in a garage may be able to make an awesome movie, but it doesn't necessarily follow that you can build a video hosting site to distribute it, or that you can run it efficiently, cheaply and robustly as YouTube.  This Venn diagram of companies that can make a great video game, and companies that can replicate the Amazon S3 for the back end has a very small intersection.

So we need intermediaries who can provide the plumbing through which our works flow, because without them, we have to bear the cost of production, and the cost of distribution.  And most of us can't do that.  We need file lockers like YouSendIt and Dropbox and MailBigFile because they become essential to our production chain.  Sending files used to be a chore, and now it's trivial.  And no substantial creative work is done without a lot of this sort of file swapping.

But all of these lockers are under attack.  Laws like the proposed US Protect IP Act, the UK Digital Economy Act, and international agreements like the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership all throw more liability to intermediaries, especially these file lockers.

Ironically, the thing that the lobbyists from the entertainment industry hate about file lockers is exactly the thing that we need them for when we use them to make creative works, that they have a privacy switch.  That's why creators use them.  No one wants to put test shots or gold masters on a public server.  You need privacy to use these services to make the commercial works that we are living from.

And of course, this is just going to get worse, because cloud services, like on call virtual machines, create legal nightmares.  I mean, it's bad enough when you have a single law breaking customer.  The police might descend on you and take the server that they run on, along with all the other customers that live on that server.  But what if that server that the police want is actually an on-demand burstable virtual machine, load balanced across several racks, on which thousands or millions of other customers' virtual machines can and do run?  

The intermediaries will end up with two choices.  Either put every customer they have at risk of random law enforcement blackouts, or resist or refuse to host anything unless it pays enough to hire a lawyer to make sure that it won't get them into trouble.  And if they're hiring lawyers, you're going to be the ones paying for them.

We've got intermediary law totally, absolutely backwards.  With digital rights management, we've given intermediaries new rights they don't need, and certainly don't deserve.  The right to tell a creator's audience with a creator's works, even if the creator disagrees with them.  With intermediary liability, we take away the right to host creative works from all comers, raising the bar for getting your work into the hands of your audience.  Seriously, you could not do a worse job of designing a copyright system to protect creators if you set out to.

So that's law number two.  And here's the thrilling conclusion, law number three.  Information doesn't want to be free, people do.  

You've doubtless heard "information wants to be free", that's Stuart Brand's famous, iconic 1984 technology kōan from the hackers' conference, uttered to Steve Jobs.  I swear, every time someone says that that's what this fight is about, the ITF kills a kitten.  


Because no one who fights for fair information policy is doing so because "information" wants to be free.  We're fighting because WE want to be free.  Not free to pirate your creative works, but free to own devices that don't let remote authorities set policy our will, and against our interests.  Free to use networks that don't spy on us, in case we're infringing the copyright.  Free to communicate in private without having to worry that our personal lives will be made public in the name of protecting copyrights.  

DRM doesn't work, and every time we try to make it work, we end up inventing rootkits, or rootkit-like technologies.  Sony BMG famously shipped 6 million CDs that contained stealth malware that patched your kernel to allow them to run anti-copying processes without the OS seeing them or their associated files.  Essentially they punch this huge hole in the middle of your computer's immune system, and almost immediately, virus writers started cranking out malware that could cloak itself in the Sony rootkit.

And games companies keep on repeating this lunacy.  The 3DS, which came out this year, is a decent enough little pocket computer, until you realize that every time you turn it on it tries to connect to a network, even if you tell it not to.  When it gets to a network, it tries to download new firmware, even if you don't want it to.  And if it downloads new firmware and it discovers that you've jailbroken it, it bricks your device.  

On PCs, Ubisoft's essential position is that when you play a game, they own your computer and every process running on it, and it should have the authority to inspect its entire internal workings.  

Now those are the most egregious offenders, but they're hardly the only ones.  Everyone from Hulu, to Amazon Unboxed, to iBooks are trying to find ways to take over your computer and demanding that OS vendors and hardware companies build in the hooks that allow processes to run without the user's permission, even if the user doesn't want them there.  

So I'm a science fiction writer, and I write science fiction novels, not science fiction movies.  And I go to see science fiction movies, and I often revel in the many differences.  And the difference that always really gets up my butt, is the self-destructing rocket ship.  

You've all seen this.  There's a fight on the bridge, and someone slips and their elbow hits a button, and a plummy voice that sounds eerily like Margaret Thatcher after her accent training starts counting down from 10 to the ship's irrevocable explosion.  

Now, I'm not an aerospace engineer, but when I see this, I think, "Wouldn't that be a better rocket ship if it wasn't designed to explode?"  


Now wouldn't our devices be better devices if they weren't designed to be rooted, so that scumbags and creeps can watch what you do, control you and look at your stuff?

And on the intermediary side, we've got Viacom suing YouTube, and demanding that courts take away YouTube's privacy flag, because pirates might use it to hide uploads from enforcementware.  But I use YouTube to send, and it's privacy flagged, to send videos of my toddler in the bath in my tiny flat in London to my parents at home in Toronto.  Why should my capacity to conduct my personal life in private be subordinated to Viacom's business model?

And it gets worse.  In the UK, France, and New Zealand, they've passed internet disconnection laws, that, yes, require ISPs to disconnect your internet connection if your IP address is named in a series of unsubstantiated copyright complaints.  

Now the UN calls internet access a human right, and it's not hard to see why.  My wife Alice, who's just quit her job, but before she quit her job she was working at Channel 4, one of Britain's public broadcasters; and she was their commissioner for education, and she worked with a lot of research on what networks did for families.  

And what she discovered through some of that research was that if you take the most vulnerable families in Britain, people living in public housing and the post-industrial north, and you compare like for like families, where the only differences is that one of them has internet access, then the family with internet access has markedly better outcomes on ever axis you can imagine.  They have better nutrition, better social mobility, their kids get better grades, they have better jobs, they have better spending money, they're more civically engaged.  In every way you can imagine, their lives are improved by network access.  

Is there anyone in this room who'd have a job if we took away your home internet?  And we're talking about taking away this network access, not from convicted pirates, but from people who happen to share an IP address with someone who's been accused of piracy.

I don't think science fiction writers are necessarily very good predictors of the future, but there are two predictions that I think are very easy for me to make with some confidence.  The first prediction is that copying is never, ever, ever going to get harder.  Hard drives aren't going to get larger and bulkier and less capacious and more expensive, networks aren't going to get harder to use and slower, there will never be fewer people who know how to type "move name BitTorrent" into Google.  From here on in, copying just gets easier.  Your children will marvel at how hard copying was in 2011.  

And my second prediction is that everything we do in the physical world will increasingly require, not have, but require, some online component.  You and I and our children are increasingly inhabiting a world in which internet policy affects every single aspect of our lives.  And copyright law's scope is "make an orderly, well functioning marketplace for creative works," not "govern every corner of human experience".  

This year, technology allowed revolutionaries in the Middle East to coordinate to challenge despotic rulers, and technology allowed the secret police to figure out who to round up, imprison, torture, and execute.  

If copyright's furtherance requires tilting the balance of technology to make the citizen's job harder, and the secret policeman's easier, we're doing copyright wrong.  


Thank you.

So look, I'm a novelist.  I pay my mortgage with copyright.  I feed my family with copyright.  And I really, really believe that we can make copyrights that pay artists without requiring absurdities like copy-proof bits, or building a surveillance state into the fabric of the information society.  

I mean, just look at what copyright was in the earliest years of America.  They set up a copyright system where you got a 14 year copyright that could be renewed again by 14 years, but only by the creator.  

So what that meant is that you'd turn up at a publisher's office and say, "I wrote this book, I think it's really good".  And they'd read it, and they'd go, "Yeah, it's pretty good.  We'll give you a raisin for it".  And then they publish it.  And it would be a best seller.  

And 14 years later, the copyright would be about to expire, and they'd come back to you and go, "Could you please renew this copyright for us?"  And you'd say, "Sure.  But I want your kidney and your first-born."  


We can make copyrights that ensure that people who create stuff get money, and they don't necessarily, and can't involve surveillance.  They can't involve this kind of control.  We need to look for solutions like that today, and I think that we'll find them.  

But I'll tell you what.  If the only way to keep my trade alive is to redesign the devices that fill our pockets, run our cars, carry our love notes, and comprise our entire present day system of political and civic engagement so that they spy on us and betray us; then I'm just going to go out and get a real job, because I want to be free more than I want to be a writer.  

I want my daughter-, excuse me, I'm Eastern European ancestry, so I do this when I get misted up, I want my daughter to be free, I want my nation to be free, and I want our future to be free.  If you agree, then take this back to your jobs an your politicians, join organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, boycott DRM platforms, get mouthy with your boss and your investors.  

We can secure livelihoods for creative people, and we can preserve technology's power to liberate.  Let's keep the creative industries where they belong, on the side of free speech, free assembly, and freedom of conscience.  Thank you.