- Author Cory Doctorow
I did write an extended review of this book, but the draft got lost somewhere, which is quite frustrating as I was very conflicted by the story. Clearly written as a means of getting the points about copyright across, I was surprised that it was actually a good story as well - utterly transparent, and erring on the side of adult rather than young, but interesting and kept my attention.
The issue with copyright is a difficult one. I absolutely agree that the way it is treated at the moment is wrong, too heavy-handed, and missing the point completely. But I don’t agree with the author 100% either. Making the films that he did (splicing together existing works of a specific actor to make other movies) was absolutely creativity, but there does have to be a distinction between making the original work and then subsequently standing on the shoulders of giants, doesn’t there?
Hopefully the book can inspire people to take a stand against something they feel strongly about, but I also hope the book isn’t too influential - it absolutely glorifies the concept of running away, to a degree that just isn’t right. Running away to London is rarely going to end in finding a guardian angel, living in a glorious abandoned pub and eating gourmet meals from the back of shops. On the one hand, highlighting how wasteful a society can be is good, but it’s almost encouraging kids to start foraging in bins and abandoning their homes for the bright lights and the big city.
I’m conflicted every step of the way with this book, and for that reason, I highly recommend it.