Cory Doctorow is a maverick thinker, an iconoclast’s iconoclast. If there is a person who symbolizes the way of marketing and selling his works in the on-line world, he’s it. He’s pretty consistent in attacking everyone’s model – TV, movies, music, and books, basically any model that uses digital rights management to limit electronic distribution – and showing why it won’t work in the long run.
And Doctorow practices what he preaches. All of his books are available as ebooks from his web site for free.
That’s how I happened to read this book. While I probably won’t buy a paper copy for myself, I would buy one for a school library (which is his #2 suggestion).
All the essays relate to copyright and the way it gets abused into the current notion of intellectual property. (damn lawyers!)
So what is Content? It’s a collection of essays he has written over the last several years gathered between two covers. Does it work? Yes except sometimes it sounds incomplete, like he had more written that got cut out of the final manuscript.
I don’t always agree with him but he has good points and I think they need to be part of the public debate.