Cory Doctorow

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Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow portrait by Jonathan Worth 2.jpg
Born (1971-07-17) July 17, 1971 (age 43)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Author, blogger
Genre Science fiction, postcyberpunk
Notable works
Notable awards
  • John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
  • John W. Campbell Memorial Award
  • Prometheus Award
  • Sunburst Award
Spouse Alice Taylor (m. 2008)
Children 1 daughter (Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow)
Website
craphound.com

Cory Efram Doctorow (/ˈkɒri ˈdɒktər/; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British[1] blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.[2][3][4]

Life and career[edit]

Doctorow was born in Toronto, Canada. His father was born in a refugee camp in Azerbaijan.[5] In elementary school, Doctorow befriended Tim Wu.[6] He received his high school diploma from the SEED School, and attended four universities without attaining a degree.[7][not specific enough to verify][8] He later served on the board of directors for the Grindstone Island Co-operative in Big Rideau Lake in Ontario.[citation needed]

In June 1999, he co-founded the free software P2P company Opencola with John Henson and Grad Conn. The company was sold to the Open Text Corporation of Waterloo, Ontario, during the summer of 2003.[2]

Doctorow, a member of the Open Rights Group's Advisory Council speaks about how he got involved in digital rights.

Doctorow later relocated to London and worked as European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation for four years,[2] helping to establish the Open Rights Group, before leaving the EFF to pursue writing full-time in January 2006. Upon his departure, Doctorow was named a Fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.[2] He was named the 2006–2007 Canadian Fulbright Chair for Public Diplomacy at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, sponsored jointly by the Royal Fulbright Commission,[9] the Integrated Media Systems Center, and the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. The professorship included a one year writing and teaching residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, United States.[2][10] He then returned to London, but remained a frequent public speaker on copyright issues.

In 2009, Doctorow became the first Independent Studies Scholar in Virtual Residence at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.[11] He was a student in the program during 1993–94, but quit without completing a thesis. Doctorow is also a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Open University in the United Kingdom.[11] In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from The Open University.[12]

Doctorow married Alice Taylor in October 2008,[13] and together they have one daughter named Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, who was born in 2008.[14] Doctorow became a British citizen by naturalisation on 12 August 2011.[1]

Other work and fellowships[edit]

He served as Canadian Regional Director of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1999.

Together with Austrian art group monochrom he initiated the Instant Blitz Copy Fight project, for which people from all over the world are asked to take flash pictures of copyright warnings in movie theaters.[15]

On October 31, 2005, Doctorow was involved in a controversy concerning digital rights management with Sony-BMG, as told in Wikinomics.[16]

Cory Doctorow at the Singularity Summit at Stanford in 2006

Fiction[edit]

Doctorow began selling fiction when he was 17 years old and sold several stories followed by publication of his story "Craphound" in 1998.[17]

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Doctorow's first novel, was published in January 2003, and was the first novel released under one of the Creative Commons licences, allowing readers to circulate the electronic edition as long as they neither made money from it nor used it to create derived works. The electronic edition was released simultaneously with the print edition. In March 2003, it was re-released with a different Creative Commons licence that allowed derivative works such as fan fiction, but still prohibited commercial usage. It was nominated for a Nebula Award,[18] and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 2004.[19] A semi-sequel short story named Truncat was published on Salon.com in August 2003.[20]

Doctorow's other novels have been released with Creative Commons licences that allow derived works and prohibit commercial usage, and he has used the model of making digital versions available, without charge, at the same time that print versions are published.

His Sunburst Award-winning short story collection[21]A Place So Foreign and Eight More was also published in 2004: "0wnz0red" from this collection was nominated for the 2004 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.[22]

Doctorow (left) pictured at the 2006 Lift Conference with fellow Boing Boing contributor Jasmina Tešanović (centre) and cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling (right).

Doctorow released the bestselling novel Little Brother in 2008 with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike licence.[23] It was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2009.[24] and won the 2009 Prometheus Award,[25] Sunburst Award,[26] and the 2009 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.[27]

His novel Makers was released in October 2009, and was serialized for free on the Tor Books website.[28]

Doctorow released another young adult novel, For the Win, in May 2010. The novel is available free on the author's website as a Creative Commons download, and is also published in traditional paper format by Tor Books. The book concerns massively multiplayer online role-playing games.[29]

Doctorow's short story collection "With a Little Help" was released in printed format on May 3, 2011. It is a project to demonstrate the profitability of Doctorow's method of releasing his books in print and subsequently for free under Creative Commons.[30][31]

In September 2012, Doctorow released The Rapture of the Nerds, a novel written in collaboration with Charles Stross.[32] In February 2013, Doctorow released Homeland, the sequel to his novel Little Brother.[33]

Doctorow's young adult novel, Pirate Cinema, was released in October 2012, and won the 2013 Prometheus Award.[34]

In 2013, Homeland, a sequel to Little Brother was released, and won the 2014 Prometheus Award.

Nonfiction and other writings[edit]

Doctorow's nonfiction works include his first book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction (co-written with Karl Schroeder and published in 2000), and his contributions to Boing Boing, the blog he co-edits, as well as regular columns in the magazines Popular Science and Make. He is a Contributing Writer to Wired magazine, and contributes occasionally to other magazines and newspapers such as the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, and the Boston Globe. In 2004, he wrote an essay on Wikipedia included in The Anthology at the End of the Universe, comparing Internet attempts at Hitchhiker's Guide-type resources, including a discussion of the Wikipedia article about himself.

Doctorow contributed the foreword to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008) edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky. He also was a contributing writer for the book Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century.[35]

He popularized the term "metacrap" by a 2001 essay titled "Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia."[36] Some of his non-fiction published between 2001 and 2007 has been collected by Tachyon Publications as Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future.

His essay "You Can't Own Knowledge" is included in the Freesouls book project.[37]

He is the originator of Doctorow's Law: "Anytime someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn't give you the key, they're not doing it for your benefit."[38][39][40][41][42]

Opinions on intellectual property[edit]

Doctorow talks at the Open Rights Group event ORGCon 2012 about the UK Government's Communications Data Bill 2012

Doctorow believes that copyright laws should be liberalized to allow for free sharing of all digital media. He has also advocated filesharing.[43] He argues that copyright holders should have a monopoly on selling their own digital media, and copyright laws should only be operative when someone attempts to sell a product currently under someone else's copyright.[44]

Doctorow is an opponent of digital rights management, claiming that it limits the free sharing of digital media and frequently causes problems for legitimate users (including registration problems that lock users out of their own purchases and prevent them from being able to move their media to other devices).[45]

In popular culture[edit]

Cory Doctorow wears a red cape, goggles and a balloon as he receives the 2007 EFF Pioneer Award, spoofing an xkcd webcomic in which he is mentioned.[46]

The webcomic 'xkcd' occasionally features a partially fictional version of Doctorow who lives in a hot air balloon "up in" the "blogosphere" ("above the tag clouds") and wears a red cape and goggles, such as in the comic "Blagofaire".[47] When Doctorow won the 2007 EFF Pioneer Award, the presenters gave him a red cape, goggles and a balloon.[48]

The novel Ready Player One features a mention of Doctorow as being on the OASIS User Council (along with Wil Wheaton) in the year 2044.[49]

The comedic role-playing game, Kingdom of Loathing features a boss-fight against a monster named Doctor Oh [50] who is described as wearing a red cape and goggles. The commentary before the fight and assorted hit, miss and fumble messages during the battle make reference to Doctorow's advocacy for Open-Source sharing and freedom of media.

Awards[edit]

For Little Brother
For Homeland

Bibliography[edit]

Doctorow in his office

Science fiction novels[edit]

Graphic novel[edit]

Short stories and anthologies[edit]

  • "0wnz0red", short story, 2002
  • "Truncat" (short story) – a quasi-sequel to Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, 2003.
  • A Place So Foreign and Eight More (short story collection, Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003).
  • "I, Row-boat" (Hugo nominated short story, InfiniteMatrix.net, 2005)
  • Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present (short story collection, Thunder's Mouth Press, 2007) ISBN 1-56025-981-7
  • "Scroogled" originally appeared in the magazine Radar, 2007.
  • "True Names", (short story with Benjamin Rosenbaum) in Fast Forward 2, edited by Lou Anders, ISBN 978-1-59102-692-1, 2008
  • There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow / Now is the Best Time of Your Life (97 pgs.; in an edited anthology, 2010)[17]
  • With a Little Help, (short stories collection, December 2010)
  • Chicken Little (from short story anthology, Gateways, edited by Elizabeth Anne Hull, April 2011).
  • "Lawful Interception" (novella) – A Little Brother story, 2013.

Other[edit]

  • Ebooks: Neither E Nor Books. (February 12, 2004)
  • Glenn Yeffeth, ed., The Anthology at the End of the Universe?, chapter titled "Wikipedia: A Genuine H2G2-Minus the Editors", by Cory Doctorow, Benbella Books. March 11, 2005. ISBN 978-1-932100-56-3.
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction (self-help, Alpha Books, 2000).
  • Essential Blogging (tech help, O'Reilly and Associates, 2002). ISBN 0-596-00388-9.
  • /usr/bin/god (novel; Tor Books) – In a June 11, 2008 interview with the Onion's A.V. Club, Doctorow stated that the book was "on the shelf more or less permanently, although it might be resurrected at some point".[55]
  • Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future (September, 2008).
  • Context: Selected Essays on Productivity, Creativity, Parenting, and Politics in the 21st Century (October, 2011)[56]
  • The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (November, 2011)[57]
  • You Can't Own Knowledge, (Freesouls, 2010)[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b And so @doctorow is a British citizen! on his wife, Alice Taylor's Twitter stream, 12 August 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e "Cory Doctorow; USC Center on Public Diplomacy". Uscpublicdiplomacy.com. 1971-07-17. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  3. ^ Doctorow, C. (2008). "Big data: Welcome to the petacentre". Nature 455 (7209): 16–21. doi:10.1038/455016a. PMID 18769411.  edit
  4. ^ Laurie, B.; Doctorow, C. (2012). "Computing: Secure the Internet". Nature 491 (7424): 325–326. doi:10.1038/491325a. PMID 23151561.  edit
  5. ^ "Azeri "donkey video" bloggers arrested". 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  6. ^ Warnica, Richard (September 6, 2014). "Toronto superstar academic who coined ‘net-neutrality’ could be nominee for N.Y. lieutenant-governor". National Post. 
  7. ^ "Podcast: Shirky's Why We Need the New News Environment to be Chaotic". Cory Doctorow's Craphound (Podcast). Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  8. ^ According to this citation, Doctorow quit high school → Strahan, Jonathan, ed. (2010), Godlike Machines, Garden City, New York: Science Fiction Book Club, p. 167, ISBN 978-1-61664-759-9 
  9. ^ "2006 Award Recipients". Royal Fulbright Commission web site. Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  10. ^ Brock Read (2007-04-06). "A Blogger Infiltrates Academe". Chronicle of Higher Education, Volume 53, Issue 31, Page A30. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  11. ^ a b "University of Waterloo: Scholar in Virtual Residence". University of Waterloo. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Conferment of Honorary Degrees and Presentation of Graduates". www.open.ac.uk. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Little Brother UK edition signed!". BoingBoing. BoingBoing. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  14. ^ Cory Doctorow (2008-02-03). "Fine News". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  15. ^ "Instant Blitz Copy Fight web site". Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  16. ^ Tapscott, Dan; Anthony D. Williams (2006). Wikinomics. Portfolio/Penguin Books. pp. 34–37. ISBN 978-1-59184-138-8. 
  17. ^ a b Strahan, Jonathan, ed. (2010), Godlike Machines, Garden City, New York: Science Fiction Book Club, p. 167, ISBN 978-1-61664-759-9 
  18. ^ "The Nebula Award Listing; Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  19. ^ "2004 Locus Awards". The Locus Index to SF Awards. Locus Publications. September 3, 2004. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  20. ^ Cory Doctorow (August 27, 2003). "Truncat". Salon. 
  21. ^ "2004 Sunburst Award Winner". www.sunburstaward.org. The Sunburst Award Society. September 1, 2004. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  22. ^ "2004 Nebula Awards". The Locus Index to SF Awards. Locusmag.com. April 17, 2004. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Little Brother Blog". Craphound.com. April 28, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  24. ^ "AnticipationSF Hugo Nominees: Best Novel". www.anticipation.sf.ca. Anticipation: The 67th World Science Fiction Convention. January 31, 2010 (rev.). Retrieved June 17, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  25. ^ a b c "Libertarian Futurist Society". Lfs.org. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "2009 Winners: The Sunburst Awards". www.sunburstaward.org. The Sunburst Award Society. September 28, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  27. ^ "2009 John W. Campbell Memorial Award". The Locus Index to SF Awards. Locus-Locus Publications. July 7–12, 2009. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Cory Doctorow's Makers; Blog posts". Tor.com. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  29. ^ According to this citation, this work is about "greenfarming" → Strahan, Jonathan, ed. (2010), Godlike Machines, Garden City, New York: Science Fiction Book Club, p. 167, ISBN 978-1-61664-759-9 
  30. ^ "Post publication progress report for "With a Little Help"". Craphound.com. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  31. ^ Cory Doctorow (October 19, 2009). "Doctorow's Project: With a Little Help". Publishers Weekly. 
  32. ^ Upcoming4.me. "Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross' Rapture of The Nerds cover art and summary reveal". Upcoming4.me. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  33. ^ "Cover for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother". Craphound.com. June 20, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  34. ^ "2013 Prometheus Winners Announced". www.lfs.org. Libertarian Futurist Society. July 20, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  35. ^ WorldChanging: User's guide for the 21st Century
  36. ^ "Metacrap". Well.com. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  37. ^ You Can't Own Knowledge, Cory Doctorow
  38. ^ "Doctorow's Law: Who Benefits from DRM?". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  39. ^ "TOC 09: Digital Distribution and the Whip Hand: Don't Get iTunesed with your eBooks". O'Reilly. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  40. ^ "Digital Rights Management vs. the Inevitability of Free Content: Book Publishing, the Illusion of Piracy, and Giving the Customer What they Pay For". Simon Fraser University's Digital Publishing Workshop 2009. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  41. ^ "Submission to the Canadian Copyright Consultation". Industry Canada (www.ic.gc.ca). 4 September 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  42. ^ "Internet ©rapshoot: How Internet Gatekeepers Stifle Progress". Internet Evolution. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  43. ^ Doctorow, Cory (2004-12-12). "Steal This File Sharing Book – A–Z HOWTO for file-sharing". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  44. ^ Doctorow, Cory. "The Internet is Not a Waffle Iron Connected to a Fax Machine". IAI. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  45. ^ "Cory Doctorow at Cambridge Business Lectures". Video.google.com. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  46. ^ "xkcd #345-1337: Part 5". xkcd.com-Randall Munroe, Retrieved 13 January 2014
  47. ^ xkcd.com/239 (see also [e.g.], xkcd.com/345, xkcd.com/482, xkcd.com/497, xkcd.com/498, and xkcd.com/527)
  48. ^ "Cory Doctorow, Part II". xkcd. 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  49. ^ Cline, Ernest (2011). Ready Player One. New York: Broadway. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-307-88744-3. 
  50. ^ "Doctor Oh". Kingdom of Loathing. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  51. ^ "The Long List of Hugo Awards, 2000". Nesfa.org. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  52. ^ "EFF: Yochai Benkler, Cory Doctorow, and Bruce Schneier Win EFF Pioneer Awards". 
  53. ^ "The John W. Campbell Memorial Award Listing". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  54. ^ "White Pine Award list of winners". Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  55. ^ Robinson, Tasha (2008-06-11). "Cory Doctorow / The A.V. Club". The Onion. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  56. ^ "Tachyon Publications". 
  57. ^ "The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow". 
  58. ^ "You Can't Own Knowledge". 

External links[edit]