INFO SCIENCE: Gizmodo -- usually my second favorite gadget site -- published a puzzlingly st00pid article about the future of eBooks, 500 Books In Your Gadget Bag. Here's a sample of the article's idiocy, "If publishers stop wanting DRM, it's the end of popular creative arts. Not as we know them, but period."
Excuse me? You're saying that art -- often considered as old as humanity itself -- is going to disappear from the face of the Earth unless Sony (aka: The Great Protector of ART!) nukes your new Librie non-book after your right-to-read license expires? Give me a fawking break, you nut job.
Thank God, before I started pulling someone's hair since I can't make a coherent argument, author Cory Doctorow came to the rescue to point out the flaws in Sanford May's article. (In a related note, I love Mr. Doctorow. Have I mentioned that recently? Hmmm, yes I have.)
But the author goes further and asserts that without DRM, there will be no market for entertainment product ever again ("If publishers stop wanting DRM, it's the end of popular creative arts. Not as we know them, but period.") despite the fact that the software industry got bigger when it abandoned DRM, and despite the fact that no new medium has ever succeeded by appealing to the virtues of the medium before it (there're very few ideas more goofy than the idea that people will start buying ebooks just as soon as they have fewer features and more restrictions, provided that the ebooks can be played back on special-purpose devices with sharp screens). He cites Sony as proof of this ("Sony may be nuts, but they're not that nuts."), despite the fact that Sony was forced out of the walkman market by its failure to deliver the DRM-free devices that its customers demanded. Yes, Sony is that nuts.
He doesn't even touch on the marketplace experience of every published writer who's tried giving away DRM-free ebooks -- me, Lessig, Jim Munroe, the Baen authors, Orson Scott Card -- universally, the experience is that we sell more books.
Really, it's as though he sat down and called an ebook startup's PR guy, then reasoned out all of his conclusions a priori, without reference to any of the activity in the field.
I know what you're thinking! How can a reasonably well known author like Cory not appreciate Sony: The Great Protector of ART's interest in DRM?!? I'm shocked, SHOCKED! Well, maybe, just maybe, Sony doesn't have anyone's best interest in mind except for their own bottom line.
(Read the original Gizmodo article and Cory's BoingBoing response)