When copyright goes wrong

by Ray Corrigan on July 4, 2018

[This is a guest post by Ray Corrigan, Senior Lecturer in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics Faculty, The Open University, UK, and author of ‘Digital Decision Making: Back to the Future’ [Springer-Verlag, 2007]

In a world that faces enormous structural problems, it may be hard to get people to care about an obscure-seeming piece of copyright legislation. Yet the proposed new EU copyright directive approved by the European parliament’s JURI (Legal Affairs) committee on 20 June is causing a lot of unjustified unhappiness. The reasons are straightforward. In an age as dependent on information flows as ours is, information laws can have crucial consequences for markets and politics. Actions taken to protect copyright can reshape politics by giving both the responsibility and power to control information flows to a small number of key actors. The proposed copyright directive would completely change the politics of who controls information, and hence who controls the public narrative. It’s a really bad idea.
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What should I be reading?

by Henry on July 4, 2018

Having sent an academic book off to the publisher, I’m in what I hope are the final stages of writing a very long proposal for a commercial book based on this essay (the book will probably have less PKD, and more generic weirdness). For the last nine months or so, my reading material has been mostly recent US history, American paranoia (Jesse Walker’s book is very good), changes in American media markets, how Facebook actually works, the theory and practice of bots, history of traditionalism and lots and lots of creepy stuff on the WWW (Dark Enlightenment, MRA, GamerGate and other assorted varieties of sleaze and vileness). The result is that I’m desperate for new and different books to read, after I get the damn thing finished, as a class of a carrot to lure me over the finish line.

Books I know that I really want to read include:

Ruthanna Emrys – Deep Roots (have an ARC of it already, and it looks very, very good).
Vera Tobin – Elements of Surprise (cognitive psychology meets literature).
Dave Hutchinson – Shelter (though I’m looking forward even more to the next book in his Europe series)
Judea Pearl – The Book of Why (how we need causal reasoning and what it means).

Books that I don’t know that I really want to read, but should know, are multitudinous. Tell me about them.