Next Techdirt Book Club Book: Cory Doctorow's Pirate Cinema

from the join-us dept

It’s time to announce the latest Techdirt Book Club book: Cory Doctorow’s excellent new book Pirate Cinema. Many of you may have picked it up in the recent Humble Ebook Bundle that it was a part of. If not, you can, as always download it from Cory’s site. Of course, if you’d like to support Cory, there are plenty options for buying the book as well. Sometime at the end of the month or (more likely, given the holidays) beginning of January, Cory will join us here for a video chat like previous authors. If you haven’t read it already, please check it out.

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Comments on “Next Techdirt Book Club Book: Cory Doctorow's Pirate Cinema”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Well, chop out the COMMERCIAL INTERLUDES, it's about 740K.

Those are REALLY annoying even in the text version, guys. I doubt that interrupting about a dozen times is useful. FAR TOO MANY, turns reader against you. Make your pitch only at start and end.

Otherwise. Gave it a fair chance for near half an hour yet never got the least hint of a plot or purpose. I think it fair to say that one of the most important points for the “give away and pray” notion is that the product must have some merit or appeal. But, IF this person is getting money for such, proves there’s a market for nearly anything, only need to learn how make a splash and get noticed…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well, chop out the COMMERCIAL INTERLUDES, it's about 740K.

Downloaded it off of craphound and off of the Humble Bundle and never had any ads at all. Not sure which version you have that’s ad-filled.

As far as the content, I thought it was a good read, reminded me a lot of Little Brother, which was also excellent. It’s not hard sci-fi, but there’s enough real world applications for the tech and security notes to give one ideas and suggested reading to go off of. Yes, some of it is blatantly obvious, like the references to Tor and the hidden OS in truecrypt, but it is after all YA.

What sold me on it, what made it pertinent for this day and age, was the following quote, from Chapter 4 (though I may be wrong about that, somehow I thought it was from a lot later):

[referencing the legal attacks from the MPAA] “You hear a lot of talk about terrorism these days. That word gets thrown around a lot. But a terrorist is someone who attacks innocent civilians to make a point. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether it applies here. “

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Well, chop out the COMMERCIAL INTERLUDES, it's about 740K.

Ads? Not in any eBook I’ve every bought. Let me guess, you’ve tried getting something for free and are now complaining that someone’s trying to pay a bill? Damn hypocrites, as usual.

“I think it fair to say that one of the most important points for the “give away and pray” notion is that the product must have some merit or appeal”

Well, apart from the fact that you still haven’t grasped that the “give it away and pray notion” is not only something that’s not promoted here, but has specifically been warned against, are you trying to say that Cory Doctorow doesn’t have a fanbase now, or that people who buy his work have no taste? Or can I now claim that Stephanie Meyer is a pauper with no viable business model because I don’t particularly care for her work?

Perhaps you’d like to accept that attacking a work based on your own subjective taste is both stupid and does nothing to do with the business aspects of the models themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

I purchased a copy in the humble indie bundle, and this was the first book I read from the set. I have to say, on average, this was a poor read.

The book had a strong introduction. There were some great examples of how expanding corporate power might impact your life.

Then the book goes on a nauseating 200 page roller coaster. A love interest is introduced for no readily apparent reason, other than to have the typical break up / reunion pattern you can find in any chick flick. All the main characters can produce an Ayn Rynd style 20 page copyright rant on demand.

Anything a main character does is genius, revolutionary, and it captures the heart of their generation. All main characters are genius level chefs, and masters of improvisation.

Finally, you may as well put magic in the book, because it makes more sense than the technological bullshit that appears in this book.

This is the worst type of self-insertion fan fiction. I would give it a pass. If you bought the humble indie bundle, read “Stranger Things Happen” instead. The book is haunting.

MaxEd (user link) says:

Love it.

Loved that book more than anything else in Humble Bundle! (Kelly Link was particularly horrible – pointless, long-winding stories which always end without resolution or anything, really).

Sure, it’s Young Adult book, so it has its share of unfounded idealism, but so did Heinlein’s books. It didn’t make them any worse, I must say, and it doesn’t make THIS book worse.

Very uplifting, inspirational read with enough attention to technical details to make any geek happy.

Verse (profile) says:

Reasonable YA sci-fi adventure romance

Cut and paste from my Goodreads review:

I found it a little unlikely sometimes that the protagonist, Cecil, managed to run away to London and not end up addicted/abused/beaten. Maybe there are some rose-tinted glasses on what homelessness can really be like. Even the hardcore tramps are painted in a sympathetic way (and the London cab drivers). Skip diving is also a lot less pleasant than portrayed, plus store employees tend to get the really good stuff before it reaches the skips.

I’m not 100% but I think Cecil’s art – remixing a famous actors work into new scenes – is fair use, it’s certainly transnformative, but mash-ups usually tend to become copyright violation targets. Although, Cecil does download and use pirate apps I guess. I mean, he’s not the average pirate – downloading a film/app because its free and convenient. A sympathetic pirate figure.

That said, it’s a damn good story, had me up reading at 1am for ‘one more chapter’. If you’re interested in copyright and DRM then this is a good read and not too taxing. Also a very cynical (and accurate) summary of the UK parliamentary system.

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