Copyright warrior declares victory, retreats

I’m a bit late getting to this because it was published while I was away, but my friend, the Toronto poet and author John Degen, wrote an essay for the Globe in which he declared that the so-called “copyright wars” were over, if indeed they had ever started. Like everything John puts to paper it was elegantly written, and, I think, he’s basically right in pointing out that the “free culture” movement has failed to engage the general public in its “I shouldn’t have to pay for anything” agenda.

John and I are more or less on the same page on this, but we’ve disagreed over copyright stuff in the past largely because he has always insisted (as he does again in this piece) in dragging Lawrence Lessig into it and painting him as a bad guy, even though John knows (and will even concede if you buy him enough beer) that he and Lessig are on the same page as well.

Anyway, John’s piece is behind the Globe firewall, which is an irony of sorts, but you can read it here.
John has also decided to put a free downloadable pdf of his novel The Uninvited Guest on his website. I’m not sure why you’d waste time and paper downloading it when you can buy already-printed-out copies in your local bookstore or off the internet. Even better, the Nightwood editions version comes with a free promotional blurb on the back cover courtesy of yours truly. “Not bad,” I think I wrote.

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