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The Right to Read - Richard Stallman (gnu.org)
71 points by lambda on Jan 28, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

I think this essay, written in 1997, is worth another read in light of the recent iPad announcement, and the closed and locked down platform it provides.

Except that the iPad uses ePub - the standard, open, DRM-free eBook format.

Optional DRM, you mean. And I can't imagine that booksellers have yet reached the same degree of enlightenment that the music vendors have lately been reaching.

Well, except for the music streaming services. Which are as DRM infected as ever.

ePub is not DRM free; ePub simply has no standardized DRM. All of the major ePub bookstores sell books with some sort of DRM; for the most part, the only ePub books you can find without DRM are the public domain books from Project Gutenberg and the like.

I think the level of sheer irrational panic displayed in light of the recent iPad announcement is deserving of everybody calming the hell down for a minute and actually using their brains. I realize this isn't the trendy thing to do when one can instead start screaming and pointing at alarmist rants, but I do think we'd all be better off for some rational thought here and there.

In this more recent essay, Lawrence Lessig discusses how the copyright system might be reformed to prevent the same kind of issues Stallman exposes in the above: http://www.tnr.com/print/article/the-love-culture (Scroll down to "III" if you don't want to hear about documentary film or the Google book settlement)

(I submitted that to HN yesterday but I guess stuff that says "Stallman" attracts more viewers... it's worth your read though)

That was an excellent article. As someone who missed your post yesterday, thanks for thread-hijacking! ;-)

Hehe, thanks :)

I was hesitant whether this would be good HN etiquette, but then I figured that it's actually quite on-topic, and that it would be ok if I didn't spam a HN-thread link but a direct link to the article. I realise it's still a minor offence ;)

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