What’s wrong with copyright and how to fix it

The chief problem with recent debate about copyright reform is that it tends to revolve around the essentially ethical question of how to balance the interests of creators (and the corporations who monetise their work) against those of consumers. While it may be true that lately commercial lobbying has done …

The problem with DRM

The trouble with trying to get people to watch this talk by Cory Doctorow is that it’s 45 minutes long, and you don’t know why it’s important until you’ve seen it. Here’s an executive summary of why it matters. Unfortunately, because I have no space to fill in the details, it may …

A national disgrace

After 2 weeks of the Olympics, I’ve been feeling uncharacteristically proud of my country. We generally made an excellent job of the organisation and coverage, and the athletes put in some outstanding performances. And the opening ceremony was fantastic, even if we were the only ones who understood it. But …

The arms race of pharmaceutical advertising

Earlier this month, Derek Lowe’s In The Pipeline blog had some trenchant criticisms of a BMJ article (behind a paywall, alas) criticising the process of R&D in the pharmaceutical industry and questioning the supposedly huge costs of bringing a drug to market. I think Derek makes some excellent points, particularly …

Scientific publishing and the music business

This post was inspired by a review by Kent Anderson at the The Scholarly Kitchen of Robert Levine’s Free Ride: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back, in which he sees parallels between the creative industries that Levine writes about, and …