Iâ€™m in London later this week, my publishers asked me to do an event Thursday night at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. It was pitched to me as a Q&A with journalist Andrew Orlowski (pictured). I was surprised to see it pitched like this by The Register (where Orlowski is an editor):
Roll up for the freetard smackdown
Reader Offer Next Thursday, 9 October at 7pm, our very own Andrew Orlowski will be tackling the perennial issue of digital piracy – live and dangerous at the highbrow Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London.
He’ll be taking on New Media consultant Matt Mason, author of The Pirate’s Dilemma (How Youth Culture Reinvented Capitalism), which suggests burgeoning freetardism has transformed “underground scenes into burgeoning global industries and movements, ultimately changing life as we know it, unraveling some of our most basic assumptions about business, society and our collective future”.
Should be interesting.
To celebrate we’re offering Reg the chance to witness this cultural car crash first hand, for the low, low price of Â£6. The ICA’s usual price is Â£10, Â£9 concessions and Â£8 for members, so we can’t say fairer than that really, even if you are a die-hard freetard*
Cultural car crash? Maybe you get paid extra at The Register for alliteration. Iâ€™m not sure whoever wrote this really understands the term â€˜freetard,â€™ and if they do itâ€™s pretty safe to say they havenâ€™t actually read my book. A â€˜freetardâ€™ is someone who thinks everything should be free, the content industries should all be burnt at the stake and anarchy should rule the world. The book doesnâ€™t make that case, and the hack that put together this post should know better.
Anyone who is expecting this event to be some kind of Fox News style shouting match is probably going to be disappointed, because as far as I can tell Andrew and I are pretty much in agreement on how piracy pushes industries to innovate. He says in the comments on this post:
â€œRemember that when a new media technology comes along, it’s often used to store/record/play media for which the license has not been granted. These licenses eventually get granted – when some way of monetizing the anarchy has been agreed.â€œ
That sentence could of been a line straight from the book, so Iâ€™m not sure what weâ€™ll be smacking each other down over. But fear not, weâ€™ll find something interesting to talk about. To celebrate, Iâ€™m offering readers of thepiratesdilemma.com an even better offer than The Registerâ€™s. Meet me by the fire exit at the ICA at 6.55pm, and Iâ€™ll sneak you in for free.
Update: As predicted, this wasn’t any kind of smack down at all. Andrew and I seemed to agree on almost everything (except for the things he didn’t want to bring up – see Andrew’s take on it here) and there wasn’t a freetard in sight.