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  • Lia Holland, Campaigns & Communications Director Fight for the FutureLia Holland, Campaigns & Communications Director Fight for the Future

    We are on a dark path toward a future where knowledge and art can never be owned or preserved; Walled Culture pinpoints how we got here, and provides the necessary thinking to underpin the urgent fight for the better, more diverse, and more equitable digital world we would have, but for outrageous corporate greed.

  • Fred von Lohmann, former Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Google copyright counselFred von Lohmann, former Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Google copyright counsel

    Copyright has been the canary in the coalmine of Internet regulation for more than 20 years. Walled Culture is the indispensable guide to those battles, both a reminder of how we got here and a call to arms for the battles to come.

  • Catherine Stihler, CEO Creative CommonsCatherine Stihler, CEO Creative Commons

    This book is an essential part of our collective education and should be read in every school and made available in every library. It makes the invisible, visible, and takes copyright out of niche status, making it a relatable subject of interest to everyone.

  • Jean-Sébastien Caux, Professor of Physics at the University of Amsterdam, founder & chairman SciPostJean-Sébastien Caux, Professor of Physics at the University of Amsterdam, founder & chairman SciPost

    Forget novels and fairy tales: this is the great story of our times, a future-changing clash full of villains, traitors, cowards and the only too rare heroes. What I wouldn't give for people to drop the cat memes, read this instead, and rethink their digital lives.

  • Alex Sayf Cummings, Professor at Georgia State UniversityAlex Sayf Cummings, Professor at Georgia State University

    Walled Culture offers a superb and succinct history of the political struggles that got us into our current intellectual property mess, while shining a light on the perverse outcomes of policies that continue to privilege powerful incumbents such as the RIAA, Google and Elsevier today – strangling creativity at every point in the information ecosystem, and harming both creators and consumers alike.

The Author

Glyn Moody has been writing about copyright, digital rights, and the Internet for 30 years. In 1997, Wired magazine published his in-depth feature about Linux and Linus Torvalds, the first mainstream article to describe the then-new world of free software. Moody’s full-length book on the topic, Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution, appeared in 2001. He has written nearly 2,000 posts for Techdirt, and over 400 articles for Ars Technica. He has given keynotes and speeches at conferences around the world, and appeared many times as a commentator on television.

The Book

Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa get sued for alleged plagiarism and the majority of creators see pennies for their work, while the revenues of the record labels are exploding. Libraries struggle to give access to ebooks and get sued by an increasingly more powerful book industry, while publicly funded research papers get locked up.

Walled Culture is the first book providing a compact, non-technical history of digital copyright and its problems over the last 30 years, and the social, economic and technological implications.

This book recounts the origins and unfolding of that historic clash of irreconcilable ideas by diving into how:

  • Big Content have lobbied lawmakers in the US, the EU, and elsewhere to pass harsh laws in an attempt to forbid people from accessing and sharing content;
  • As a result, the immense power of the Internet is being throttled, and the knowledge and culture that could flow freely to everyone is being walled up for a select few; and,
  • We are losing so much just to prop up outdated and inefficient business models, and what could be done to unleash the Internet’s full potential and fairly remunerate creators by breaking down those walls.

In looking into these events, Walled Culture tries to answer the following key questions:

  • What are the problems with copyright in the digital age?
  • Why does copyright harm creators and block global access to knowledge?
  • How does copyright threaten basic freedoms and undermine the Internet?
  • How can we promote creativity and help artists and make a living in the digital age?
  • What should we do to solve all these problems?

Press coverage

USA Wire News – Copyright is failing artists: Here’s what could replace it, by USA Wire Staff

Dallas Morning News – Why copyright is a bad fit for the internet age, by Glyn Moody – Is copyright ‘fundamentally incompatible with the internet’?, by Christopher Wink

Institute for Accountability in the Digital Age (I4ADA) – I4ADA dialogue with Glyn Moody, hosted by Frits Bussemaker

COMMUNIA Association – Walled Culture, the Book, Now Available

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb – Q&A with Glyn Moody, by Deborah Kalb