"Neil Gaiman's our Patron! Squeee!"

by Suw on January 30, 2006

Was the headline that I chose not to run with in today's Open Rights Group press release, despite the fact that's pretty much how I felt about it.
If you're a regular reader of either my or Neil's blog, you will of course already know that Neil's our Patron, but it's nice to finally fess up publicly about it. I'm pleased about it for a few reasons. Neil's very clued in when it comes to copyright, digital rights and authors' freedoms. He even won the Defender of Liberty Award* from the CBLDF in 97. It's wonderful to see someone whose creative processes are so very analogue – Neil writes his first drafts longhand with a nice pen and a Moleskine notebook – becoming so deeply immersed in the digital world.
It's also great because Neil and Cory Doctorow, who is on our Advisory Council, are the very people that the rights-grabbing publishing oligarchies claim that they are trying to 'protect' using that annoying DRM crap, plus they're the people that you are I are supposedly 'stealing' from every time we read their books more than once. I've always found Cory to be quite pleased to have his work downloaded, repurposed and redistributed (within the terms of his Creative Commons licence, of course). And I know for a fact, because he's said so on his blog, that Neil's very keen on people reading his works more than once, turning them into tattoos, and using them as inspiration for interpretative dance.
Plus, of course, and you know how much I love stating the blindingly obvious, I'm chuffed because I've been a huge fan of Neil's for a long time, and finally I have a good excuse to email him and ask for quotes. To wit:
“We're in a world in which digital rights, the world of the internet, and the exchange of information is getting more and more important and relevant to all our lives, wherever we are,” said my new friend Neil. “I'm delighted that there's now a group of people committed to preserving and extending civil liberties in a digital world and to being sane and sensible as we careen into a digital future. I was honoured to be asked to be Patron of the Open Rights Group, and I look forward to working with them for years to come.”
So, don't forget to sign up to support ORG, and especially don't forget that we have an evening of free drinks, nibbles and Cory Doctorow on Feb 7th.
* Hm… wonder if ORG should start a Defender of The Digital Realm awards…

Anonymous January 31, 2006 at 8:48 am

Though I've never been to 01Zero-One, I get a picture of this evening featuring intent faces sat in a darkened, smoke-filled room listening to rousing speeches… kind of like something from Les Miserables (Red!…dum de dum de dum… Black!… dum de dum de dum) – and at the end everyone surges forth to man the barricades in revolution against the oppressive digital rights regime…
Of course everyone dies in Les Miserables (spoiler!), but I'm sure that won't happen here.

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