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Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

Pirate Cinema (edition 2012)

by Cory Doctorow

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4052926,397 (3.74)16
Title:Pirate Cinema
Authors:Cory Doctorow
Info:Tor Teen (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, ya, young adult, intellectual property rights, freedom of expression, creatiivity, teen lit, brit lit

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Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

  1. 10
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (PghDragonMan)
  2. 10
    Makers by Cory Doctorow (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Big corporations seek to control creativity and the creative forces strike back.
  3. 00
    Junk by Melvin Burgess (kaledrina)

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» See also 16 mentions

English (27)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
To call this science fiction would be an exaggeration - there's scarcely anything sciency about it. Even the speculative fiction label is hard to apply, because what little speculative invention it contains only forecasts into next Tuesday. Hardly a leap of prognosticating wizardry. No, this is about as speculative as a John Grisham novel, which is to say, it isn't. I'm pretty sure the conditions Pirate Cinema show us in Britain do not yet exist there - but for all I know, they could very well exist in Lithuania, or Scotland, or some other less visible corner of the modern world.

Now, there are lots of great novels set in the contemporary world, or somewhere much like it, but this is not one of them. From the outset, Pirate Cinema feels forced. Its settings, its characters, and the situations they get into all feel entirely contrived, by Doctorow, for the express purpose of lining up his rant on freedom of expression and the tyranny of copyright law. The situation is a complete straw dog from opening to close.

He does make some interesting arguments, but even those brief glimmers of engagement were snuffed out, for me, by the obviously contrived, artificial situation. I don't think it spoils anything to reveal that the protagonist is a film mashup artist who runs afoul of increasingly strict copyright law. But all through the book, I kept asking myself, "If the point he's making about copyright is so valid, then why didn't he cast Trent as an up and coming pianist or composer or novelist, even?" Surely his reliance on such a niche art form weakens his argument. My only answer to that question is that it's because he trying to present a simplistic analysis of what is actually a complex, multi-layered, and nuanced social problem.

So as spec fic, there isn't much there, while as social commentary it's entirely contrived and artificial feeling. I suppose it works as a simple urban coming of age piece in a very slightly dystopian setting, but on that basis, it's also pretty formulaic - a David and Goliath tale, pitting little-guy artist against evil corporations, with entirely predictable obstacles, tactics and outcomes. ( )
  Jefficus | Apr 25, 2014 |
I think the difficulty with this book is it simplifies something that is incredibly nuanced and that made it, for me at least, slightly patronising and poorly handled.
I liked
- characterisation
- some of the premise that the book was based on

I didn't like
- the dumbing down of piracy concepts
- the ending. It could have ended without the very final twist and been ok in that regard.

It's worth reading if you can suspend disbelief, but it's not as good as 'when says admins ruled the earth' ( )
  Kaiberie | Feb 8, 2014 |
This book started off kinda preachy. I've heard/watched some of doctorows google talks about the new signed bootloader / hardware stuff. I think he spoke way better at google.
I see now why it was done.

The book was great. I loved the characters, and the story.

If you are a fan of his other books, i'd highly recommend it. ( )
  halkeye | Feb 6, 2014 |
This was entertaining enough, set in a near-future in London when things are just a little more Big Brother-y than they are now. A bunch of kids living in a squat and making remixes and mash-ups of films come under the scrutiny of corporations trying to enforce their copyrights. Then they band together and put on a show in the barn fight the system and say a lot of things about art and creative freedom.

It's nicely written in general, perhaps a little meandering and the characters are maybe a little too likely to break into a long expository monologue about fair use regulations. Aside from that, it's easy to like the characters and be interested in what they do. I liked that it depicted people engaged in activism and social justice work in a positive and serious way. Serious in the sense that their convictions are shown as valid, as opposed to meaning they had no fun at all. A lot of their activities seemed extremely fun.

One thing that wasn't working for me personally is that even though I agree with the book's sentiments on the state of copyright (I think it's forcing an outdated system to try to manage a new technology to the detriment of everybody involved), the choices the author makes about what supports this stance were ... odd, to me. It's like he tried to fit every possible justification in there, and at some point (well, it was a point toward the beginning), it turned the corner from "convincing argument" to "okay, now you're just rambling." ( )
  delphica | Oct 14, 2013 |
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow is a dystopian critique in the uselessness of internet piracy bills. Trent McCauley is a sixteen year old runaway who flees to London in order to illegally edit video remixes. Through the process of making friends and completing his video's he manages to challenge major piracy laws. It was a well written novel that managed to make me question internet piracy laws. Racquel, Class of 2015
  PeskyLibrary | Sep 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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In a dystopian, near-future Britain, sixteen-year-old Trent, obsessed with making movies on his computer, joins a group of artists and activists who are trying to fight a new bill that will criminalize even more harmless internet creativity.

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