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Cory Doctorow - For the Win

Cory Doctorow - For the Win

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Published by corydoctorow
For the Win is Cory Doctorow's latest YA novel. For the Win is an adventure story about kids around the world who work as "gold farmers" (people who do repetitive tasks in games like World of Warcraft to amass virtual fortunes that are sold on to lazier players) who use the video games and other networked systems to organize a global trade union, called the Industrial Workers of the World Wide Web (or "Webblies"). It's a kind of novel-length expansion of the ideas in my short story Anda's Game, and it's full of technical details about economics (classical and behavioral), global politics, the labor movement, and the theory and practice of games.

As with all of his novels, For the Win is a free download, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Basically, that means you can give it to your friends or strangers, and make cool new stuff with it (so long as you're not making money from it).
For the Win is Cory Doctorow's latest YA novel. For the Win is an adventure story about kids around the world who work as "gold farmers" (people who do repetitive tasks in games like World of Warcraft to amass virtual fortunes that are sold on to lazier players) who use the video games and other networked systems to organize a global trade union, called the Industrial Workers of the World Wide Web (or "Webblies"). It's a kind of novel-length expansion of the ideas in my short story Anda's Game, and it's full of technical details about economics (classical and behavioral), global politics, the labor movement, and the theory and practice of games.

As with all of his novels, For the Win is a free download, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Basically, that means you can give it to your friends or strangers, and make cool new stuff with it (so long as you're not making money from it).

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Published by: corydoctorow on May 13, 2010
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DOCTOROW/FOR THE WIN/1
For the Win
Cory Doctorowdoctorow@craphound.com Last updated 13 May 2010
READ THIS FIRST
This book is distributed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license.That means:You are free:
to Share -- to copy, distribute and transmit thework 
to Remix -- to adapt the work Under the following conditions:
Attribution. You must attribute the work in themanner specified by the author or licensor (butnot in any way that suggests that they endorseyou or your use of the work).
 Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or buildupon this work, you may distribute theresulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
For any reuse or distribution, you must makeclear to others the license terms of this work.The best way to do this is with a link http://craphound.com/ftw 
Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get my permissionMore info here:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ See the end of this file for the complete legalese.
INTRODUCTION
 For the Win
is my second young adult novel, and, likemy 2008 book 
 Little Brother 
, it is meant to do morethan tell a story.
 For the Win
is a book abouteconomics (a subject that suddenly got a lot morerelevant about halfway through the writing of this book, when the world's economy slid unceremoniouslyinto the toilet and got stuck there), justice, politics,games and labor.
 For the Win
connects the dots between the way we shop, the way we organize, andthe way we play, and why some people are rich, someare poor, and how we seemed to get stuck there.I hope that readers of this book will be inspired to digdeeper into the subjects of "behavioral economics"(and related subjects like "neuroeconomics") and tostart asking hard questions about how we end up withthe stuff we own, and what it costs our human brothersand sisters to make those goods, and why we think weneed them.But it's a poor politics that can only express itself bychoosing to buy or not buy something. Sometimes(often!), you need to organize to make a difference.This is the golden age of organizing. If there's onething the Internet's changed forever, it's the relativedifficulty and cost of getting a bunch of people in thesame place, working for the same goal. That's notalways good (thugs, bullies, racists and loonies never had it so good), but it is fundamentally
 game-changing 
.It's hard to remember just how difficult this organizingstuff used to be: how hard it was to do something astrivial as getting ten friends to agree on dinner and amovie, let alone getting millions of people together toraise money for a political candidate, get the vote out, protest corruption, or save an endangered and belovedinstitution.The net doesn't solve the problem of injustice, but itsolves the first hard problem of righting wrongs:getting everyone together and keeping them together.You still have to do the even
harder 
work of riskinglife, limb, personal fortune, reputation,Every wonderful thing in our world has fight in itshistory. Our rights, our good fortune, our happinessand all that is sweet was paid for, once upon a time, by principled people who risked everything to change theworld for the better. Those risks are not diminishedone iota by the net. But the rewards are every bit assweet.
 
DOCTOROW/FOR THE WIN/2
AUDIOBOOK 
The good folks at Random House Audio produced a
 fantastic
audio edition of this book. You can buy it onCD, or you can buy the MP3 version from a variety of online booksellers.I also sell it myself on my site:http://craphound.com/?cat=10Unfortunately, you can't buy this book from theworld's most popular audiobook vendors: Apple'siTunes and Amazon's Audible. That's because neither store would allow me to sell the audiobook on termsthat I believe are fair and just.Specifically, Apple refused to carry the book unless ithad "digital rights management" on it. This is thetechnology that locks music to Apple's devices. It'sillegal to move DRM-crippled files to devices thatApple hasn't blessed, which means that if I encourageyou to buy my works through Apple, I lose the abilityto choose to continue to sell to you from Apple'scompetition at some later date in the future. Thatseems like a bad deal for both of us.To its credit, Audible (which supplies all of theaudiobooks on iTunes)
was
willing to sell this book without DRM, but they insisted on including their extremely onerous "end user license agreement,"which
also
prohibits moving my book to a device thatAudible hasn't approved. To make it easy for them, Ioffered to simply record a little intro that said, "CoryDoctorow and Random House Audio grant you permission to use this book in any way that does notviolate copyright law." That way, they wouldn't have tomake
any
changes to their site or the agreements youhave to click through to use it. But Audible refused.I wouldn't sell this book through Wal-Mart if theyinsisted that you could only shelve it on a Wal-Mart bookcase and I won't sell it through any online retailer that imposes the same requirement on your virtual bookshelves. That's also why you won't find my booksfor sale for the Kindle or iPad stores -- both storesinsist on the right to lock you into terms that I believeare unfair and bad for both of us.I'm pretty bummed about this. For the record, I wouldgladly sell through both Apple and Audible if they'd letme sell it without DRM, and under the world's shortestEULA ("Don't violate copyright law.") In themeantime, I thank you in advance for patronizingonline audiobook sellers who respect the rights of bothauthors and audiences. And I am especially grateful toRandom House Audio for backing me in this fight toget a fair deal for all of us.
THE COPYRIGHT THING
The Creative Commons license at the top of this file probably tipped you off to the fact that I've got some pretty unorthodox views about copyright. Here's whatI think of it, in a nutshell: a little goes a long way, andmore than that is too much.I like the fact that copyright lets me sell rights to my publishers and film studios and so on. It's nice thatthey can't just take my stuff without permission andget rich on it without cutting me in for a piece of theaction. I'm in a pretty good position when it comes tonegotiating with these companies: I've got a greatagent and a decade's experience with copyright lawand licensing (including a stint as a delegate at WIPO,the UN agency that makes the world's copyrighttreaties). What's more, there's just not that many of these negotiations -- even if I sell fifty or a hundreddifferent editions of 
 For the Win
(which would put it intop millionth of a percentile for fiction), that's stillonly a hundred negotiations, which I could just aboutmanage.I
hate
the fact that fans who want to do what readershave always done are expected to play in the samesystem as all these hotshot agents and lawyers. It's just
 stupid 
to say that an elementary school classroomshould have to talk to a lawyer at a giant global publisher before they put on a play based on one of my books. It's ridiculous to say that people who want to"loan" their electronic copy of my book to a friendneed to get a
license
to do so. Loaning books has beenaround longer than any publisher on Earth, and it's afine thing.Copyright laws are increasingly passed wihtoutdemocratic debate or scrutiny. In Great Britain, whereI live, Parliament has just passed the Digital EconomyAct, a complex copyright law that allows corporategiants to disconnect whole families from the Internet if anyone in the house is accused (without proof) of copyright infringement; it also creates a "GreatFirewall of Britain" that is used to censor any site thatrecord companies and movie studios don't like. Thislaw was passed without any serious public debate in
 
DOCTOROW/FOR THE WIN/3Parliament, rushed through using a dirty processthrough which our elected representatives betrayed the public to give a huge, gift-wrapped present to their corporate pals.It gets worse: around the world, rich countries like theUS, the EU and Canada have been negotiating a secretcopyright treaty called "The Anti-Counterfeiting TradeAgreement" (ACTA) that has all the problems that theDigital Economy Act had and then some. The plan isto agree to this in secret, without public debate, andthen force the world's poorest countries to sign up for it by refusing to allow them to sell goods to richcountries unless the do. In America, the plan is to passit without Congressional debate, using the executive power of the President. Though this began under Bush,the Obama administration has pursued it with greatenthusiasm.So if you're not violating copyright la right now, youwill be soon. And the penalties are about to get a lotworse. As someone who relies on copyright to earn myliving, this makes me sick. If the big entertainmentcompanies set out to destroy copyright's mission, theycouldn't do any better than they're doing now.So, basically,
 screw that 
. Or, as the singer, Wobbly andunion organizer Woody Guthrie so eloquently put it:"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, andanybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give adern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it.We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."
DONATIONS AND A WORD TOTEACHERS ANDLIBRARIANS
Every time I put a book online for free, I get emailsfrom readers who want to send me donations for the book. I appreciate their generous spirit, but I'm notinterested in cash donations, because my publishers arereally important to me. They contribute immeasurablyto the book, improving it, introducing it to audiences Icould never reach, helping me do more with my work.I have no desire to cut them out of the loop.But there has to be some good way to turn thatgenerosity to good use, and I think I've found it.Here's the deal: there are lots of teachers and librarianswho'd love to get hard-copies of this book into their kids' hands, but don't have the budget for it (teachers inthe US spend around $1,200 out of pocket each onclassroom supplies that their budgets won't stretch tocover, which is why I sponsor a classroom at IvanhoeElementary in my old neighborhood in Los Angeles;you can adopt a class yourself here).There are generous people who want to send somecash my way to thank me for the free ebooks.I'm proposing that we put them together.If you're a teacher or librarian and you want a freecopy of 
 For the Win
, emailfreeftwbook@gmail.com with your name and the name and address of your school. It'll be posted tohttp://craphound.com/ftw/donate/by my fantastichelper, Olga Nunes, so that potential donors can see it.If you enjoyed the electronic edition of 
 For the Win
and you want to donate something to say thanks, go tohttp://craphound.com/ftw/donate/and find a teacher or librarian you want to support. Then go to Amazon,BN.com, or your favorite electronic bookseller andorder a copy to the classroom, then email a copy of thereceipt (feel free to delete your address and other  personal info first!) tofreeftwbook@gmail.comsothat Olga can mark that copy as sent. If you don't wantto be publicly acknowledged for your generosity, let usknow and we'll keep you anonymous, otherwise we'llthank you on the donate page.I've done this with three of my titles now, and gottenmore than a thousand books into the hands of readersthrough your generosity. I am more grateful thanwords can express for this -- one of my readers calledit "paying your debts forward with instantgratification." That's a heck of a thing, isn't it?
ABOUT THE BOOKSTOREDEDICATIONS
Many scenes in this file have been dedicated to bookstores: stores that I love, stores that have helpedme discover books that opened my mind, stores that

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umm...what? Only 10 subscribers? THAT'S gonna change! And just for the record, l...o...n...g ago (i.e. like, November) I highlighted your cutting-edgeness when I scribbled on Gordon Crovitz''s Information Age article on you in the 11/22/09 WSJ. Welcome home Cory and watch those stats climb.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704888404574550264045617406.html
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