Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
The brilliant and talented Trent McCauley has gotten his family banned from all Internet use for a year in this new dystopian novel from the amazing Cory Doctorow (Little Brother and For the Win). His crime? He makes new movies by sampling popular and older films he downloads from the Internet. In his near-future Great Britain, this is even a more serious crime than it is currently, with big movie conglomerates pushing parliament to pass an even stricter law that will make even more teens criminals, this time throwing them into jail, often for life. Sixteen-year-old Trent is so mortified when he gets his family cut off the Internet, he runs away to London, quickly learning to survive as a street kid, living in abandoned houses and collecting discarded gourmet food with his new friends. He can’t stay away from film-making, and ends up joining the underground political movement trying to legitimize mashups like the ones he creates.
This fast-paced book is sure to be a favorite with geeks and Internet savvy teens and adults. There is something for everyone: humor, a touch of romance, lots of computer geek-talk and some interesting British slang thrown in for good measure. I found this book very engrossing and timely in terms of where our society is with Internet fair use and privacy issues right now. Although readers can tell this is a topic that is close to Doctorow’s heart, the plot maintains a breakneck pace, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the end.