Cory Doctorow & Charles Firth debated in the Free & easy event, which was held at the Merlyn Theatre in Southbank. I had front row seats to see Charles Firth get his ass kicked in the debate, see videos below. Free & easy photoset on Flickr. Microblogged on Twitter here and here.
Charles Firth was surprisingly inarticulate for someone from The Chaser, also very stuck on old business models which seems in stark contrast to The Chaser in general. [Update 29/08/07: see Cory’s comment below – I am disappointed at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival’s approach to this event, fake debates are best left to comedians. This was just a waste of two talented people. I would have preferred a non-debate of their actual opinions.] Most interesting item from Charles was that the ABC is considering a paid archive model if the public does not complain. It’s odd that they are considering this as even the New York Times has finally figured out that’s a stupid way to go. Biggest irony of the night, Charles criticising Cory for giving work away for free, after which he supplied free copies of The Manic Times to the audience. I got my books signed, and no Cory, yours isn’t going on eBay.
[Update 29/08/07: More coverage of Cory’s speech here on Views from Orbit]