Cory Doctorow

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png Cory Doctorow   Amazon Facebook IMDB Sourcewatch Twitter Website WikiquoteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(author, journalist)
Cory Doctorow portrait by Jonathan Worth 2.jpg
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NationalityCanadian, British
Children1 daughter
SpouseAlice Taylor
InterestsElectronic Frontier Foundation
Activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization

Cory Efram Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who served as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.[1]

Life and career

Cory Efram Doctorow was born in Toronto, Ontario on 17 July 1971.[2] He is of Eastern European Jewish[3] descent. His paternal grandfather was born in what is now Poland and his paternal grandmother was from Leningrad. Both were deserters from the Red Army, and as a result[How?] Doctorow's father was born in a displaced persons camp near Baku, Azerbaijan.[4] His grandparents and father emigrated to Canada from the Soviet Union.[5] Doctorow's mother's family were Ukrainian-Russian Romanians.[5]

Doctorow was a friend of Columbia law professor Tim Wu, dating to their time together in elementary school.[6] Doctorow went to summer camp as a young teenager at what he has described as a "hippy summer camp" at Grindstone Island, near Portland, Ontario, that was influential on his intellectual life and development.[7] He quit high school, received his Ontario Academic Credit (high school diploma) from the SEED School in Toronto, and attended four universities without obtaining a degree.[8]

In June 1999, Doctorow co-founded the free software P2P company Opencola with John Henson and Grad Conn, which sold to the Open Text Corporation of Waterloo, Ontario in the summer of 2003. The company used a drink called OpenCola as part of its promotional campaign.[9] Doctorow later relocated to London and worked as European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation for four years,[1] helping to establish the Open Rights Group, before leaving the EFF to pursue writing full-time in January 2006; Doctorow remained a Fellow of the EFF for some time after his departure from the EFF Staff.[1][10] He was named the 2006–2007 Canadian Fulbright Chair for Public Diplomacy at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, sponsored jointly by the Royal Fulbright Commission,[11] the Integrated Media Systems Center, and the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. The professorship included a one-year writing and teaching residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, United States.[1][12] He then returned to London, but remained a frequent public speaker on copyright issues.

In 2009, Doctorow became the first Independent Studies Scholar in Virtual Residence at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.[13] He was a student in the program during 1993–94, but left without completing a thesis. Doctorow is also a Visiting Professor at the Open University in the United Kingdom.[13] In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from The Open University.[14]

Doctorow married Alice Taylor in October 2008;[15] they have a daughter who was born in 2008.[16] Doctorow became a British citizen by naturalisation on 12 August 2011.

In 2015, Doctorow decided to leave London and move to Los Angeles, expressing disappointment at London's "death" after Britain's choice of Conservative government; he stated at the time, "London is a city whose two priorities are being a playground for corrupt global elites who turn neighbourhoods into soulless collections of empty safe-deposit boxes in the sky, and encouraging the feckless criminality of the finance industry. These two facts are not unrelated."[17] He rejoined the EFF in January 2015 to campaign for the eradication of digital rights management (DRM).[18]

Doctorow left Boing Boing in January 2020, and soon started a solo blogging project titled Pluralistic.[19] The circumstances surrounding Doctorow's exit from the website were unclear at the time, although Doctorow acknowledged that he remained a co-owner of Boing Boing.[19] Doctorow's exit was not acknowledged by Boing Boing, with his name being quietly removed from the list of editors on 29 January 2020.[20]


Event Participated in

WEF/Annual Meeting/201717 January 201720 January 2017WEF
2951 known participants


  1. a b c d
  5. a b ttps://
  10. As of 24 September 2019, the name Doctorow no longer appears in search results for
  13. a b of Waterloo|access-date=8 June 2012|url-status=dead|archive-url=
  19. a b
  20. |date=30 January 2020