Book ToS: the Movie!

By: Matthew Battles
March 15, 2010

In September of last year, I blogged a thought experiment: what if the book — the beloved codex, that thing of paper and covers — had a terms-of-service agreement? My point was to argue that the book isn’t a particular physical object or technology but a social contract, one that mingles liberty with responsibility, privacy with the commons. The resulting feuilleton first appeared on my future-of-the-book blog, library ad infinitum; later, it was featured at the Barnes & Noble Review. And in early 2010, I turned it into a slide presentation for the inaugural Boston Bookfuturists meetup.

Now, with production help from HILOBROW’s indispensable Peggy Nelson, we’ve turned it into a movie. (To be perfectly accurate, it’s a slideshow — but it’s very cinematic.) We hope you enjoy!

Terms of Service: THE BOOK from Matthew Battles on Vimeo.


Haw-Haw, Spectacles