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December 15 at 4:15pm

Net Neutrality Update

There is a lot of buzz around about Google’s supposed abandonment of  their pro-Net Neutrality position due to what is being called a misleading and poorly reported article in today’s WSJ.

Save The Internet does a great round up of the issue and current state of affairs (as usual).  Read it now.


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December 8 at 1:08pm

Google Book Settlement Discussion

Scott Macauley is on this issue more diligently than I can be.  Check out his post on the Filmmaker Blog.  He quotes from Peter Osnos on Today’s Zaman :

But the major point is that Google has now conceded, with a very large payment, that “information is not free.” This leads to an obvious, critical question: Why aren’t newspapers and magazines demanding payment for use of their stories on Google and other search engines? Why are they not getting a significant slice of the advertising revenues generated by use of their stories via Google?


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December 6 at 11:50am

Data Portability: The Free Market Should Swing Both Ways

I hear a lot of anxiety from other newcomers to social networks.  Most of the folks in the film biz I know seem to initially join a network like MyFace for the promotional possibilities and professional networking.  Some get seduced by the actual social functions.  The anxiety often comes from what will be seen and shared and by whom.  Is it good or bad to friend all those who reach out to you even when you don’t know them?  Will anyone tag you in photos from the past that you would prefer to remain forgotten?  That sort of thing.

But there are things that we should be concerned about, things we should ask for, push for, fight for.  Businesses talk about their investment in the technology, but little is said about the user/consumer’s investment.  You create connections.  You tag information.  You provide data, but none of it is yours.  Your life in MyFace is life in a prison cell.  If you leave the network, you leave behind all of your work you created there.  You think you have a 1000 friends but how do you take them to another planet with you when you want to travel.
If 2008 was many things (the year of change, the year of hope, the year unregulated capitalism and greed revealed its true demonic ways), 2009 may well be the year that freedom starts to go both ways, that people push for equal rights for what they create, that we move from impulse to choice.   One can hope at least.
Bill Thompson has a good post on the BBC site “The net and the real cost of free” precisely about data portability.  This issue is central to all media makers.  We need to own and or at least have unlimited access to the data we generate: our friends, our tags, who watches, what they watch, when they watch, where they watch.  Read Bill’s piece and started thinking about what really is yours.


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December 5 at 4:38pm

Moving The Conversation Forward: From Piracy To IP

Screen International has a good article on the lessons the film business can learn from the music industry. Essentially it comes down to:

The emphasis on piracy needs to mature into a bigger debate about intellectual property – and soon.

They point out:


A workable framework is one that finds a balance, although attaining that, of course, is fraught with risk. Make the controls too tight and you lose innovators and customers. And pirates thrive on protectionism.


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December 5 at 11:45am

The Google Book Supplement


Scott Macauley over at the Filmmaker Magazine Blog hipped us to this podcast.

Link to it here.
Host Jonathan Kirsch, an attorney specializing in intellectual property and publishing law, moderates a panel discussion on a landmark literary-legal settlement. It allows Google to scan and make available online many out-of-print but still-copyrighted books. The settlement portends a viable digital future for authors, publishers and libraries. Is there any downside?


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