Posts by Alastair Thompson

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…, in reply to Sacha,

    . . . . . . * twiddles thumbs * . . . . .

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…,

    Any more questions?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…,

    Hi Jan,

    VERY WELL SAID!

    al

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…,

    Hi Ian,

    Ah tis a small nation. yes GT and Debs are my uncle and aunt in-laws - and the Silvan of course like so much of your fair city is sadly no more!

    I shouldn't think the TPPA would have any impact on what we are proposing. What we are trying to do involves fairly standard copyright ideas interpreted in light of new technologies and circumstances.

    That said the question that you raise by referring to the global context of our legal innovation is interesting.

    News media throughout the English speaking world in particular face the same difficult disruptive conditions. In other language groups the idea of state funding of news media and subsidies for news media organisations is not so staunchly resisted.

    I therefore rather hope that Scoop's lead in asserting a new kind of copyright to its work will be followed by other news media both here and elsewhere. While it won't immediately resolve the challenges the news business faces - I think it is a logical place to start looking for solutions.

    I find it interesting that young people appear to have picked up on the idea that access to news ought to be a right. Just as they believe they should be able to share news and information without fear of copyright infringement. While it may seem contradictory for me to say this - to my mind the "invisible paywall" idea - which marries something like "Creative Commons" for the general public - with rights which are enforceable against commercial users is an elegant solution.

    As you will pick up if you take the time to read my rather extended treatise on the subject I am approaching the issues that Scoop is facing from a fairly expansive POV.

    As a bit of an old-school journalist I am very troubled to see the impacts of the decline of media not so much on my own - and Scoop's livelihood - but on the wider industry and beyond that the health of a democracy as a whole, which we news media are supposed to inform.

    I am also rather distressed to see how the mainstream news publishers are spectacularly failing to both acknowledge and deal with the challenges that they face. The opportunity for the major news publishers to save or preserve what is most valuable in the news industry is rapidly disappearing.

    Within this context Scoop sticking its hand up and saying, "look this entire enterprise is broken, lets think laterally and find new solutions," is a response which we are driven to pursue.

    Alastair

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…,

    Hi Rich,

    Good question and no offence taken. IANAL also and at the risk of getting out of my depth I will do my best to answer your question in lay language.

    First. Yes we have had the idea lawyered and in fact the idea originated out of the law an a paticular case, NLA vs Meltwater - from the UK Court of Appeal. We wrote about this in July 2012 when we changed our terms and conditions of use in a manner which made our claim effective (we believe).

    The Meltwater case relates to media monitoring companies and effectively extended the scope of print media copyright licensing to the digital realm.

    While a similar licensing regime is not yet in place in NZ for NZ's news websites - where businesses and organisations will have to pay PMCA [Print Media Copyright Agency - a subsidiary of the Newspaper Publishers Association] licenses for the re-use of digital content internally - my undestanding is that this will be introduced in the next 12 months. A form of digital licensing of business reuse of content is now in place in Australia.

    The Meltwater decisions - which are highly persuasive in NZ law as NZ's copyright law is very similar to the UK's - held that not only did Meltwater have to have a license to scrape and send links to its clients - but that clients had to also have an "End User License" to allow them to purchase the services of Meltwater.

    The cases place an emphasis on the wording of the terms of use which are in place on the website in question. It is worth noting that the NLA digital licensing fees are considerably higher than the old print copyright fees - which possibly reflects the revenue issues all news businesses are facing as we enter an age of digitial news.

    While simply reading a web page is not a copyright infringement in ordinary circumstances as you say - routine use of a website in circumstances which breach the terms of use of the website when you have been notified that you may be in breach - may well be. And that is what we claim.

    Certainly any other use of the content. Saving a file to your desktop - emailing a segment of a page to a client or colleague or a link - printing out a copy of an article etc. arguably is.

    Scoop has set the fee it is seeking to charge for organisational use of Scoop fairly low in order to make compliance a low barrier for organisations who on reflection consider that they do routinely use Scoop as part of their work activity .

    Another way of looking at what we are doing is to consider the counterfactual.

    If Scoop imposed a paywall and charged for access would we have a claim of copyright breach against someone who accessed Scoop by circumventing our paywall or in some other way breaching our terms of use? Unquestionably I think we would have a claim.

    Given that this is the case why must we physically place a barrier of access in place in order to have an enforceable claim?

    Alastair

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…,

    Hi Ian,

    Seriously though it is time that the issues facing the news media - in particular- how to equitably share the cost of providing news services of the quality that a modern digital democracy needs in order to function - be considered by NZ's leading institutions.

    All news media in NZ are bring disrupted by the same global industry trends. Advertising can no longer be expected to pay the costs of news production in a small news market like NZ.

    Al

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…,

    Hi Elmer,

    It depends. ATM Auckland University doesn't seem very keen to even discuss it. What do you think we should do?

    Al

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Hi Angela,

    We will be setting up that facility after out current crowd funding is complete.

    Thankyou for asking :)

    Al

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…, in reply to Jan Rivers,

    Hi Jan,

    In terms of the Governance Structure for The New Scoop that is still very much a work in progress we imagine there being an editor and possibly a commercial manager in the business with a board supervising them.

    Depending how the ownership structure is set up there might also be some trustees involved in appointing directors.

    Beyond that we see roles for two methods of working with the wider community of Scoop contributors, allies and readers.

    At a business level we are keen to form a new kind of Scoop Media Cartel group which would consist of media partners, and media businesses of various kinds which work with Scoop. Some might have sell services alongside Scoop, or like cartel members at present, pool advertising capabilities.

    We also see a role for Guardians/Champions to act as conduits to key stakeholder groups who work with Scoop. This group might meet once or twice a year and respond to a report from the Scoop Board on activity. Each guardian/champion would have a responsibility as a connector to a particular group, for example there might be someone from the PR Industry, someone for the Union Movement, someone from the Community and Voluntary Sector and someone from the business, arts, environment, local body sector. These roles would be voluntary and in some cases might be formally representative of the group that they represent. It would be nice for example to have a member from Parliament on the group.

    The responsibilities and roles of Guardians are yet to be determined but might include a role in setting goals and objectives for the organisation, providing a channel for communication to the editorial decision makers, and perhaps making reccomendations about board appointments. Importantly as the name suggests Guardians/Champions would be expected to also provide support and defend the organisations editorial freedoms if they should come under attack.

    In answer to your second question If we were able to raise $100,000 in the short term it would enable us to refresh the front end of Scoop and mobilse the website. Raising this sum would also make the transition process to new entrepreneurs significantly easier. With $250,000 we would be able to add additional functionality to our subscription products and thereby make them more attractive to paying clients. Currently on the drawing board is the idea of adding features like:
    - the ability to send releases from Scoop to media organisations in a targetted manner;
    - the ability to curate releases, link them to related content and add images and multimedia files to them;
    - adding anlalytics telling people about the level of exposure their content is receiving - who is linking to it, how much social media impact it has had;
    - and ultimately the ability to track the pickup of releases.

    Alastair

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Scoop.co.nz's Operation…, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Hi Hillary,

    Technically yes though we do have special rates for NGOs and community groups (40% off) as part of our community.scoop.co.nz initiative with Comm Voices.

    I have just emailed you a presentation we have just made up to introduce this whole concept to the Community, NGO and Voluntary sector.

    It would be nice to offer the 4th Sector an exemption from this new policy but we can’t afford to do so – and we are now becoming part of that sector ourselves anyway. As you can see from the huge amount of content on Community Scoop I think we are now the defacto communication channel for the sector, both internally and to and from Government.

    Alastair

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

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