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Speaker: Copyright Must Change

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  • Rob Stowell,

    Malcolm Gladwell takes a hatchet to Chris Anderson's "Free".
    Required reading for all those too intoxicated with the notion of 'almost-free' copying and distribution to consider the costs of, eg, production.
    Gotta love this:

    Chris Anderson’s new book, “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” (Hyperion; $26.99)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Excellent link, thanks, Rob.

    I hadn't realised that Youtube was like a supermarket loss leader for Google. The Amazon/Kindle deal scooping 70% plus all distribution rights bears out Islander's experience/fears on that front.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Rob - that link is gold-
    Kerry, one of the things I found disturbing about Mark Harris's advocacy was - he'd never been there, done that. He was a motormouth for a certain viewpoint, is all, and zilch experience of actually publishing written material.
    Hey, he's probably very young.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    According to Daring Fireball Anderson says:

    I may be a blowhard, but I’m not a hypocrite. “Free” will be free. Ebooks free for first week, web book (Google Books) free for first month, abridged audiobook free to all hardcover purchasers and unabridged audiobook (the whole thing) free to everyone forever.

    Which is still utopianism and so-on, but at least he's making a bit of an effort.

    (Andersen's certainly not doing anything for the speech/beer distinction though.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1263 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "free to everyone forever"

    and stuff all the creators - so there wont be creatora - so

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Creators need to be taking a very active interest so developments don't all go in favour of the middlemen.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16276 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sach - GAK!
    Why do I see CLL written all over this?
    Non-creative bureaucratic middlecreeps building another wee empire?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That's what I like about CFF - creatives advocating for creatives.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16276 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Of a certain exclusive kind...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    You may need to elaborate - I don't understand the objection. Nothing to stop authors for instance also getting together and lobbying the government so the only voices aren't the publishing rights-holders.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16276 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    How many y'all guys say want freestyle?
    There will be no blows not freestyle
    This style is not free, the style is expensive alright!!
    Hold tight youth

    Leftfield - Dusted ft. Roots Manuva

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 707 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sacha- two things:

    1:herding cats
    2:authors *mainly* ARE the publishing rights holders - but Publishers
    (capital P intended) are the ones der govvinment talk to-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I may be a blowhard, but I’m not a hypocrite. “Free” will be free. Ebooks free for first week, web book (Google Books) free for first month, abridged audiobook free to all hardcover purchasers and unabridged audiobook (the whole thing) free to everyone forever.

    yeah, but he goes on to say that he spent $25k of his own money recording & editing the audiobook so it could be free. Nice that he's got plenty of spare dosh to make his "free" point . Does it make sense? No.

    The only people to make money out of the Free scenario are the same old Big Players that used to be called publishers and record companies and are now called Google, Apple, Amazon etc.

    And as for the creatives agitating for their value to be recognised - there's a distinct whiff of bullshittery going on when Creativity and Great Ideas are supposedly highly valued, now more than ever, but when it comes to ensuring the creatives get a fair deal, as usual that's something you have to fight for.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    I may be a blowhard, but I’m not a hypocrite

    Thanks Keir, et al- saw that too, rather later...
    Anderson has earned some respect, and that helps. He's usually interesting- as is wired- and future-looking. I think here he's interesting too: but interestingly wrong- in about sixteen ways (and wrong in some glaring and rather boring ways too: I'm not gonna be rushing to read this, based on the, ahem, 'wildly attractive pricing'... )
    The basic premise is that you can attract people with 'free' and then... sell them stuff. Well, yeah... but mostly that's not new- it's the old model of broadcasting/community newpapers selling eyeballs, etc etc. Plus the rather cheesy 'merchandising' model Hollywood's been exploiting for decades.
    And so far it's mostly based on hope not reality: the reality is that advertisers and tee-shirt buyers are not simply not there with enough dollars.
    The most successful digital publishing 'model' that I've seen is TMP (Talking Points Memo).
    Journalist Josh Marshall started blogging in rage and frustration after the 2000 election in the US. He clearly attracted eyeballs and advertising- the site has grown and grown, and he's just about to almost double his staff. It's been a remarkable journey.
    He's done it by doing not just one, but a host of things right. The site does a lot of US political news collation, but it filters it through a leftish/Democratic lens, and offers it up with a lot of commentary, some deep analysis, and a good dash of wit.
    Vitally Marshall also, from the start, built a sense of community. Now there are blogs and comments galore, but from the beginning he asked for tip-offs and feedback, and put (and they still do) a lot of readers' comments on the 'front page'.
    There was a host of fresh content most days- that kept people coming back. So when he first started to expand, he was able to ask that community for help- and a lot of us (probably thousands!) ponied up cash for the first few hires- a journalist here, an investigative 'muck-raker' there...
    Increasingly they've been able to add original reporting.
    Now it's a fairly sizable journalistic enterprise, with a range of editors, columnists and commentators; video clips; and reporters as well. It seems to be financed mostly by advertising- some quite loopy ads, too!
    It's been a remarkable journey.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    There's a fascinating discussion that follows VQR's discovery that chunks of Anderson's book are lifted almost verbatim, and unattributed- mostly from wikipedia, but other sources as well.
    Anderson turns up in the comments, and explains it as a mistake. I think that's probably true. But jeepers. It's a big, smelly VERY embarassing and possibly costly mistake...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Anderson blogs about his mistake- mentions, but fails to return fire at Gladwell... and links to another long and "mixed" review of 'Free' from the Boston Globe.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Dearie me that's pretty shocking if true --- not exactly high quality is it?

    (And really, he's relying on wikipedia? Look, there's eating your own dogfood, and there's drinking the kool-aid.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1263 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Don't think anyone's disputing the facts. Anderson talks about it himself on his blog, linked above.
    It's just an ironic footnote to the larger argument: I'd like to see him take on some of the points Gladwell makes, but not holding the breath ;)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Radio royalty dispute between broadcasters and rights-holders hits local courts tomorrow.

    The case is shrouded in secrecy, but the Sunday Star-Times has been told the music industry is seeking a four-fold increase in royalties from the country's two major radio networks.
    ...

    Suppression orders are expected to be imposed tomorrow, restricting reportage of individual radio station advertising revenues and other commercially sensitive information. Publicly available figures put last year's total radio industry advertising turnover at about $268 million.

    Based on a deal in place since 1996, stations have been paying 1.75% of their gross advertising revenue in royalties to Phonographic Performances New Zealand (PPNZ) the monetary arm of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (Rianz) which, in turn, distributes payments to 61 record labels and more than 900 local artists.

    PPNZ is now seeking a 6% payment from commercial stations with gross advertising revenue of more than $5m a year.

    Kristin Bowman, PPNZ managing director, said: "At the heart of the debate is our desire to see a fair and reasonable return for those who create music."

    And again the blanket conflation of creators with rights-holders continues. Looking forward to a journo becoming smart enough to call them on that during interviews, or at least ask what arrangements will be in place to ensure that the record companies pass on the increase to musicians. Kind of like bank interest rates.

    Case should be interesting, anyway, and echoes those recent efforts overseas.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16276 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Oh, and I should say there's twaddle from both sides in that story.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16276 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    One of the things that has occurred to me on the subject of rights to digital material is that it was the distribution end of the music industry that thought it was a good idea to digitise content.

    "The new format, CD" it made their end of the deal a lot more lucrative., easier to edit and easier to copy (less lossy than analogue)

    Without DRM it was a bit like putting all your worldly goods out on the street and telling people not to take them. Sure, stealing by finding has always been an offence (all be it a hard one to prosecute) but your loss would not be covered by your insurance because you failed to keep your goods secure.

    With DRM you stand to corrupt the copies that your customers have legally obtained, not a good look for any business.

    So, digitising content may improve your bottom line in units shifted and in cost per unit but without that security you have very little chance of monetising the material in an effective way.

    If the industry had just stuck with analogue the problem would not have reached the proportions it has now, it is highly unlikely that individuals would have digitised and pirated the content, it would have been larger organisations and they would have been easier to police.

    The same applies to the printed word but with the added proviso that the book, or magazine, format is so far from the screen format that comparison is tenuous at best. As for the bullshite about talking books, gimme a break, the percentage of loss is more than made up by the public good. It is not and never should be all about money.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Sacha- I tend to agree about the mindless conflation. But 6% doesn't seem unreasonable to me- it's a fairly minor percentage for what is a big part of the attraction of the station.
    Any idea what is paid in other countries?
    Steve: the move to CDs has been canvassed: the companies were very aware at the time of the move of the 'dangers' of copying. It was used as a reason for making CDs MORE expensive, even though they were cheaper to produce and distribute than vinyl.
    It was a shoddy rational for price-gouging. Penalise your legitimate customers for the possibility of them doing something you don't want, and hey, after a while they will start to feel they should be doing it....
    But today being digital or not isn't a choice- we're way past that point. Producing analogue copies has been a good business practice- books, vinyl spring to mind- for a some producers. But- in the words of Dr Dungbeetle- "whatever you can think, we can digitise" - that horse is well down the road.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    the companies were very aware at the time of the move of the 'dangers' of copying. It was used as a reason for making CDs MORE expensive,

    I would have thought making CDs cheaper would have reduced the need to copy but then I think that rain is wet, so what would I know.

    that horse is well down the road.

    Damn it Rob. What am I going to do with this stable door now?.
    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Steve: the move to CDs has been canvassed: the companies were very aware at the time of the move of the 'dangers' of copying. It was used as a reason for making CDs MORE expensive, even though they were cheaper to produce and distribute than vinyl.

    Really? Because at the time they were no easier to copy than tapes or vinyl. It was several years before the first burners became commercially available.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7320 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Really? Because at the time they were no easier to copy than tapes or vinyl. It was several years before the first burners became commercially available.

    I never got the whole "Burning" thing. It was "Ripping' that got to me. CDs were never the "indestructible" medium we were led to believe they were. As soon as I got a new CD I'd rip it to my server and keep the original as back up.
    Back then you were lucky if you could rip at 2X but it was still better than the old 2X tape copies and , being on a server, much easier to search and playlist. The bollox thing here was that what I was doing was "illegal"
    I still have thousands of CDs that have only been "played" once and they're all mine, mine I tell you.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

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