...we are seeing a slow a change in how copyright works — a gradual
move from a system where its a illegal to use other people’s works
without prior permission, to one where its illegal when people object. This is something I call "Two Touch Copyright" or "Tolerated Use."
We’re seeing it in the DMCA 512 area, but also the orphan work debate,
and also the Google book search litigation.
The basic idea is this: sometimes, the practice seems to suggest, it
is better to have a system where potential infringers need seek
forgiveness than permission. In other words, be allowed to act, so
long as there aren’t objections.
definitely copyright & patent law have overstepped their bounds, and need to be reined in. no longer are the rights of authors, artists, & inventors being defended, but rather Disney, Big Media, & Big Pharma are locking up their respective markets for decades upon decades.
this is NOT what original copyright & patent law envisioned, and US law has basically perverted that initial intent to protect inventors & creators so far that we now support entrenched incumbents & status quo over innovation. i'm all for markets & capitalism and financial reward, but we would all likely benefit from tolerating a lot more invention & entrepreneurship and a lot less litigation...
Dogs & Demons is a rather tough assessment of Japan, focusing on how bureaucratic national politics & the Japanese construction industry have created significant obstacles for the nation to overcome. It's a shocking criticism of how the Japanese built their key political, industrial, and cultural institutions after WWII ended (and to some extent, starting before that after the Tokugawa Shogunate / Edo Era ended). While i don't necessarily agree with all conclusions drawn by the author, the discourse is certainly an eye opener.
The Undercover Economist is a fun read, and provides an excellent way to think about the science, rather than the art, of Economics. If you enjoyed Freakonomics, you'll similarly enjoy this book.
The Cathedral & the Bazaar was originally authored in the late 90's (updated more recently in early 2000/2001) and chronicles the birth of the open source movement. Although i considered myself somewhat familiar with open source concepts & products, this book gave me an entirely new perspective on the subject. Great companion piece to Paul Graham's Hackers & Painters.
it's incredible to me that normally-astute entrepreneurs like Jason Calacanis and Mark Cuban keep complaining YouTube is just a bunch of hack technology put together by a few geeks who are ignorant of copyright law. now they're all similarly thinking Google is foolish for paying $1.65B to jump into lead market share in online videos. wrong and wrong.
do you think for a second that Google would buy damaged goods if its lawyers -- some of the smartest attorneys on the planet -- didn't think they could defend against litigation? do you think for a second YouTube didn't have a game plan here with Napster as a glaring example of how NOT to play the hand? or that Sequoia wasn't aware of the issue when it put millions into YouTube?
i am astonished that people keep missing the point here. YouTube is growing like crazy. Google knows how to monetize. Video is the most compelling online medium, and is the biggest advertising market ever. Google realized it was losing the race for online video, and knowing what was at stake -- a HUNDRED BILLION DOLLAR ADVERTISING MARKET -- it bought the leading player for a seat at the table. end of story.
YouTube's metrics are impossible to ignore. they hit it out of the park, literally killed it -- grew from nothing to top 10 web property in less than a year and a half. they are by far the stickiest video property on the web. whether or not they are currently able to monetize the eyeballs is hardly a question... everyone in the business would LOVE to have that problem to solve. and although many think the legal issues put the other advantages at risk, a number of informed folks think they are in good shape. regardless, with Google now driving the licensing & partnerships they should be able to find a path to both safe harbor & revenue. Google already had deals with AOL & NewsCorp anyway, and YT/Google were closing others with more media partners as the acquisition ink was drying.
question: who has better negotiating position between Google and AOL/TW or MySpace/NewsCorp? the guys dominating online advertising, generating revenue like crazy, and who just bought the leading video property, or the guys who lowballed YT then couldn't get their phone calls returned and couldn't figure out how to monetize their own traffic? 3 guesses, first 2 don't count.
regardless, Andy's 4-part series on Media 2.0 is terrific stuff, and worth the read. guess i just differ on the analysis. we'll wait a few years and find out.
(full disclosure: i used to work with some of the YouTubers a few years back when we were at PayPal. note those same folks previously ignored the rules, built a huge business from nothing, dominated a market with much bigger players, went public in the face of numerous skeptics, then got acquired for a billion and a half by eBay. if that sounds familiar, it's only because it is)
I am moved by Arrington's story. God knows I could care less about all
this page view Web 2.0 shit that he's leading, but when he doubts
himself and suggests even briefly that he should prepare better for a
next time, I say no fucking way. Prepare better for what? It's like
Hendrix dialing back the funkor Miles apologizing for standing with
his back to the audienceor any of you out there settling for the
pathetic crap that floods the blogosphere or the so-called mainstream
However, i think people assume both too much & too little about the possibilities of online content.
Let me explain...
Most folks who have some familiarity with today's offline publishing businesses assume those companies are the living dead -- large but ailing, slowly crumbling behemoths with millions of readers, gradually turning into less-and-less millions. These dinosaurs built their revenue streams on classifieds and other advertisements, and business was very, very good for many years.
Then in the late 90's, a number of things began shifting. Companies like eBay, Craigslist, Monster, and others started turning the classified business on its ear. They could do the same thing online that newspapers & magazines did offline, except their overhead was MUCH lower... and their audience wasn't limited by geography or page count. These new Internet 1.0 businesses grabbed some revenue from traditional news media, but since internet access wasn't ubiquitous in every household (yet), the old guard didn't notice much, and after the first dot-com bust they breathed a sigh of relief and continued to pimp overpriced want ads to barely-literate luddites.
But in the early 2000's, Overture (nee Goto.com) and later Google figured out how to make money by selling small text ads displayed alongside search results (and with AdSense, contextually-matched to non-search content users browse through). Although this hardly seemed an earth-shattering innovation to many in the publishing business, it was notable for one very simple reason...
Suddenly, a very hard-to-measure CPM-based advertising world became dramatically threatened by a relatively-easy-to-measure CPC-based advertising world. Why pay just for eyeballs (impressions), when you could pay for qualified leads (clicks)? Why pay for mass marketing, when you only had to pay for the niche verticals that drove the highest customer value? Advertising became measurable, and Marketing became [more of] a science. And once CPA-costed ads arrive, we'll see even more defection.
Now there are more people than ever online, more people with Tivo, more people reading blogs & newsfeeds (tho they might not know it), and less & less people participating in plain old mass media / offline media. It might not die tomorrow, or next year, but the new order has arrived. And that doesn't mean that Rupert won't still find a way to make bazillions of dollars feeding you pablum, but now you'll have a bazillion flavors of pablum, in every shape & size.
Q: So where does this leave the Future of Publishing, aka Publishing 2.0?
A: Still not here yet.
The real meaning of Publishing Where No Man Has Gone Before is not, as many assume, the online equivalent of the Hearst Corporation. The strategy of aggregating related content to drive up page views & viewership while driving down ad placement costs certainly makes sense, and although not terribly revolutionary, does work.
However, the true promise of the Web isn't just to move traditional classified models into the online world... it's to change the very nature of media distribution & advertising itself. So wtf does that mean, dave? well, i'm glad you asked.... stay tuned for Publishing 2.0 part II, coming up soon.