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法 | legal | 법률학

Letter to PR Week regarding the Digital Economy Act

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Wadds, Will McInnes and I were quoted in a piece in PR Week on April 15, discussing the Digital Economy Act. Adam Liversage of the BPI disagreed, particularly with myself and Wadds. This is a copy of the response to Adam’s letter that I sent to PR Week this morning:

Whilst I respect the rights of the BPI to defend its interests through its letter to PR Week I found Adam Liversage’s remarks in this weeks letters column patronising and offensive. I have taken my duty of care to my clients and agency to follow the developments in the Digital Economy Act.

Specifically, in Clause 8 it threatens to block websites that “is likely to be used for in connection with an activity that infringes copyright” so sites that are used in digital PR workflow like Yousendit could qualify. As could consumer-facing sites like YouTube. The constant uncertainty of whether a site could be blocked could scare brands away from doing UK-specific campaigns as part of a global push instead hoping for the serendipity of US campaign bleed through – why invest in campaign creative that the market may never see, whether or not the campaign content itself infringes copyright?

Secondly, this restricts innovation of UK start-ups in comparison to foreign competitors as they are banned from whole sections of the internet sector. Don’t take my word for it have a look at posts written by experts like Struan Robertson of lawyers Pinsent Masons and Mike Butcher of TechCrunch Europe. The technology sector counts as a significant revenue generator for the PR industry.

I can only assume based on his earlier assertions that Mr Liversage’s definition of the creative sector and the PR industry seems curiously blinkered.

Adam Liverage’s take.

Categories
传播媒体 | media | 미디어

CD-ROM 2.0

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In the early-to-mid 1990s before the widespread adoption of the web the world of interactive design resolved around content on CDs. You had companies like book publishers Dorling Kindersley and software company Broderbund publishing producing ‘interactive books’. Whilst they could be moved through in a linear manner, the software entertained with video and hyperlinks to related subjects.

The forerunner of web agencies designed CD-ROMs for clients as a kind of electronic catalogue or for use in a kiosk as a kind of absentee salesmen. CD-ROMs disappeared from prominence as the web took over and publishers like Dorling Kindersley went back to books (they used to do amazing feats of paper engineering in their pop-up books of the human body, but I am not sure what they are up to now). The closest most consumers have to CD-ROMs is the menu on their DVD or Blu-Ray discs.

CD ROM 2.0

Speaking to attendees at a publishing event at Olswang about the future of publishing: From Hardbacks to Hot Bytes, I was struck how much of what the future looked like CD-ROMs. Much of the pressure for this was that they were trying to build a new business model and were even experimenting to find out what may work. (Interestingly, all of them cited their peers in the music industry as people had got it wrong and as an example of what they didn’t want to be). I get a similar sense of that with publishers discussing their iPad applications. A blogger over at O’Reilly Radar recently published how the iPad currently lacked the kind of development tools previously available for the very similar task of creating interactive content for CD-ROMs.

A key challenge with content development is not only the tools but the skills and expertise. Does the publishing industry have the right people to produce the content of tomorrow? I don’t mean in terms of only interactive developers, but the authors to provide the right base content for the interactive experience to be built upon? And where does that leave people who self publish works or are part of a small independent publishing house. Assuming that today’s authors are up to the challenge, publishers still have to contend with the cost of production. The interactive nature of the content could also limit a publishers source of additional revenue: that of foreign language licence rights.

The rest of the world is likely to have commoditised e-readers that work to a common file format like a PDF and if the book doesn’t exist in that format, then the proprietary format that it is in will just be broken open. For all practical purposes content IP rights are indefensible: look at the way the music labels are damaged and the film studios under constant attack around the world.

Things get interesting when you think about the symbiotic nature of the content and the medium which conveys it to the audience, or as Marshall McLuhan claimed ‘the medium is the message’. The extension of this concept is the way many publishers are thinking that ebooks in whatever form they become are likely to be an ‘experience’, most likely with some kind of social element to it. To give an idea of what this must be like, you only have to look at The Leaky Cauldron, a news source and social network for fans of the Harry Potter series of books. This also takes publishers into the sometimes uncomfortable area of privacy.

Finally, for publishers there is the issue of convergence. When does a book become a movie or a game? Will film and games companies be interested in licencing books anymore? And if it is harder to define what a book is, how could it be exempt from VAT (UK sales tax)?

Some of these decisions may be out of the publishers hands. Amazon has developed a cloud based bookshelf that allow the reader to read a book on their laptop, Kindle or smartphone. Apple has optimised the book experience for its iPad and to a lesser extent its iPhone devices. Two different approaches, it will be up to the market to see who wins out.

Categories
在线 | online | 온라인으로 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅

I like: @VodafoneUKdeals twitter customer services

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Vodafone twitter customer services, originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

A great example of how a customer service twitter account should be run. Particularly like the mini profiles on the background image and the way they signify which representative has penned which response.