Posts Tagged ‘Piracy’


How DO we make policy in the digital age?

February 24, 2010

As I think about the points I’d like to make at the Policy Making in the Digital Age conference this Saturday, and the “Policy Schools and the New Media Debate” panel I’m moderating, I can’t help but stop and wonder, “How DO we make policy in the digital age?” I am someone who looks deep into these issues every single day, and from what I see each day, and have  watched happen over the past few years of this digital age, I can only think that there may be no hardened answer to this question but, “With great flexibility and a watchful eye.” Read the rest of this entry ?


Windows 7: Black Market Bound and Priced Against Progress

November 9, 2009

Thefalloftheberlinwall1989.JPGI was filtering my through TweetDeck the other day when I came across a tweet from a Ukrainian I follow on Twitter that captured something about Windows that has been bothering me for a long time. Microsoft often charges ridiculous prices that only serve to hurt developing economies.

@blogoreader: Скільки коштуватиме Windows 7 в Україні?

Translated, it says, “How much Windows 7 costs in Ukraine”.

Since most people in the world can’t read Ukrainian (though I can), I’ve created a translated version in Google Translate.

What immediately jumped out at me is that Home Basic, the cheapest version of 7, and presumably what the average consumer would buy, is $113 USD in Ukraine (about the same as in the United States). This is an outrageous price, if Microsoft intends 7 to be taken seriously in Ukraine, and if they hope to draw even 51% of the revenue from sales of 7 there. (Why 51%? To say that you got more than the pirates.) Read the rest of this entry ?


The Associated Press: “Free Riders” and A Question of Leadership

October 28, 2009

435717230_a36fb990c0A friend of mine forwarded me a link to a post written by Tom Curley, CEO of the Associated Press, and Curley’s attempt to monetize the AP’s online content, and just as importantly, prevent others from monetizing it without his having a cut. I have to ask, “Am I missing something here?

It seems the basic problem he is citing is that:

We content creators have been too slow to react to the exploitation of news content by third parties without input or permission. Random distribution of traffic by aggregators such as search engines directs audiences and revenues away from those who invest in original news reports. And randomness assures the aggregators and their ad networks a stream of revenue based on the aggregation and indexing of published news content.

Wait, but isn’t the AP a news wire service? As in, don’t they sell their news to news media, so other news media can publish it? As in, the AP researches news stories, writes them up, and bundles them for sale to news media, not for their own direct reporting to public audiences? Once their news hits the public, hasn’t it already been paid for? Read the rest of this entry ?


Bit Torrent Technology As a Tool for Change

August 12, 2009

529px-The_Pirate_Bay_logoWith all of the legal troubles that bit torrent websites like The Pirate Bay have been having over the filesharing services they provide that enable countless (millions? billions?) copies of licensed digital products to go unpaid for, it seems that bit torrent technology itself is accruing a pretty bad image. Understably so, at least to those who don’t pirate digital intellectual property. However, in all of this publicity over this technology as a vehicle for stealing, I’m concerned we might not see the good this technology could do.

Whenever I come across anything that involves potentially spreading information in a way that transfers knowledge from being concentrated into the hands of a few to the hands of many, I can’t help but think of the Information Divide and the implications for international development. So, naturally I think about this when I think about bit torrent technology. I personally feel that digital piracy that causes intellectual property holders like filmmakers, musicians, and programmers to lose money is merely one aspect to this technology. But what about the development aspects? Read the rest of this entry ?