Old media bumps into Web 2.0

Was interested (particulary as a user) in the acquisition by CBS of last.fm hopefully this will mean only good things going forward. But, the track record of more traditional media companies buying such companies isn’t great so we will just have to see. You may read little more about it here.



Filed under: Music, Technology

Pleased to see

MQ Publications in London is a publisher that we worked with over a few years. So, was very sorry to hear of their troubles in London. I was pleased to read that Zaro is picking up the threads in the New York office. I spent a good afternoon and had a great dinner (at incidentally the much loved (by me at least) Bowery Bar) with Bernard in New York about this time last year. The offices at that time were still in a state of construction but was a great space.


Filed under: Publishing

The ever remarkable Ana Ventura

I was very lucky to get a perfect Ana Ventura print for my birthday, so thought would share. If you would like to learn more about the fantastic Ana then you may do so here.

My birthday print

Filed under: Art

Interesting stuff on publishers and ‘Web 2.0’

Good article on his blog by Peter Collinbridge about publishers and their relationship (or perhaps lack thereof) with web 2.0.

Filed under: Publishing

A good guy in these terrible times

One of the sites that I look at a fair bit is Spocko’s Brain. It is worth a look for anyone who lives in our crazy world and spends a lot of time with their head in their hands and worrying what kind of world will be left for our children etc.

Anyway, Spocko got closed down at the beginning of the year by Disney’s lawyers. Why, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Spocko was so appalled by the hate filled rhetoric spewing forth from radio hosts on radio stations in his area that he posted clips of their mind numbing ignorance on his blog and then wrote to the advertisers on these shows just asking them if this was really what they wanted their companies associated with. And companies such as Visa and Borders thought about it for a millisecond and decided wisely – no!

An example of comments by the show hosts broadcast just after the 6AM news:

Lee Rogers: I say they catch the person, tie ’em to a post and burn ’em. Set ’em on fire.
Officer Vic: Yeah.
Lee Rogers: Let ’em know what it feels like.
Melanie Morgan: Hog tie ’em first. That would be good.

Disney (the owner of the station) sent Spocko a ‘cease and desist’ letter saying he had no right to use the clips. He actually complied with this and then they contacted his ISP (who presumably in fear of Disney’s lawyers) shut his whole blog down. Anyway, the EFF and others got involved and he got his blog back. You may see the full text of the EFF letter here.

Spocko has his blog (hosted somewhere else). Disney as far as I am aware never replied to the EFF letter.

Filed under: Absurdity, Daily Life

Great suggestion for a PubML

Really like this post on the Salt Publishing blog which makes absolute sense. What Chris is proposing is an XML standard for trade publishers. So, the form of  publishing texts could be proscribed and described this would make the moving of texts between publishers and delivery to different media so much easier as standard tools etc. could be used.

When I first worked in publishing it was on such models for legal texts (almost 20 years ago now!).

With trade publishers (well some of them anyway!) looking increasingly at reusing/re purposing  their content in a myriad of different electronic media the same requirements come to the fore. It just would make life so much easier in the longer term for everyone. For what it’s worth I am more than happy to throw in some time and help out.

Filed under: Publishing, Technology

Perpetual copyright?

This is an interesting Wiki on the question and I would recommend to anyone interested in copyright and it’s place in our society.

Filed under: Art, Daily Life, Publishing

Publishing rights and web 2.0

This article raises an interesting point about the position of the sorts of rights agreements entered into by most publishers at some time or another. After a set period of time (looking quickly at a cross section of publishers and the rights information in their Anko Publishing Manager often 5 years). What happens when these rights revert to the author or the original publisher when that content has been used/repurposed/whatever for a blog/Google book search or indeed aggregated on line somewhere else. Does it get pulled? Who is keeping track of that stuff?

I have to say that I’ve looked across about 70 publishers (large and small and from just about every market sector) and their rights agreements and can find only a handful that make any kind of allowance for these kinds of scenarios.

And the article also makes the point that as well as royalties if a publisher is providing content to on line aggregators for free shouldn’t the author get a share of, for example, any associated ad revenue?

Seems stuff that could do with some thinking about. Just hope all the required thought doesn’t stifle the innovation.

Filed under: Publishing

Thought would share

Got these lovely flowers from the remarkable Sara. Thought would share:

Flowers from Sara

Filed under: Art, Daily Life

ebooks = ‘future of reading’

In common with Sara the guest blogger over at the always interesting Charkin blog I read the Andrew Marr article in the Guardian recounting his experience trying out the latest ebook readers.

And it was interesting to read even with lots of the normal stuff about the look, feel and even smell of books etc etc and how an ‘ebook’ will never give you quite the same experience blah blah blah.

My small issue with such articles and perhaps a little with the title (and I stress just the title!) of the otherwise interesting comment by Sara is the implication that ebooks are the future of anything very much or even a replacement in the foreseeable future for any current method of delivery. What they are (or hopefully will be) is simply another method of delivering content. And, further, a method that will be the preferred option for consumers in some circumstances.

The reason I would like Steve Jobs (or whoever – although having played around with a few examples over the years it does seem to be an area that Apple’s interface and design talents would be put to good use) is that when I travel every bit of space is precious and the normal two or three books that I may stuff in my bag eats a lot of it and they get heavy etc etc.

Books for plane

I would dearly love a device where I can have a selection of books/articles/whatever in a form that is comfortable to read. Ideally, it would a variant of a device I already own and have to carry around anyway such as my phone/ipod.

But at home on my sofa with Thelonious Monk I’m afraid look; feel; the turn of the page and yes, even the smell win for as far in the future as I can see.

Filed under: Publishing

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