PLOS, the Public Library of Science is by many measures a great success. Contrary to naysayers its online journals are well-respected and often cited (which is the real measure of currency in academic research).
Their latest announced project is PLOS One, a "forum" for publication in science and medicine. The nearest I can do to summing up the proposal is that it looks like a peer-reviewed collaboratively authored science blog. Obvious competitors are general purpose high-quality online science publications such as Scientific American, but these have heavy editorial control and limits. It will be interesting to see if the author-driven model can succeed as well as PLOS's more traditional journals have.
August 7, 2006
What's a good legal alternative to taping/DVRing the latest episodes of your favorite TV series and sharing them with friends? Well, um, mostly nothing. Eventually the shows will come out on DVD and can be rented. But what if they were availabel for rental at the same time, or maybe even before, they hit the air or cable?
There's no technological reason this can't be done, or couldn't have been done any time in the last five years. Only now it seems like the networks might be twigging to the commercial possibilities inherent in this line of business. As a form of toe in the water, NBC has done a deal with Netflix to make episodes of two of its series available through the online/mail rental company well before they premiere on TV.
Netflix's benefits are obvous - it gets rental monies from people who can't wait to see the new episodes. People who don't much rent movies may be crazed about certain TV shows and sign up for a service if it gives them a six-week jump on everyone else. In addition, this particular deal gives Netflix promo time in prime time.
The real question is what's in it for the Cartel? As with so many of these things, the reasons are shrouded. We might guess that the Cartel have a larger faith in the DRM wrapped on these disks - they're DVDs but may contain additional anti-copying software. Or they may simply be waking up to the reality that they're losing out on revenue.
I've been saying for years that what downloadable music services do is fundamentally like selling bottled water - take a product that people can get effectively for free (water) and package/market it as a high quality experience. ITunes has flattened the competition by doing precisely this.
If this deal moves from another promotional stunt to an operating business model we may find ourselves with an actual competitive marketplace in digital television episodes. Wouldn't that be nice.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Markets and Monopolies
This Video Brought to You by the Letter 'U' and the Numeral '2'
An anonymous Copyfight reader sent me a link to this video mashup. It's a 'cover' of U2's "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" featuring rapid-fire clips of George Bush. I'm pretty sure that the music is done by rx, of the Party Party but I've no idea who did the video.
posted by Alan Wexelblat |
August 4, 2006
New Yorker on Web Journalism
posted by Alan Wexelblat |
How do I know this? Well, I don't. I can only infer it from the fact that the Department of Homeland Security is picking up people at the border for apparently nation-threatening involvement in T shirt copyright infringement. No, seriously.
Courtesy of Bruce Schneier's CRYPTO-GRAM, I was pointed to this gem, titled "Terrorist in a bootleg T-shirt". According to the piece's author, he was detained and questioned on entry into the US not on account of his time in the middle east, nor on account of his extensive phoning back and forth while in Pakistan. Instead, he apparently upset someone by selling Boston Celtics' sportswear without a license in Boston in 2003.
My fellow Americans, this is our tax dollars at work. The author has some pretty nasty words for Homeland Security, too.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations