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Archive for November, 2007

The iPhone has landed

November 16, 2007 Leave a comment

…at last, and all Apple faithful / fanatics, gadget freaks and otherwise normal people, of every shape and description, have had a chance to get this sleek super-sexy-cool device which have been on sale since last Friday. So where is the fly in the ointment?

None it would seem – yet. This electronic Swiss army knife may be the ultimate personal electronic device, because it has got everything you could possibly want in this age of convergence. As a phone it is basically ok, but it really excels as a multi-talented media/ communications tool that leaves other competitors in the dust.

It simply goes to confirm Apple’s position as the poster child of market disruptors. The iPhone is positioned to do to the telephony device market what the iPod did to the music industry, and they both work with iTunes in a complete package.

But enough of this unabashed lust for all things Apple. My main interest lies, as ever, in what this means for the digital content stakeholders and the ‘Stakes Pie’ below just shows my opinion on the impact that this device will have on the major stakeholder groups.

The iPhone Stakes Pie

DISCLAIMER: The included ‘Stakes Pie’ chart is intended only to convey an individual opinion.

The winners are:

  • Commercial stakeholders (represented by Apple, O2, Carphone warehouse and content owners)
  • The Consumers (i.e. purchasers of the device and services)
  • Technology stakeholders (i.e. Apple / component manufacturers)

I’ll be interested to know if you think any different, and just in case you were wondering, No, I don’t own an iPhone or any shares in Apple!

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The Rules of UGC

November 5, 2007 Leave a comment

While this may sound like some nasty blood sport, it actually marks the first step on the journey to a well-balanced approach to the use, and control, of User Generated Content on the Web 2.x world of today / tomorrow.

A couple of DRMWatch articles have done a good job of explaining the recent developments in this area. Thefirst article relates how content owners like Disney, Fox, Viacom and NBC Universal came together with UGC operators like MySpace and Microsoft (but not Google) to hammer out what has become known as the UGC Principles. These principles provide clear guidelines to UGC website operators, and offers a huge carrot whereby content owners will not pursue copyright infringement actions on offending content provided the operators adhere to these principles in good faith.

The second article discusses the additional principles proposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation which focuses on the Fair Use aspects of UGC. It primarily deals with the rather thorny question of how to determine if and when the Fair Use argument can be applied to UGC without resorting to the traditional legal process.

In my opinion, both developments embody a much more constructive mindset than the out-and-out legal warfare we have witnessed in the past. Mutual cooperation and collaboration and seems to be the best way forward for all parties involved. However the question remains as to whether this can be sustained and how long before some spoilsport content owner or UGC operator throws a spanner in the works. What do you think?