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About the Economy, Piracy, Privacy (and Facebook’s Face-ache)

Last week was certainly hectic in the ever-dramatic world of online digital content and personal privacy. Highlights include some events in London; the ongoing Pirate Bay trial; and a major about-face for Facebook. So where to begin…?

A week is a long time in politics, and digital content, (so much so that I’ll be proposing a name change for this blog to better reflect its breadth of coverage, but more on that later). Below are just a few of the stuff that went down last week

1. Events galore – Some rather interesting events took place last week in London, and I was fortunate enough to attend the following:

  • First Tuesday at the British Library (Tuesday 17th) – This focused on how to raise money for new ventures even in a recession. Founder and VC, Julie Meyer, spelled it out to attendees in a live interview by FT’s enterprise correspondent, Jonathan Moules.
  • Computer Hacking at BCS London (Wednesday 18th) – In this sold out event, SANS security expert, Jess Garcia, broke down the latest trends in computer hacking and the implications to individuals and businesses.
  • Broadcast Video Expo at Earls Court (Thursday 19th) – ETV’s Adrian Swift noted, in his conference session on emerging media, that the path to the future lay in adopting hybrid models which combine the strengths of both existing and emerging media to reach the target audience.
  • Power of Personal Information at BCS London (Thursday 19th) – In this excellent event, Tom Ilube (Founder & CEO of Garlik), painted a stark picture of just how vulnerable people are with respect to personal information. He encouraged everyone to exercise their rights by making “Subject Access Requests” for all personal information held by organisations with which they have / had some relationship (e.g. energy, telecoms, travel and even the grocery stores with loyalty card schemes)

2. The Pirate Bay trial begins (and IFPI website got hacked) – To some, this is about “piracy on trial”, with promise of major global repercussions, but it is probably more a rerun of the age-old struggle between old & new: mindsets / cultures / business models (i.e. transition & change in general). This one is still ongoing, but it hasn’t disappointed with the expected drama. Check out Wired’s blog for regular updates on the trial.

3. Facebook’s about-face – This is now old news / so yesterday, but one major point of interest is how users can make a very rapid and visible difference to web2.0 services like Facebook. To be fair, Facebook now has a track record for responsiveness (remember the Beacon affair?), but perhaps they really should stop trying to annoy their users in the first place, but what do I know?

4. The ISP’s Dilemma – My latest article, published in last week’s edition of Computing magazine, looks at the potential impact of Digital Britain on UK ISPs

So there you have it, an eventful week indeed. As mentioned previously, I hope to rename this blog to something more in line with its topical coverage of current / emerging trends in content protection, copyright and personal privacy. DRM Blog is just so…, *ahem*, restrictive, so watch this space, and any suggestions are welcome.

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Note: This post was previously published on my BCS DRM Blog, where you can find the original post, and reader comments, in the archives.

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