open data and crowdsourcing

just unearthed this unpublished draft from 2011 …

Advertisements Unterzeichnung des Anti-Piraterie-Abkommens ACTA beschlossen

vermuteter Originaltext da:

Wirklich interessante Passage Section5, Article 27:
„Each Party shall ensure that enforcement procedures, to the extent set forth in Sections 2 (Civil Enforcement) and 4 (Criminal Enforcement), are available under its law so as to permit effective action against an act of infringement of intellectual property rights which takes place in the digital environment, including expeditious remedies to prevent infringement and remedies which constitute a deterrent to further infringements.“ und folgende

Sieht wirklich so aus, als stünde die breit angelegte Kriminalisierung der ProSumer vor den Toren. Kann „spassig“ werden. Hier sind definitiv nicht ausschließlich die im Visier, die mit fremder intellectual property unredlich eigenes Geld verdienen!

Ich freue mich schon auf die ersten Revanche-Musterprozesse Hobbyfotografen gegen Webseitenbetreiber. Inklusive einstweiliger Verfügung und Beschlagnahme von Server- und Datenbank-Infrastruktur:
„Each Party shall provide that its judicial authorities have the authority to adopt provisional measures inaudita altera parte where appropriate, in particular where any delay is likely to cause irreparable harm to the right holder, or where there is a demonstrable risk of evidence being destroyed.“ (Article 12, Ziffer 2)

Öffentliche Serverinfrastruktur zu betreiben wird demnächst unversicherbar werden, mal sehen was da an nationalstaatlicher Gesetzgebung nachkommt …

unpublished draft from 2010: two days in bed …

… with antibiotics, a Kindle and a 15-minutes attention span. Feels like childhood to me. The Kindle and me got closer these days just as I got infested with the comic books my mother bought when and only when I had to stay in bed.

A friend and discussion partner characterises himself as somebody who reforvents himself permanently – as in forget and reinvent. I am rather the type who resenmemations myself – as in remembers sensations. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. Although it sometimes seems as if it might have happened to another me in another life. This reminds me of the way I’ve come along, which is not as far as I may go – if time and future allows.

OTOH I saw what happens if you don’t change your ways, perceptions and attitudes when a bunch of mentally old men nearly crashed one of my former favorite fora. The big idea was to „have some banners as an aside“. Down the right margin of a turntable forum in German. No big money, but lots of opposition from forum members. The uprising was first fueled by patronizing condescension from „Officials“ and then quenched by the moderation board.

Nobody ever even considered thinking about benefits to forum members and consequently banner customers. Nobody even listened (or read) when I tried to develop some scheme to try to benefit all parties.

legal action against megaupload does not kill free speech …

… it only sanctions behaviour, which is bad karma anyway. AFAIK megaupload was a subscription site charging money for access to pirated intellectual property. Charging money for pirated content is BAD-BAD-BAD since the 1980ies when trading software started in schools!

Remember: „Information should be free“, the decision to pirate or not to pirate is yours – I will leave that to your discretion. Content owners will differ.


… and fraud is a crime in RL anyway and should also be punished in cyberspace
– on the customers side by not joining subscription pirate sites – use offres gratuites
– and I personally support all content owners taking legal action against sites earning money with pirated content.

Your opinion might differ, but this had to be said, sorry!

Veröffentlicht in Basics, commentary, English. Schlagwörter: . Leave a Comment »

Content without a container – information and the quality of packaging in a digital world

Companies creating value from content – be it text, music or film – are struggling with the concept of digital media. Did rip-mix-burn really kill the appeal of haptics in distributing content?

As a testimonial let me quote John Perry Barlow (co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) from the foreword to Cory Doctorow’s book „Content“: „Perhaps these words appear to you on the pages of a book, a physical object that might be said to have „contained“ the thoughts of my friend and co-conspirator Cory Doctorow as they were transported in boxes and trucks all the way from his marvelous mind into yours. If that is so, I will concede that you might be encountering „content“. […] But the chances are excellent that you’re reading these liquid words as bit-states of light on a computer screen, having taken advantage of his willingness to let you have them in that form for free. In such an instance, what „contains“ them? Your hard disk? His? The Internet and all the servers and routers in whose caches the ghosts of their passage might still remain? Your mind? Cory’s?“[1]

Precious content escapes the tangible assets we had it safely pinned onto and becomes what? Free floating ideas? Volatile ideograms on networking hardware? Ghosts of thought in browser caches? Intangible memories in oral traditions? Linked Likes on facebook? Again, John Perry Barlow: „Information is not a thing. It isn’t an object. It isn’t something that, when you sell it or have it stolen, ceases to remain in your possession.“[2]

The upside of John Perry Barlows view on information formerly known as content ist that information is becoming increasingly free. Information you had to unearth from moldy libraries in the pre digital era is now at your fingertips. You can download it from online stores, peer-to peer networks, Google Books or your friends‘ laptops. You can read it on any device you like, quote it and redistribute it without any boundaries. Copyright regulations apply …

Copyright regulations? Wait a second – if I can copy and redistribute freely, what about Copyright regulations? This is the downside of Barlow’s concept of information. Content without a container is content without control. Information in medieval times was subject to a lot of control: “Broadly speaking, there was a time when books were hand-printed on rare leather by monks. The only people who could read them were priests, who got a regular eyeful of the really cool cartoons the monks drew in the margins. The priests read the books aloud, in Latin (to a predominantly non-Latin-speaking audience) in cathedrals, wreathed in pricey incense that rose from censers swung by altar boys. Then Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Martin Luther turned that press into a revolution. He printed Bibles in languages that non-priests could read, and distributed them to normal people who got to read the word of God all on their own. The rest, as they say, is history.”[3]

Each democratisation of information brings loss of control to the authors and distributors of said information. Printing presses brought freedom of expression for secular authors and loss of control for clergy and nobility. Audio recordings brought freedom to listeners and loss of control for opera houses and concert halls. Audio CDs and DVDs did the same to music companies and film theaters respectively.

So we are at a preliminary endpoint of a development that started with the invention of the printing press – content has lost its container. It is no longer possible to control content distribution via the scarcity of tangible assets such as rare leather, paper, 32mm film rolls or vinyl discs.

The results are starting to show. Publishing houses have their incertainties about current and future business models on broad display in front of a worldwide audience. New Business companies such as MySpace and other social media companies sell shares for astronomical sums to desperate investors becoming even more desperate when users start to flock to the next and much more hip social media portal.

Nearly 100% of information comes for free, nobody dares to charge for news or small bits of information anymore. Not even for valuable information for fear their main competitor will start to give theirs away tomorrow. Return of investment for information providers approximates zero or worse a negative value. Will that be the end for the publishing industry?

Lately I encountered an interesting idea in a book about the fall of advertising: “Poetry may be just as popular today as ist was in Homer’s time. The difference is that today poetry is an art form. Its communication function has been lost. Most authors do not use poetry these days to pass along information in verbal form. They use prose because printed books allow text to be easily passed to future generations.”[4]

If you look at the contemporary usage of obsolete media, the term “art form” might not only be an intelligent guess, but exactly the right approach:

  • Vinyl disc packaging is getting a lot more attention, than in the days when vinyl was the only container used to transport music. If you want to sell things instead of downloads, the things better ought to be pretty …
  • Books and their covers become increasingly beautiful and artsy, since haptics have become the only quality distinguishing text-porn in the disguise of an e-book from the romantics of wooing for a book in a bookstore and having foreplay with liner notes, title pages, graphics and micro typography …
  • And then there will always remain niche markets – or have you ever succeeded in quoting scientifically correct from an epub file?

The criteria differentiating a commodity from a valuable companion to your daily life will always be the haptics, the usability, the packaging and last but not least distinction. Think iPad vs. desktop computers, BMW-Mini vs. Dacia Logan, Printed and bound folio vs. e-book, Filofax™ vs. a pile of loose paper etc.

As information increasingly steps out of its necessity to travel in containers, containers get a new life reincarnated in objets d’art. You might force read the latest fad on a Kindle, but to show off as a Bourgeois Bohemien, you will have to place the printed and bound first edition on your coffee-table, the library in your office or your jacket …

[1] Barlow, John Perry; Foreword to Content by Cory Doctorow, P XV, Tachyon Publications, San Francisco 2008, respectively (read on 2011-06-24)

[2] Barlow, John Perry, ib.

[3] Doctorow, Cory; Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books in Content, P123, Tachyon Publications, San Francisco 2008

[4] Al Ries, Al, The Fall of Advertising & The Rise of PR / Al Ries & Laura Ries, Harper Collins, New York, 2004

„too big to fail“ gilt nicht für Buchhändler

Der „long tail“ frisst den „retailer“. Amerikanische Buchhandelsketten an der oder kurz vor der Insolvenz. Mehr darüber auf Heise online:

US-Buchhändler Borders gibt endgültig auf: 10.700 Jobs weg

Um die Ketten mit ihrer lieblosen und sortimentslosen Verkaufspolitik ist mir nicht leid, die verlorenen Arbeitsplätze sind eine Tragödie. Hoffentlich entsteht nach dem Wegfall der großen Ketten wieder Platz und Umsatzpotential für Spezialitätenläden, die liebevoll themenspezifische Angebote und Beratung anbieten. Quasi „slow-brainfood-bio-läden“ für Menschen, die so wie ich solide Haptik lieben und zumindest gelegentlich Seitenzahlen für Zitate brauchen.
In der Zwischenzeit werden Bücher und Buchhandel zur Kunstform. Zur Zukunft von Handwerk ohne Nutzwert und seine Transmigration zu Kunst lesen sie Al und Laura Ries „The fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR“, pp. 15, „Advertising and Art“,  ISBN 978-0-06-008199-7, solange es noch Bücher auf Papier gibt …

web 2.0 unschön …

… oder Inhaltsproduzenten gegen Konzentratoren – Runde 1:

Jaron Lanier spricht in seinem Buch „You are not a Gadget“ von der kalten Enteignung der digitalen Intelligentsia durch Inhaltskonzentratoren und Suchmaschinen. Jetzt ist der erste Rechtsstreit zum Thema anhängig.

Beklagte ist interessanterweise die Huffington Post – eines der Wunderkinder des Web 2.0 – gut beleumundet, politically correct, anerkannt in der community. Der Gründer hat es gewagt, sein Baby, das moralisch genauso seinen Bloggern wie ihm zu gehören schien gegen harte Währung und einen Sitz im Management an AOL zu verscherbeln.

Damit ist der Spaß für alle vorbei und die Blogger verlangen ihren Anteil am Kuchen. Moralisch sicher gerechtfertigt, durch die AGB bestimmt ausgeschlossen, vor Gericht interessant.

Fazit: Geschenkökonomien, in denen adäquate Gegenleistungen ausbleiben erzeugen frustrierte Schenker, im schlimmsten Fall Rachegelüste. Das unterstellte Ziel des Klägers ist wohl auch nicht sein Anteil am Kapitalwert der Huffington Post, sondern die Zerstörung ihres Rufs und damit die Vernichtung ihres Marktwerts. Wer Geschenkökonomien noch nicht wirklich verstanden hat, der sollte wohl dringend mal hier, hier und bei Marcel Mauss’ „die Gabe“ beginnen nachzulesen! Eine erweiterte Literaturliste findet sich hier in meinem Blog.

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