Tag Archives: United Kingdom

UK Backs Away from Over-Reaching Anti-Piracy Legislation

In a rare sign of government siding with users instead of big media, the UK has indicated that it will not be policing ISPs and their users in what has been called a “three-strikes-and-your-out” policy:

There had been mounting speculation about government legislation on the issue as the music industry steps up its fight against the pirates. Other countries, such as France, have supported tough action on file-sharers, who the industry claims cost them dear. But Mr Lammy said legislation would be too complex. “We can’t have a system where we’re talking about arresting teenagers in their bedrooms,” he told The Times newspaper.

One hopes that other countries take notice and think long and hard before taking on “pirates” in an attempt to save a misguided and floundering music industry.

(via)

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I Love Scene Kid LOVE

Quick thanks to Tilzy.tv for turning me onto “Scene Kid LOVE” a dead-on satire of the Facebook generation with a brilliant combination of love and snark.

This series is racking up an impressive 300,000+ views/episode and holds those numbers steady over time.  The writing and acting is fantastic and reminds me in some ways of the UK’s “Absolutely Fabulous” but I can’t say they are actually similar.

Anyhow, it is a fantastic example of speaking to your audience and not trying to reach the lowest-common-denominator.  This is where webseries really shine. (see: The Guild)

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Want a Free Gardener? Offer Up Your Land.

Community Garden 1
Image by Artcatcher via Flickr

Take away all the analysis and prognosticating and fear-mongering, when it comes right down to it the internet is so damn cool it makes my head spin.  Nearly every day I see something that just would not have been feasible ten years ago but is now simple and revolutionary in some way.

Today, I saw it in a  post in PSFK:

Although community gardens might be nothing new, two UK based websites, Landshare and LandFit (temporarily on hiatus), are hoping to expand the concept in a radical way by putting would-be gardeners who lack the space in contact with those that would like to see their underutilized property put to good use.

How totally cool is that?  Makes me wish I had a lawn to offer up.  Somebody here in the US should give this a shot.

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UK Privacy Under Attack, Again – Welcome to Big Brother 2.0

Three surveillance cameras on the corner of a ...

Image via Wikipedia

The UK is widely known to be one of the most surveilled countries in the world.  According to The Daily Mail “There are already 4.2million cameras trained on the public.”

Now, The Daily Mail is reporting on new technology that promises to take terrifying new steps towards become a full police-state complete with Dream Police and Tendency Indicators:

CCTV cameras which can ‘predict’ if a crime is about to take place are being introduced on Britain’s streets. The cameras can alert operators to suspicious behaviour, such as loitering and unusually slow walking. Anyone spotted could then have to explain their behaviour to a police officer.”

Someday people will wonder if it was worth trading in their privacy rights for a false sense of security but by then it will be far too late.

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Live From Vermont, It’s Wimbledon!

(FILE PHOTO) Venus Williams...

For the past week-and-half or so I have been avidly following the play at Wimbledon.  Thanks to DVR I am able to come home each night and watch all the day’s matches, speeding through the blowouts and skipping the inane rain-delay commentary.  It’s great.

The thing is, yesterday I left NYC and my DVR and headed up to visit some good friends up in Vermont.  They run the fantastic On The Rise Bakery and Cafe in Richmond (stop in if you’re in the neighborhood!).  It’s wonderful up here.  Green and peaceful.

Adding to the serenity, my bakery friends, while very up-to-date in all areas, do not have cable TV, let alone a DVR.  Since I am going to be up here through the weekend it looked like I was going to have to miss the last two rounds of the tournament I’d been following so closely.

But wait, you say, didn’t you read somewhere that you could watch the tournament online?  Yup, you did.  The thing is, the legal feed provided by Wimbledon costs something like $25 and only runs on a Windows machine.

So, here I am in blissful Vermont.  Everything is perfect, but it would be amazing if I could just catch a glimpse of the lady’s semifinals.  But I have a Mac and don’t really want to spend $25 to indulge my craving.  Instead, I type “watch wimbledon online” into google and in less than a minute I am watching a slightly choppy and far from hi-res stream of Venus Williams putting away poor, sad Dementiava in a second set tie-breaker.  For free.  On my Mac.  Technically, I was probably breaking the law, or at very least abetting someone else in breaking the law, but who have I harmed?

What’s my point?  Well, first, I love the internet for allowing me to watch the what I wanted, when I wanted, where I wanted.  Was it a perfect experience?  Nope.  Would I have been willing to pay a small fee for a better version.  You bet.  $25 is a bit steep, though…

Why are the big media providers not serving me with all of these things when some hacker/pirates in god-knows-where are able to do it no problem?  Somehow, the whole mess of copyright and DRM and all that crap has led to a completely crippled service.

No wonder the pirates are winning.  Everyone is being made into a pirate just to get what they want in a reasonable fashion.

Just to watch a tennis match I had to break the law.  Is the problem me or the law?

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KateModern Goes All Out for Finale

KateModern

The surprisingly successful UK webseries KateModern has a cool idea for their finale.  They are releasing one new episode every hour, on the hour, for twelve consequtive hours.

From Mashable:

“The program’s following has been an extensive one. Its production company, EQAL, claims for KateModern an average weekly viewership of about 1m, surpassing the popularity of virtually all other original Web-based programs, including LonelyGirl15, a show also produced by EQAL.”

It’s nice to see a show actually making a bit of an impact, even if it is in the UK.  I also like seeing new approaches to releases schedules and how to build excitement online.

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Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

700 MB CD-R

Remember when blank CDs cost a few bucks a pop?  Now, of course, their almost free.  Combine that with the fact that more people are downloading music than ever before and it isn’t surprising to see CDs simply being given away by bands for promotional purposes.

Of course, there is still the issue of distribution.  Distribution of hard goods is expensive.  No way around that.  Unless, of course, you piggyback on an existing platform.

That’s just what rising UK band McFly has done, partnering with a big paper in the UK to put a free copy of their album in every issue of the paper.  Not only can the paper offer a free gift, but the band reaches thousands of potential new fans.

As TechDirt said:

“As we’ve noted in the past, this is a fantastic strategy for both newspapers and musicians. It helps both sides quite a bit, which is exactly what the band sees, noting that they just want to get more fans, and are hoping more will come see them on their latest tour.”

Cool.

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