Posts on: technology
May 30, 2013
@ 9:24 pm
We now find not only kids, but adults (especially new adults) getting constantly dinged with the dire warning that Social Media Lasts Forever. I think this is probably patently untrue in a purely physical sense; it strikes me as probable that fifty years from now, the whole electronic record of our era will be largely lost in a sea of forgotten passwords, proprietary systems, faulty hardware, and compatibility issues. But it should also be untrue in, dare I say it, the moral sense. Educators and employers are constantly yelling that you young people have an affirmative responsibility not to post anything where a teacher or principal or, worst of all, boss or potential boss might find it, which gets the ethics of the situation precisely backwards. It isn’t your sister’s obligation to hide her diary; it’s yours not to read it. Your boyfriend shouldn’t have to close all his browser windows and hide his cell phone; you ought to refrain from checking his history and reading his texts. But, says the Director of Human Resources and the Career Counselor, social media is public; you’re putting it out there. Yes, well, then I’m sure you won’t mind if I join you guys at happy hour with this flip-cam and a stenographer. Privacy isn’t the responsibility of individuals to squirrel away secrets; it’s the decency of individuals to leave other’s lives alone.”
This is an interesting idea. I was thinking about this recently and how I don’t generally follow anyone on Vine or Instagram unless I’ve met them in person. There is something uncomfortable to me about seeing semi-intimate slice-of-life scenes from people I have never met. So yeah I am v. happy to not know things about people that I don’t necessarily need to know.(via markrichardson)
All this and more: if everything is available, do we have the moral ineptitude required to throw stones at our neighbor’s glass houses? If everything is documented, do we have the ability to wade through deep seas of data to find this damning evidence? Most of all, will we care?
May 24, 2013
@ 10:22 am
How does copyright work in space?
When Commander Chris Hadfield covered David Bowie’s Space Oddity on board the International Space Station:
how were the intellectual property rights handled?
The song “Space Oddity” is under copyright protection in most countries, and the rights to it belong to Mr Bowie. But compulsory-licensing rights in many nations mean that any composition that has been released to the public (free or commercially) as an audio recording may be recorded again and sold by others for a statutorily defined fee, although it must be substantively the same music and lyrics as the original. But with the ISS circling the globe, which jurisdiction was Commander Hadfield in when he recorded the song and video? Moreover, compulsory-licensing rights for covers of existing songs do not include permission for broadcast or video distribution. Commander Hadfield’s song was loaded onto YouTube, which delivers video on demand to users in many countries around the world. The first time the video was streamed in each country constituted publication in that country, and with it the potential for copyright infringement under local laws. Commander Hadfield could have made matters even more complicated by broadcasting live as he sang to an assembled audience of fellow astronauts for an onboard public performance while floating from segment to segment of the ISS.
We live in a world where sending a guitar into space is trivial while ironing out rights agreements is the tough part. (via waxy)
Can we fix copyright now please?
May 20, 2013
@ 1:29 pm
With the announcement of Google Play Music All Access, it’s worth revisiting the fact that a significant chunk of music consumers — 60% — are passive music fans that account for only 25% of music spending. That’s according to Nielsen’s “Buyer and the Beats” study released last…
This is dead-on analysis. The consolidation of radio and its playlists has reduced passive music fandom to an infinitesimal point of irrelevance. Interestingly, though, this might only be a short-term problem.
As the current generation of young music fans age, they will, unlike their predecessors, already be engaged with these digital services, and more likely to continue to use them (or their future replacements). Perhaps more tellingly, as these services get older and smarter, we may reach a point where passive fandom is possible again, if only because your past data sets will follow you around.
The question at that point might not be “how do we engage passive listeners?” but “how do we put new things in front of these listeners based solely on what they once liked when they were younger?” And that, as you might guess, is a much tougher nut to crack.