Beware the blog booster

Beware the blog booster A dose of blogging-as-a-business reality from Nick Denton. "Here's a reality check: Gawker and Gizmodo do about $2,000 in ad revenue a month... if you're a starving freelance writer-blogger, and a magazine offers real money and benefits: take the deal."

September 17, 2003 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0)

IE, Flash, and patents: here comes trouble

irish weblog
Interesting story brewing with respect to Microsoft's 'appropriation' of ActiveX controls - seamless display of varying types of content is at the heart of this - and Eolas say that they have a patent. The University of California are also plaintiffs in this case. Their take here. [Eolas, by the way, licensed the 'e' in their logo to IBM for the latter's e-business campaigns]. It's bad news for people like Macromedia - Flash content would have to be accessed in a brand-new Flash player window.

IE, Flash, and patents: here comes trouble Microsoft has again been told to cripple its market-leading browser in compliance with the Eolas patent lawsuit. IE/Windows will no longer be able to seamlessly play Flash, Quicktime, PDF, and other rich media formats. Other browser makers like Netscape and Opera may also be forced to cripple their browsers, making the web look like 1993 all over again. Clumsy, disruptive workarounds that diminish user experience might allow browsers to present rich media files, but site owners would have to pay for development -- and Eolas might sue anyway. The patent ruling will hurt everyone. Patents on the web are always bad, but this one stinks to Heaven. We find ourselves rooting for Microsoft.

[Source: Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Daily Report]

C-NET has more information.

Microsoft has suffered another legal setback in the patent dispute with software developer Eolas and is now advising Web authors on workarounds, as new details emerge of its plans to tweak Internet Explorer.

A federal judge last week rejected Microsoft's post-trial claim that Eolas had misrepresented the facts in the patent case, which claimed the software giant had stolen browser technology relating to plug-ins. The ruling came after a $521 million verdict against the software giant last month, and ends Microsoft's first attempt to challenge the result.

According to the Eolas website -

-- To create and develop the inventions that allow information technologies to enhance the quality of life for everyone.

Their tack will certainly enhance the quality of bank balances for web developers if this goes through.

Just like '99 all over again.

September 15, 2003 in Business, Civil Liberties, Interaction, newMedia Design | Permalink | Comments (0)

Even Official Music Download Sites Are Facing Intellectual Property Problems

Following on from our previous post about the greedy record companies - here's another gem

For all their talk about how they need to set up legal music download sites for the sake of intellectual property, it looks like some of the "legal" music sites may be violating some intellectual property themselves. UK retailer HMV (who recently opened an online music download store) has been sued by a company named E-Data Corporation, saying they own a patent on "downloading". Yes, this is another ridiculous patent - but it's still a bit amusing to see these official sites running into intellectual property problems themselves. Of course, it's unlikely that they'll look at this and realize that there's something wrong with intellectual property laws that let things like this happen in the first place.


Both HMV and Peter Gabriel's OD2 are involved. E-Data owns the patent in 10 EU countries. It covers downloading and recording information, such as music, news articles or films, from a computer on to a tangible object, such as a tape, CD or sheet of paper. Interesting patent. Does it include printing off work I have done on my computer?

September 8, 2003 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0)

USA benefits by 30% drop in CD prices

The BBC News web site reports that Universal Music is about to cut its proces for CDs 'by 30%'.

"Music fans in the US will enjoy cheaper CDs after the world's largest record company, Universal, announced plans to cut the price of albums by up to 30%.
Universal - which has artists like U2, Eminem and Sir Elton John on its roster - said it hoped to "invigorate" the market after a three-year slump.

From October, the company will put the "suggested" price for most CDs at $13 (£8.25) - down from $17-19 (£11-12). Album sales in the US dropped 15% between 2000-2002 - blamed on 'piracy'."

Why aren't they extending their discounting structures to Europe? Do we have less pirates [or less piracy because we have slower connections?] Is it because the Apple Store isn't up and running in Europe yet? Or is it because Europe is seen as a softer touch than dollarisall_usa? Our cousins have it right - they don't take to queuing, shoddy service, inferior products and bad climate. Might it just be what the record buying public has recognised for years - that your music is just damn' too expensive?

And while Universal are at it - could you please make your CDs from a better plastic so they don't scratch so easily or is that inbuilt obselesence?

September 8, 2003 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0)