Pandora is abandoning plans for a launch in Canada, because basically Re:Sound (the agency that collects the fees) wants the greater of two amounts...
45 per cent of the site's gross revenues in Canada or 7.5-tenths of a cent for every song streamed
I don't know about you but I don't really know of any business that could survive being asked to turn over nearly half or more of their gross revenue. Profit margins just generally aren't that large outside of certain branded luxury goods or completely monopolized markets.
As to the title, I'm not convinced I should bother mincing words about this.
About a week ago, FOXNews.com ran a story involving a former member of the Wikipedia staff who was making claims that Wikipedia is literally rife with all kinds of dreadful pornography.
That article was, in a word, bullshit.
Sure, there's some porn on Wikipedia because anyone can upload anything to it at any time. To that extent saying so is not a whole lot different than making claims that there's pictures of thimbles in Wikipedia. Both statements contain varying degrees of truth, but how long the porn stays is another matter entirely. A large amount of the porn "on Wikipedia" is simply the act of internet vandals looking to shock people--in reality this is not much different from a miscreant slipping snippets of nudie magazines into random books at your local public library. The only difference here is that it's a lot easier for people all over the world to engage in the prank, but it's still just as easy for it to be undone by librarians (and anyone else who knows that shouldn't be there). The rest appears to be by people who genuinely think that there needs to be categorized porn on Wikipedia--but where Wikipedia is concerned, there's many other places on the Internet dedicated to just porn so there's little point in them keeping it around.
Much of the porn only survives for mere minutes (if not seconds) as automation software run by it's administrators triage the information about new edits and bring anything that appears out of place to someone's attention almost immediately. Everything else (and I mean everything else) gets scrutinized by someone the "old-fashioned way"--by a Wikipedia editor logging in and looking at the list of changes in their favorite little section of the system. So... as fast as someone can upload some porn to Wikipedia, it gets deleted by someone else.
This is the way it is now, this is the way it has been in the past, and is likely the exact same way it will continue to be in the future--yet FOX has been waving this particular baton for about a week now, hoping to provoke a reaction from Wikipedia, and since that didn't happen they have simply declared an "EXCLUSIVE" story that Wikipedia has started to purge porn from the site.
That is, in another word, a lie. To use two words (or three words and a hyphen if you're a potential Wikipedia editor) it's a bold-faced lie. Wikipedia cannot start purging porn from the site now because it has never stopped purging the porn from the site. The entire article hinges on the reader not being smart enough to see the fallacy in the following compound question:
"When did the FOXNews.com editors stop molesting children for better ratings?"
Probably the only thing protecting FOX at this point is that Wikipedia isn't really in a good position to sue them for publishing phony stories.
Why the book publishing industry is still freaking clueless
9:49 pm EST, Feb 6, 2010
So here we have an article written by an author who not only drinks the kool-aid, he is also apparently soaking in it.
There's a rather huge gap of logic involved in this post, where he actually expects us to believe that an individual eBook costs more to make than say, the $14.95 hardcover.
Since there's no real chance this guy is ever going to come around I'll resummarize why he was having problems keeping his books on Amazon.
The publisher is dumb and slow to adapt. They're insisting on selling the eBook for the same price as the paper book. They're not paying for storage or printing or shipping or any of that, and they could be shipping a literally infinite number of copies for the same price as one copy--but demanding that they still need to charge the same amount of money for the electronic version as the print version.
The author is dumb for believing what his publisher is telling him, and by the look of it they led him around the important bits of the conversation and simply tricked him into thinking they were having a frank and honest discussion. Key here is the phrasing he used that says it takes "extra" money to produce an eBook edition. Sure, you might need someone to double-check the typeset, but I fail to see how this can't be the same person that did the typesetting on the printed version of the book--or why it can't be done at the same time. It's not like we're still in the days where some guy manually typeset every single letter in a printing frame--all this crap is handled electronically now.
He rambles on at length about how many paper books sold versus how many electronic books sold. It's no big suprise that by comparison, not a lot of eBooks are selling. They require an expensive eBook reader which may or may not still be supported or even usable in 20 years, and paper books don't fail due to expiring DRM licences. This is what happens when you require DRM which we know to be prone to these failures. I bet he never even thought to ask his publisher what the ratio of ebooks sold vs total ebook readers was, and how it compares to how many paper books sold vs Amazon's normal buying volume.
...and lastly, everyone knows there's a large chunk of money tied up in the books, themselves. It's not the marketing, it's not the royalties--it's the physical act of printing and storing and shipping and inventoring a bunch of slabs of compressed tree pulp. In it's physical form, it's a non-trivial cost and it doesn't exist with an eBook, yet we're being asked to pay for that by practically every single goddamn publisher out there. If you've not looked into eBooks before the Kindle came out, it was the same story all over. The sale price of the electronic version of a book was exactly the same as the printed paperback almost everywhere, every time. It's no wonder no one's quick to adopt these things. What's not to like about a copy of a book you don't really own, that might one day become unreadable due to bureaucratic snafu or lack of legal obligation to keep the DRM updated, and that you can't really pass on to your grandchildren (because again, you don't really own it).
Amazon's demand that the eBooks be sold for no more than ten dollars isn't exactly looking for fodder to fulfill their monopolistic dreams of a Kindle on every schoolchild's desk and two or three in every home--they're looking to drag the book publishing industry into the 21st Century, and they're willing to ignore the kicking and screaming to do it.
So, in case you hadn't heard, since no one hunted down and shot the execs when they started airing pro-wrestling dramas on Sci-Fi they've been emboldened to decide the network needs a name change so they can have something trademarkable.
A few months ago a torrent site broke the news that quite possibly, one of the companies currently engaging in prosecuting copyright violations, might have just set up a website for the sole purpose of providing users on the internet with copyright material to violate, willy-nilly.
...basically, facilitating the very illegal actions they were pursuing damages for in court. (Boy howdy is that illegal. Wow.) So of course, it would be very bad for them if this were actually happening.
The company, MediaDefender, denied it completely.
It turns out the report was, in fact, true.
In one of the most spectacular security leaks I've ever seen, somehow, 700Mb of the company's internal emails found their way into a bunch of torrent streams and are winging their way around the interwebs right this very moment.
I would imagine that right about now, to the executive management over there, the internet has just opened up and poured thousands upon thousands of kittens into their offices and homes... and they're allergic.
FOX presents mostly fictional anti-hacker news story
10:10 am EDT, Jul 27, 2007
It looks like FOX is pretty pissed about getting their stuff hacked, and so they've gotten some of their affiliates to cook up a complete line of crap so they can run a "HACKARS R BAD, K?" news piece. It's rather sad.
For those of you who don't recognize what board they're talking about, where everyone is "required" to be anonymous, it's 4chan. If you don't recognize it, Google it. The reason almost all the users on 4chan post anonymously is definitely *not* what this news report claims it is... and the lies don't stop there.
Phil Shuman is a tool. It's one thing to be clueless, but this, coupled with the previous articles he's ran, borders on irresponsible.