The theme for this week’s High Five is, “Content Wars.” Wrangling continues over copyright protection, and content creators continue to struggle with delivery channels and monetization.
#5: Apple Courts Publishers, While Kindle Adds Apps
The e-reader market is heating up nicely. Apple’s expected announcement of a new tablet computer is igniting a battle “for the hearts and minds of book publishers, authors, and readers.”
Link: New York Times
#4: $675,000 RIAA File Sharing Verdict Is ‘Unreasonable’
A defendant has asked the U.S. Disctrict Court in Massachusetts to either retry the case or reduce the fine of $22,500 per song. This comes on the heels of a $1.92 million judgement last year against a woman who downloaded 24 songs. These shocking verdicts are raising the volume of calls for Congress to change the laws, but a Justice Department dominated by RIAA lawyers and lobbyists it seems that the entertainment industry’s stormtroopers will continue to patrol the Internet for the foreseeable future.
#3: Open Letter From OK Go, regarding non-embeddable YouTube videos
OK Go is a rock band that just wants to make music and share it with their fans. In a thoughtful post on their web site, they explain the intricacies of publishing music videos in the current Internet climate. Shockingly, they declare that “crazy as it may seem, it’s now far harder for bands to make videos accessible online than it was four years ago.” Like the aging Hippie reluctantly pulling the lever for a Republican, YouTube is finding itself answering to new constituents in its quest for monetization. The soundtrack to this drama would surely include Roger Daltry’s voice; “I hope I die before I get old.”
Link: OK Go’s User Forum
#2: YouTube Will Start Charging for Some Videos
On the heels of the OK Go story, we learn that YouTube will begin experimenting with paid content. They plan to charge users around $5 to view independent films from the 2009 and 2010 Sundance Film Festivals.
#1: New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers
In the latest chess game between newspapers, readers, and search engines, the New York Times announced this week that it is planning to charge readers. Their approach will differ from the Wall Street Journal, which charges based on premium content. Instead, the Times plans to charge by volume, which will ostensibly allow the casual visitor to find an article on Google, for example, and have full access to read the article. It’s a novel idea and not without some technical hurdles to be overcome. It seems to me that it strikes a fair balance between the free exchange of ideas and making a living. I will be rooting for it to succeed.
Link: New York Magazine
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