Andy Richards From Uniform Motion's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week
from the lessons-learned dept
Having personally experienced National Health Insurance in both the UK and France, like most Europeans I tend to take it for granted, which is why I wasn't surprised by the transatlantic differences discovered in the article about Amanda Palmer's Health Insurance survey on Twitter. For Europeans, it's pretty hard to understand why some Americans oppose President Obama's Healthcare reform so vehemently.
Evil Tech Companies:
One thing I learned from the Working Group organised by Techdirt last week is that tech companies don't really hate artists. In fact, they're actually quite fond of them! Many of them actually wouldn't mind helping artists succeed. One example of this is what Songkick has been doing. I particularly enjoyed reading about how the people from Folkestone rose to the occasion to make sure the concert took place in their town.
The name Marilyn Manson, which was formed from the juxtaposition of Marilyn (Monroe) and (Charles) Manson, is meant to represent the two extremes of American culture. Similarly, Clint Eastwood can seem full of contradictions. The article about Clint suing a chair manufacturer for using his name left me a little perplexed. I would have expected him to just go in and shoot them all! Clint, there are some good, bad and ugly guitars over here you should take a look at too.
An acquaintance of mine and I were discussing copyright last week, and he mentioned a video he had made for a friend's funeral that included snippets of songs from various movies he liked. Several people asked him to share the video online so they could watch it again, which he did willingly. Then YouTube told him to remove it because the music was owned by a Major Publishing company. That made me rather sad. The article about the Dancing baby video just puzzled me. As a rightsholder, I think you have to ask yourself three questions in situations like these:
- Does the usage morally harm the artist?
- Does the usage economically harm the artist?
- Does the usage promote the artist in any way?
If the answers to those questions are No, No and Yes, then why would you want to spend so much energy preventing such usage?
DMCA takedowns are all about shooting now and asking questions later, a bit a like the gentleman mentioned above!
Sharing experiences is great when they're success stories but it can definitely be disheartening to fail, so we tend to try to forget about it as quickly as possible and move on. People don't mind sharing their failures once they have a few wins under their belts, but oftentimes, it's years later that the valuable information is revealed.
This article about Pay What You Want gone wrong has more to do with setting the wrong expectations than failing per se, but I hope it sets a trend. I always like to put my money where my mouth is, so I commented on the article, explaining how our PWYW experience didn't go too well. I could have mentioned that I also put CDs and Vinyl up for sale on our website without calculating the actual cost of shipping, which resulted in our making virtually no profit on the first batch of pre-orders we got... but that would have made me look really silly. I even got an email from a fan at the time saying "if you keep charging $4 for shipping when it costs $6.90, you're going go out of business." More proof that your fans are always looking out for you!
Having had my fair share of problems with French red-tape, I was rather amused when I heard Google was threatening to remove French Media sites from their search engine if the French government went ahead with their plans to tax the search engine in favor of French Newspapers. My response to a French friend who forwarded the article to me yesterday: "If French Newspapers are so indispensable then they won't need a search engine to be found by potential readers, will they?" Maybe they should start taxing blank paper as well?