This podcast was a bit disappointing because many of the elements I had hoped would be discussed weren't even addressed. Instead, it was the same story we've heard Techdirt say before: make better ads and people won't skip them.
I disagree with this position.
I'm glad the podcast brought up the Old Spice ads, because this is pretty much the problem with advertising something "Good": it leads to nothing.
Sure, Old Spice would be more than happy to confirm sales went up since the ads were rolled out, but have we heard anything since? Also, didn't those coupons have more of an impact than the ads (for me they did, as I've always used Old Spice deodorant and those coupons were insanely awesome to the point I can't believe they profited from people using them).
No one is talking about Old Spice anymore. The ad may have worked for the short term, but it's highly unlikely it worked to the benefit of the company, Proctor and Gamble. Yep, looks like it's right back to being that product dad used to use.
Today's advertising is all about trying to recapture the captive audience days of television. The entire intent is to scream "LOOK AT ME!". For those who do, the issue isn't big.
It's for those who don't that get screwed.
Anyone with young kids will be familiar with "Look what I did." and then proceed not to look at what the kid did. It's an inundation of "Look! Look! Look!" until they're either told to shut up or the look is granted. It doesn't matter what the hell you're doing and that is the problem with advertising, even if it's great advertising.
The notion of content=ad or ad=content isn't disputed. It's how one affects the other that becomes the problem. No one wants to be interrupted while they're trying to do something and that's what ads do. They annoy because they interrupt.
Advertisers know these ads are annoying but continue to do so because, eventually, they'll burn that ad into your head.
Don't believe me? Quick, what's the name of the girl who shills Progressive auto insurance? That's right, her name is Flo.
Did you know her name has never been said in the commercials? So how did you know it? Precisely. The ads are so numerous and intentionally annoying that you know her name because you read the nameplate on her shirt given you've seen the ad so many times, what's left to pay attention to?
I don't have a problem with the ad itself. It's the frequency. Remember when commercial breaks on TV were 2 minutes long and you actually had to really go to the bathroom quickly before the show returned? Now you can bake a cake, pay off a car loan, fly to Venus and back, have sex with your significant other, and still have time left over before the show comes back on.
There's no way in hell having 4-6 minutes of "great content" is going to win anyone over. People still talk about that Apple ad shown in the Superbowl as if this monumental campaign did wonders. It didn't do squat other than get people to talk about the ad, not the company nor whatever product it was trying to shill. Anyone remember what it was? Yeah, didn't think so.
AdBlock's prominence has nothing to do with people just saying "no" to ads. The significant number of users is to curtail ads because businesses keep pushing the limits with them, forcing visitors' hands.
Take Ars Technica, for example. Since being bought out by Conde Nasty (deliberate misspelling), the ads have been both horrifying and downright insulting to the core audience, which isn't going to grow based on the site's content.
Ars has tried blocking their entire site when Adblock is used to popping up annoying messages. What Ars fails to realize is that it's nothing more than a news aggregator site and that's not worth a subscription fee nor is it worth dealing with Porsche ads which literally took over 1/3 of the visible web space. Seriously, what moron thought the majority of its readers can afford a Porsche or an over-priced watch?
Very few places get my money because content is literally king to me. Do a good job, you get rewarded financially. Throw out ads on a service I'm paying for and well, you'll see me go to great lengths to avoid paying full price, such as XBox Live (wait for the 50% off sale).
I will say Techdirt is the only place that rule isn't enforced because it's not a news aggregator. It pretty much takes a story and tells its readers why the story has some seriously stupid players.
Wait. I should put the above in past tense, because the plan I used to sign up to is no longer available. What happened to the $50/yr Water Cooler + Chat offering? Even I draw the line at $15/mo for the option of people reading my opinions. Now I don't have either.
Okay, best stop here. This could easily turn into a book, and well, we have better things to do.
We'll pick this up on the next podcast discussing ads. Or is it content? ;)
Why in the world would Netflix give a damn about Epix when it just inked a deal with Disney? I, too, would ditch Epix (especially after the shit they pulled by refusing to release their latest catalog without more money from Netflix).
Disney, if everyone recalls, owns both the Star Wars franchise and the Marvel movies. You know, those pesky things everyone seems to never get enough of.
Along with the deal is Netflix's original content, and I have to say, most have been damn good. Content sells itself.
I don't think Netflix is going to have a single care in the world people are upset at losing Hunger Games, given it's been on the service for a year now.
I should also point out this is why HBO ended up where it is, or has anyone not seen its catalog of movies of late? If you enjoy re-watching crap you saw as a kid, it's right up your alley.
The absurdly minimal amount of the image used also would qualify it for protection. No it does not qualify the image use under Fair Use. EVER.
Part of the problem people have over Fair Use is they don't understand it.
Even if all 4 points of guideline were met, it's no guarantee infringement claim would be waived.
That's why Fair Use is a case by case system, where the results of one case has absolutely nothing to do with another, because, you know, "civil" vs. "criminal".
So yeah, while Getty is stretching it due to other measures, let's stop pretending Fair Use has a claim here. It doesn't and never will until the law is changed to make Fair Use absolute, not a goddamn set of guidelines.
"The state medical board may have every right to view medical records without any accompanying paperwork..." Bullshit.
A medical board can only review medical records to ensure proper procedure. It does not have any legal justification to rummage through medical records looking for diagnoses or information related to specific health ailments.
That's not only illegal by federal law, but to think so many people think because most medical boards are run by doctors, this gives them carte blanche to the record.
Did you know a provider can't look at your medical record unless: A) you've given permission and B) is your primary care provider?
This is a clear-cut example of violation of the law.
The employees, who refused to question the silent people with the board representative, are also breaking the law, and will most likely be the scapegoats and lose their job while the true offenders get away with violation of the law.
In most HIPAA compliant arenas, great lengths are taken to ensure health care data isn't seen by those not authorized. Databases are tracked, EMRs have restricted access, and computers away from prying eyes.
Because to get caught violating the law is one hell of a fine forthcoming.
Except for health care facilities in Texas, it seems.
There's something seriously wrong with that state.
Here's the thing about the FCC: Tom Wheeler himself admitted the rules the FCC governed were problematic for him many years ago.
It wasn't the public outcry which started changing policy, it was a personal experience, which is often the case many come to "see the light".
The fact Wheeler did an about-face surprised everyone, especially those here at Techdirt who were concerned another player from "Big Corporation" had the front seat.
When Wheeler stated his reasons for changing the rules, everyone changed their opinions. The "Big Corporations" when from loving their shill to hating him while the public now loves him.
It can go down as one of the most unprecedented changes in FCC history, and all because of a personal experience. It's as though he was planning and calculating for many years just to pull this off.
Unfortunately, and as I've said many times before, the FCC is all bark and no bite. It may have the power to change definitions of our communication systems, but it has absolutely no power to control what happens to them.
Even if "net neutrality" passes 100% by the FCC, we're still going to see price gouging, caps, throttling, and other nefarious tactics taken because changing broadband into a utility doesn't negate pricing issues.
The FCC has no control in that arena, which befalls the FTC to investigate and punish as necessary, and we clearly see what a wonderful job they've done over the decades. "Here, AT&T, have a $100 million fine after making billions from your scam."
"Except last time, they actually did listen somewhat. So that kind of disproves that claim."
Do you see what you're doing to yourself? They only listened "somewhat".
That's the kind of dismal attitude plaguing this fight, which is why I'm slowly taking myself out of it. I can't fight two sides anymore. It's depressing and time consuming.
The public has no say in these discussions and the entire purpose is merely to "throw us a bone", to which often always placates the masses to pretend they walked away with a "small victory".
Take a look at the history and you'll see the true issue. A "victory" tossed to us really did absolutely nothing to change a thing. And I must re-iterated, these changes are temporary and can be removed at any time.
That's "somewhat" for you, defined and to the point.
Why do you suppose you keep using the term "copyright czar"? It's no different than real czars, who throw the public a bone while still remain in complete and useless control.
This office serves no purpose but to be the bone thrower. It has no intention of fighting for the public's rights for copyright and it will never, ever change.
You can pretend all you want that "somewhat" is good enough, but it's not, and never will be.
This office can change, but it's not going to do so with the current staff.
So enjoy your "somewhat". Me, I'd rather win the war, not the battle whose outcome can be negated in 3 years.
By "hear", do you mean actual conversation where two sides actually consider a mutually agreed upon outcome or how it's always been when the public's voice is never heard because the idiots making the "decision" (read: being told how to decide) still have their fingers firmly planted in their ears?
It's a waste of time.
Even if we, that is the public, get an "inch", we're so goddamn far back in miles nothing they do makes one damn bit of difference.
This "throw us a bone" is insulting on every level of "hearing" the public.
"Most Likely to be Attacked by Terrorists" by local law enforcement and its DHS branch office. Be mindful, readers, this only happened because of that idiotic Pence law signing, which you can search if you're unfamiliar.
Before that, we were dead last, as even Chicago (that's still in the midwest, believe it or not) outranked us.