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  • Oct 12th, 2012 @ 9:50am

    Probably not

    hopefully this leads to a pretty big rethinking of the effort.

    I doubt it. It's for our own good.

  • Aug 16th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    What's fishy?

    While we've talked about UK-US extradition in other contexts, apparently Assange could not be extradited to the US from the UK based on any of the possible charges against him. But that wouldn't be true in Sweden.

    Evidence for this, please. Heard this claims numerous times, still not seen any evidence that it is correct.

    As previously stated, the UK loves to extradite its citizens to the US, and Sweden has (at least initially) stood up to them a few times over the years.

    I'd assume he'd be in a worse fix in the UK than in Sweden if the US wanted him, especially because apparently the UK would need to approve any further extradition to the USA from Sweden, because of the way extradition law works.

    So... What's the evidence that Sweden is a worse place for Assange than the UK, other than that he's been accused of a crime in Sweden?

  • Aug 14th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    The biggest issue with the law they used...

    By far the most significant problem with the law they used to get him on is that it is awful. It completely pre-supposes that he's the bad guy.

    Conspiracy to defraud in a nutshell:

    an agreement by two or more by dishonesty to deprive a person of something which is his or to which he is or would be entitled and an agreement by two or more by dishonesty to injure some proprietary right of his, suffices to constitute the offence of conspiracy to defraud

    Say for just one moment that we don't prejudiciously assume that SurfTheChannel is an illegitimate operation.

    Doesn't it sound like all these private interest firms working together in secret to destroy this guy's business and put him in jail fits the definition of 'conspiracy to defraud' a whole lot better than running a links site? Doesn't it?

    Don't you have to assume that there are good guys and bad guys to see it otherwise?

    Justice does not presume that there are good guys and bad guys. Ever.

  • Apr 10th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Which is why I headed my post 'Soundbyte Failure'

    Mike, you're absolutely correct that you made note of the fact that there *are* many tasks which at one time came under the purview of traditional publishers, but the soundbyte remains patently misleading.

    Publishing remainss a large set of tasks, which is still being done.

    I couldn't agree more that the gatekeepers are no longer the only game in town. But the issue isn't that their work is no longer necessary, it's that for many people it simply doesn't return on investment, and there are now better alternatives.

    Oh, I uploaded a brief video example, which relates to my own work, in case anyone is interested:


  • Apr 10th, 2012 @ 9:42am

    (untitled comment)

    Publishers really don't provide enough services any more to justify their massive money grab. The best thing they do is give you an advance, but you "pay it back" using your pitiful 10-20% royalty rate.

    And that's exactly why we're seeing smaller independants stepping up, and more artists taking control of the process for themselves. Both good things, both driven by market forces.

    But some people here are pretending that the work which is being done, is not being done, and that does little to advance the debate.

  • Apr 10th, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Soundbite failure

    "Pushing a button isn't a job, it's a button."

    This is a horrible oversimplification. I usually agree with you, but I suppose you can't be right all the time, Mike.

    What is more true to say is that publishing is now available to more and more artists directly.

    However, it's still quite a lot of work, and includes quite a lot of different tasks and skills. (I suppose it might be more fair to say that *preparing* it for publication is what takes the work, but if you want to use that definition then sooner or later it was always a button at the big publishing house as well).

    In fact, publishing presents much the same challenge for artists going it alone as marketing: if the artist is going to do it, and there's absolutely no reason why they should not, then they need to put the effort in to achieve that.

    Now I've got absolutely no problem with making all of these tools more accessible to artists, in fact I think that's exactly the right thing to do to drive progress - not only of the artist's business model, but also of all those tools!

    But I also accept the argument that some artists are better at the creative part of the process than the selling part, or the mass producing part, and will always be happy to have someone (independant or otherwise) in their employ to push those buttons (after all the work they do to get to that stage, ha ha.)

    But sooner or later there's a lot of work to be done simply publishing something for which the 'artistic' side of the process was largely completed long before.

    Some artists won't want to engage with that, as I already said. The flipside, of course, is that it's also quite likely that some people will step up and fill the publishing gap that as the big players lose their grasp on it. And for a significant number of tasks, they'll be both better and faster at it, as well as making less errors, all good benefits of specialisation. And that will make their services worthwhile, for at least some proportion of those artists.

    In short, whilst publishing may now be more accessible than ever, it's still a job or at least a series of (somewhat skiled) tasks, and it still needs to be attended to.

    Customers absolutely can tell the difference between something which has been pushed out, half published if you will, and something that has been properly prepared.

    So the artist will still want to choose between finding someone to do it for them, or learning to do it for themselves. Both valid choices. Both recognising that there's no 'magic button'.

  • Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:27am

    Nothing new there

    “I give all the credit to the guys behind Kick Ass. They’re a really excited pair of 18-year-old twins in Sweden,” Huang told me Wednesday. “I love that’s how the Internet works these days.”

    That's how the internet has *always* worked. That's why it has changed the world so completely.

  • Mar 9th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    Not EVEN the ticket seller, actually...

    The time is coming fast when the only living thing around a motion picture house will be the person who sells you your ticket.

    Actually most of the theatres where I live have electronic ticket machines. There usually isn't anyone to be seen until you get to the entry point, where apparently a robot would not be sufficient deterent to stop people sneaking in.

    Where are the legal protections for those poor desk guys? Where is DOPA (Desk Operator Protection Act) when you need it?
    It should be illegal to run a theatre without staffing at least three posts in reception! (Actually there really is a better case for this, because when one of the 'robot' ticket machines invariably goes wrong, you usually need some help from one of those obsolete humans...)