Tom Wozniak’s Techdirt Profile


About Tom Wozniak

Tom Wozniak is the director of marketing for Media Breakaway, LLC and writes the official blog for He has been in marketing and advertising for over 25 years with over 10 years of experience in the online world.

Tom Wozniak’s Comments comment rss

  • Feb 15th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Not the best example

    Hey Mike - Sorry, my post wasn't very clear. My surprise wasn't actually about the topic of your post, but rather that the NY Times article didn't seem to be aware of the fact (or conveniently left out) that Shakespeare borrowed/copied from other writers (echoing your point) and would not have thrived under today's copyright laws. Basically, I thought the NYT article's argument was very one-sided and ignored a hugely negative impact that today's copyright rules would have had on Shakespeare.
  • Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Not the best example (as Tom)

    When I read the headline for this post, I immediately wondered if it would be about whether Shakespeare would have been able to thrive in a world with today's copyright laws because he so prolifically "borrowed" from other writers. Imagine my surprise that he was actually being used as an example to support copyright.

    If today's copyright laws had been in place during his day, he would have been sued by the copyright holders for works by Chaucer, Boccaccio and plenty of other prior writers (many of whom would themselves have been sued for borrowing from other prior works).

    I am all for healthy debate on the merits of copyright, but then you would need to look at an example like Shakespeare and examine how he might have benefited from copyright and also how he would have been harmed, not just cherry-pick one aspect that fits your argument and call it a day.
  • Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Complimentary business

    I agree with at least one of the comments that opening a bar or restaurant isn't really a new business model for bands. But, it can definitely be a complimentary business model and an opportunity to interact with fans.

    20 years ago, blues artist Buddy Guy opened a club called "Legends" in Chicago. It provided him with a revenue generating business outside of his music, but it also helped promote his music business. Some friends and I stopped by one night to check out a small local band that was playing. To our surprise, Buddy was in town and was hanging out at the club that night. He played an impromptu set and ended up joining us at our table for a few beers. He still owns the club today. Not sure if he spends a lot of time there these days, but the bar has certainly given him a great way to interact with fans in a very personal way. I know that I became a much bigger fan after having the chance to meet and hang out with him.
  • Oct 4th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Re: It's about culture and motivation

    Good point Marc! I was thinking much the same thing after reading the article. I have worked for companies that really were fun places to work. They didn't really mandate fun activities, it was just that we had activities that were actually fun (beach volleyball, catered lunches, Fat Tire on tap, etc.). On the flip side, I have worked at companies that tried to bring in a culture of "fun" to the workplace that honestly wasn't fun to begin with. It pretty much always failed, because it was perceived as forced fun rather than just a natural part of the business by employees.

    If a company is built with a certain fun vibe as a key piece of it's personality, then I think it can work very well. But, trying to instill that quality in an already existing company is very tricky.
  • Oct 2nd, 2009 @ 4:04pm

    Stuck in the stone age (as TW)

    Mike, you are right on the money. CPM is a remnant of old-school offline marketing (newspapers, magazines, TV, radio) where it was very difficult to measure much of anything other than how many consumers "saw" your ad. Marketers and ad agencies needed some kind of metric to show what they were accomplishing for their clients, so measuring views or impressions and comparing that to the cost to generate them became the industry standard measurement. But, with the advent of the internet, marketers were actually able to close the loop and measure an advertising initiative's effectiveness at not only being seen, but also acted upon. The next baby step up is CPC (cost per click) which at least requires a consumer to click on an ad. But, even better is being able to tie it to a more involved action, such as completing a sale. But, many companies remain stuck on CPM as the ultimate measure. As senior management at both ad agencies and other companies includes more and more internet savvy people, we should hopefully see a shift toward more effective advertising metrics.
  • Sep 29th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Not that uncommon... (as TW)

    The Chicago Bulls went this route almost a year ago, hiring Sam Smith (a well-known basketball writer) away from the Chicago Tribune. When I first heard about the move, I definitely wondered about objectivity, etc. Smith hasn't always been a cheerleader for the Bulls. He wrote a couple of books on Michael Jordan back in the day, at least one of which seemed to rub MJ the wrong way. So, I wondered if he would still "call them like he saw them" while on the Bulls' payroll. Reading some of his recent columns, he seems like pretty much the same writer. Now, I'm not sure if he wanted to write something scathing about management or a player if it would still get posted on the site. But, as several people have noted, most sports writing is of the rah-rah variety and writers that go to work for a team's website probably do have to focus more on positive stories and leave the harsh criticism to their colleagues not employed by the teams.
  • Sep 1st, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Who rules on the allegations? (as TW)

    Lots of great comments. I'm going to nit-pick a bit on the discussion that the hosting company was informed that the site in question was "up to no good." I certainly don't know all the specifics of who knew what or was informed when, etc. But, I think this brings up an interesting question. Who has the responsibility to prove an allegation that a site is selling knock-off merchandise or some other allegedly nefarious activity? Is a hosting company required to shut down any website they host, whenever they receive a complaint of bad behavior? Are they expected to investigate and make a ruling on whether or not the site is doing something illegal or should they wait for the courts to decide the issue and then take appropriate action?

    This seems very similar to sites removing allegedly infringing content based on receiving takedown notices from content owners. But, removing a potentially infringing video from YouTube is much less significant from a business standpoint than shutting down a company's website based on a third party allegation. I can certainly foresee a situation where a company might send frivolous complaints to a competitor's hosting company in an attempt to get their site shut down (even if it is just for a few days).

    Just food for thought.
  • Aug 14th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Re: (as TW)

    Hey AC - Let me know when you find a competent politician. I will not be holding my breath.

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