The AP means business on this “let’s start suing people” tip, which I posted about yesterday. The first shot rang out yesterday when the AP sent a cease and desist order to WTNQ-FM in LaFollette, Tenn. for embedding videos from AP’s YouTube channel on their website. Perfectly reasonable, right? Well, no. Not so much.
“We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories.”
–AP Chairman Dean Singleton
I was preparing another blog post when I stumbled across this on Wired’s Epicenter blog. The Associated Press voted yesterday to target online news aggregators who they believe are violating their copyright. This could mean Google, Yahoo and any number of smaller news aggregation websites that may or may not be considered “legal” under the AP’s standard.
Being realistic, AP probably isn’t going to sue Google, they’re going to antagonize them a little to get what they really want, which is probably a cut of the profits and, as a NY Times article points out, control over how the aggregators work by “[making] sure that the top search engine results for news are ‘the original source or the most authoritative source,’ not a site that copied or paraphrased the work.”
While Rupert Murdoch is railing against the idea of newspapers continuing to allow Google to aggregate their content–as if most newspapers had any clue how to stop them–others are apparently rallying around them. While reading The Guardian today, I discovered this on their media blog:
A sign of the times? Google chief executive Eric Schmidt is to deliver the keynote speech at the Newspaper Association of America’s annual conference next week. He will talk about “his unique perspective on newspapers, journalism and his company’s role in the future of the industry.” Live audio streaming of Schmidt’s presentation on April 7 starts at 10am PST (6pm in Britain).
That’s 12PM for us in Central Standard Time. There’s been a lot of speculation about where Google fits in journalism, including some who say they should buy some of these failing newspapers, but it will be very interesting to hear what their official position is. I’m not sure if the NAA is going to post the audio online after his speech, but it will be streamed online and is conveniently starting 15 minutes before our class is over.
Derek and I went downtown Saturday night to film Earth Hour. We tried to get a feel for what Nashville thought about the symbolic gesture of turning off non-essential lights for a hour and the gist of it is that everyone has mixed feelings on the whole thing. Instead of using the broadcast cameras, we used the Vision’s little HD cameras, Final Cut Express and Vimeo. Vimeo does a much better job of compressing HD video than YouTube, although there are limits to how many HD videos you can upload in a week (1) and how big the files can be (500MB per week).
I also uploaded it to Current. I kinda doubt that it’ll get picked for TV, but it’s entirely possible. You might be able to help that happen if you go to the video there and vote it up.
Amazon today unveiled a version of its Kindle software for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices. In case you haven’t heard, Kindle is an e-book reader that works off Amazon’s stash of 240,000 digital books. They recently released a second version with more features for a price of around 300 bucks. The idea is that people will be willing to accept digital books because of the portability and massive selection at their fingertips.
That isn’t the important part though. The important part is that a handful of newspapers and magazines are also jumping on board with Amazon’s paperless experiment. A monthly subscription to the digital New York Times will cost you $14 per month, for instance, and others cost as little as $6 per month. I haven’t tested the newspapers myself, but I can see myself getting tired of looking at a bright screen for extended periods of time. You can read the first chapter of any book in their store for free and although I’m insterested in Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, I can’t get into reading it from my iPod’s screen.
When we were talking about whether or not convocation attendees should be able to have their computers with them, the point was brought up that many of those people are likely doing something else and not paying attention at all to the speaker or the performance in front of them. Apparently that point transfers over to the US Congress, because a number of congressmen were glued to their cell phones and wireless devices Twittering like mad last night during Obama’s address to Congress. It was mentioned on The Colbert Report tonight (check this post tomorrow, I’ll link the segment when the show gets put online), in a Guardian blog and in various other places (The Sydney Morning Herald equates them to “bored schoolchildren,” ouch).
Podcamp Nashville is a free day long conference about podcasting and new media being held on Vanderbilt’s campus in March. There’s a handful of speaker sessions and a couple of them might actually be relevent to journalism (although most of them aren’t). Here’s a couple that caught my eye:
I’m not familiar with any of the people leading these sessions, but it’s free and could be interesting. It’s going to happen at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management from 9AM to 4PM on March 7. Go to their website to register. I have a suspicion that it may wind up weird and awkward like the blogging thing Belmont hosted in 2005, but who knows? It could be good.