Archive for the ‘current affairs’ Category

Creativity in numbers

May 1st, 2010

Last Monday was the Day of Intellectual Property. IP by itself is already a contentious issue. Nevertheless this was an occasion for some media managers magicians to get on their soapbox and perform tricks, mainly twisting numbers.

Here goes: Currently all of the European creative industries make €862 billion a year and employ 14.6 million people. When it comes to music, TV and movies, so the latest study concludes, piracy accounts for a potential loss of  €10 billion in revenue and 195,000 jobs per year. Well, that doesn’t scare me. Let’s not forget: This is for all of Europe, not one country.

The situation is far worse for other industries, isn’t it? But the real point is this: In 2004 there were about 6 million people working in creative industries all over Europe, generating a total of €654 billion. These are official EU figures, by the way. So even if there had been a constant piracy of media products, they still managed to have about €41 billion and 1.7 million jobs more per year — assuming there were a linear development.

It’s not the pirates that scare me. It’s the lobby tricksters that are always looking for the next con to pull off.

…and ads for free

April 2nd, 2010

Sounds like an April Fool’s joke, but it isn’t: Since April 1st sponsors of Public TV productions get ads for free. How’s that? Some mysterious lobby succeeded passing a law saying that if the sponsorship of a production exceeds a certain percentage of the total cost, this must be stated not only in the ending credits but also in the promos advertising the production like “This production has been supported by CompanyName.”, hence giving them about 10 free ads over a week’s time. The queues for sponsoring are not expected to get shorter anytime soon.

China, Germany

March 28th, 2010

A German Court has ruled that Google must exclude a link to an article with dubious claims about a German citizen not only from its German site, but also the international Google search results — but not those in Austria and Switzerland. And the German Federal Constitutional Court has encouraged other German courts to pursue similar international incidents — in the interest of the people who might damaged by international reporting. The thing is, of course, that these legal proceedings are carried out by German Law standards.

Makes me wonder why people are upset about China.

Another Brick in the Great Wall

January 13th, 2010

Google has announced not to censor their search results in China any more, yet they have to clarify whether this is ok with the local authorities (wanna bet?).  In case of disapproval they will close their Chinese offices and shut down the Chinese site.

One would think that this is a black day for Human Rights and Free Speech, but all over the place associations who claim to enforce these rights are (positively!) raving about Google’s plans. I’m sorry? Retreating because a regime bullies you is no success, and no progress at all.

What’s more, Google has suffered a serious attack (presumably from Chinese hackers), in course of which important data, which might give access to even more sensitive data, has been purloined. Does any reasonable person really believe that attacks like this will stop once Big G has given up on Big C?

Successfully hacking companies like Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo!, Facebook and the like has become one-stop shopping not only for technical information, but also heaps of individual personal data that have been collected over the years. Their only option is to persuade more hackers to collaborate and make their systems safer.

Well, not precisely. They could –if they were idealistic– make efforts to virtually invade China. Outsmart or overthrow the system. But that’s a) risky and b) costly. But the best sort of marketing effort they could make because it would let them stand out.