Archive for the ‘politics’ 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.

Smart people

April 28th, 2010

In people’s minds success, commercial success in particular, is always connected with being smart. There’s nothing wrong about it. The common mistake is, though, the assumption of a smart idea working straight away by itself. Idea, presto!, done, applause, Hall of Fame. It’s quite funny because you wouldn’t think that we most likely skip the longest part.

But it’s obvious that we do! Because it’s hard. Because it’s labour. Because it’s seeking risk, not safety. Because most often it’s a series of failures. Because it’s scary. Because it allows us to say “I could never do something like that because I’m not smart enough, don’t know the right people, don’t have the money, live on the wrong side of the fence, etc.” instead of acknowledging the fact that we are smart enough to do it. But we don’t want to admit that we’re scared because there is no map.

But it’s only the areas without maps where original success can be found.

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.

Allies and foes

March 20th, 2010

Business organizations can be treacherous (this includes everything from worker unions to copyright associations. Not to forget insurance.). They team up with organizations you don’t want to team up with. They will take measures you don’t agree with to achieve goals that are not yours, like lobbying politically to rewind the system back to a better ten years ago instead of envisioning a better tomorrow. It might be a good idea to really look into their activities before joining them, just because “common sense recommends”, before people you thought to be your allies will turn out to be your foes.

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.