Category: Uncategorized

A digital King Cnut?

Interesting to see that even the government recognises that attempts to control copyright infringment on the net may soon turn out to be a waste of time. That’s not going to stop them trying though.

In the new paper (pdf here) on a future Digital Rights Agency, there is a plan to introduce legislation to ensure that Internet Service Providers can and do have folk for peer to peer and free downloads of copyright material.

Our vision is for the legislation proposed and the rights agency to form an
integrated approach to content online, and we need to ensure that taken
together they create an environment where investment in creativity online is
rewarded, and deliver a practical solution to online infringement.  This would
provide a comprehensive framework that helps legitimate and attractive digital
content to flourish while ensuring it is not fatally undermined by people taking
creative products for free and without permission, either through peer-to-peer
file-sharing or other threats that may emerge in the future.

We have set out here a model which allows industry to keep control of how
this environment is created.  This model depends on a strong rights agency
that can and does require specific actions of its members.  We do not wish to
be more prescriptive in legislation – that would not be the best outcome for
anyone – including rights holders.  We recognise that we would run a real risk
of legislating to require specific actions that may turn out in practice to be
ineffective and to address only the short term problems, without the ability to
flex to deal with new situations as they arise.  However, if we are not
convinced that industry is willing or able to deliver an effective rights agency
we will need to think about alternative ways to approach the issue.

On top of that the government has no desire to act as a regulator. Instead those who have most at stake in control will be asked to create the rights agency.

we are inviting industry to come together to create a body that could tackle those parts of this agenda that are for industry to deal with.  In pursuit of that we are happy to work with industry as a convener and a facilitator in this process.

The problem with this approach is that it risks handing too much control of what we do on the internet to large businesses, which will presumably seek to further control us as an audience. That in turn is likely to stifle the open-ess that makes the web a powerful tool for innovation.

Social Actions WordPress plugin.

I love the idea behind this WordPress plugin from Social Action. It makes me think of Paul Bradshaw’s 2007 5w and an H idea for news organisations.  The plugin is described as:

Related Ways to Take Action” enables you to share ways to take action based on the stuff you’re already writing about.

The WordPress plugin works by scanning each of your posts for the top three keywords and then searches for related actions from,,,, Kiva, Care2 and over twenty other Social Action Platforms. It then automatically loads the top three campaigns for those keywords at the bottom of each of your posts.

There are also extra customization features for enabling (or blocking) certain keywords, choosing platforms, and choosing action types.

Related Ways to Take Action” makes it super easy to activate your WordPress blog for social change by sharing related campaigns, petitions, fundable projects, and more ways your readers can make a difference based on your blog content.

The “Related Ways to Take Action” WordPress Plugin is a project of Social Actions Labs and was developed by Eric Cooper.

Thanks to Alice Casey for spotting this one.

Animation for Mobile Technology: Birmingham Event.

I’ll just quote this press release including very bold use of the words spectacular (fireworks?) and unparalleled:

On 4th March, Animation Forum WM and LUCID are hosting a spectacular evening to explore the unparalleled new possibilities that stem from animating for mobile technology. The event, When Animation Goes Mobile! is free to attend and will take place at The Telford Room, Austin Court, Brindley Place, Birmingham (B1 2NP). It will start at 7.30pm on Wednesday 4th March 2009, include a break for complimentary wine and nibbles, and be followed by a Q&A with the speakers Madevi Dailly and Richard Morris. Animation Director and Producer Madevi Dailly will take animators through the practicalities of animating for mobiles, and the potential for linking mobile animation to external factors, such as the surrounding environment or the time. Here’s a short she created for 4mations last year (warning, contains strong language): Madevi will be followed by Richard Morris, Director of Video & TV at mobile animation distributors PlayerX, who will take everyone through the strategic side of mobile animation, outlining how your studio could blossom in the mobile animation market. To attend, simply RSVP to with ‘When Animation Goes Mobile!’ in the subject title as soon as possible.