Monday, December 19, 2005

Pigs fly!

I'm a bit stunned and very pleased to report that Warner Chappell Music has apologised to Walter Ritter! (the guy they unreasonably threatened after he wrote a specialised search application that was becoming popular). They've even woken up to the opportunity that was sitting there all along:
"Ritter says Warner Chappell is now talking with him about ways to create lyrics search tools with the blessing of music publishers, but the experience will cause him to think twice before committing his next big idea to code."
Like the Sony fiasco (the link will take you to an article called How Sony became an ugly sister - number 1 search result from Google news using the word "sony"...!!) and the Grateful Dead reversal, let's hope the Warner apology represents another small shift in the entertainment companies' collective understandings of what people will or will not tolerate. Let alone the abundance of talent and good ideas out there just waiting to be discovered.

Another feel-good story this week is Worldchanging's post on India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Libraries (TKDL), which has accumulated 30 million pages of data documenting traditional medicines and practices in "abundant detail".
"The goal isn't to restrict the use of these traditional medicines, but to ensure that they cannot be patented in places like the United States and Europe because of a lack of documented "prior art.""
How cool is that?

Certainly much cooler than the Telcos lobbying for 2 tier system (via Smart Mobs, via Boing Boing, via Clay Shirky, via Boston Globe, what the hell is the etiquette for these things can someone please tell me..) which is essentially a push for yet another future where some people are more equal than others oink oink;
"The Boston Globe reported on Dec 13 that the newly combined AT&T/SBC are lobbying on Capitol Hill to be allowed to create a "two tiered" speed system for their broadband customers. So that they may slow down video and presumably other content from sources outside of their company over their broadband conenctions...

...this kind of feudalism coupled with monopolism destroys the open commons nature of the internet. Most, if not all of the major business successes and innovations on the internet (Google, Amazon, Ebay, etc) have been due to the internet's fundamentally open nature.
Buggars. If they think we're going to accept a future where we serf the net, they've got another thing coming. Like bankruptcy.

Photo by Ange

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