Tag Archives: Carter report

Proposed Digital Rights Agency. Comment now.

Lord Carter’s office have issued a proposal for the Digital Rights Agency referred to in the Digital Britain report. The consultation is open until 30th March.

WriteToReply have a site for you to comment on the proposal in detail.

You can download the proposal and read the press release from the Intellectual Property Office.

To comment go to http://writetoreply.org/strawman/


LSE students respond to Digital Britain

London School of Economics MA students respond to Lord Carter via WriteToReply: http://bit.ly/uwhTq

Reminder: interface enhancement for reading long documents in a browser

Readability: a bookmarklet which strips the junk from web pages. Reclaim the web for reading  http://bit.ly/NaRbu

Don’t forget Tofu (Mac only). Reflows text in columns from any document, system-wide. Simple, improves quality of life http://bit.ly/zbNN

Comment on Digital Britain report by 12th March

Cut ‘n paste to your mailing list or blog


The Digital Britain Interim Report sets out a blueprint for the future of media in the UK.

The deadline for public response to the Report is 12th March.

You can easily comment through the Write To Reply site.


Comment a lot or a little, but do it soon.

What is Write To Reply? A site for commenting on public reports in detail.  Texts are broken down into their respective sections for easier consumption. Rather than comment on the text as a whole, you are encouraged to direct comments to specific paragraphs.

An official Digital Britain discussion site is now available. WriteToReply comments are being fed through and displayed on the front page.

NESTA hosted a panel session with Lord Carter on “Delivering Digital Britain”. You can watch video or hear a recording of the session here: Delivering Digital Britain.

What do other people think? A page of industry reactions from The Guardian 

Carter Report on Digital Britain

Download the report for print and offline reading

Write to reply update

Something wonderful is happening around the Write to reply site. In addition to the WordPress plugin which allows people to comment on the Carter report Digital Britain, there is a a bunch of developer activity: Netvibes, different visualisations of the comment cloud, experiments with iPhone and ebook readers …  a whole ecosystem of democratic engagement through technology.

Interestingly, most of their traffic is via Twitter.

Read the blog, get the RSS feed, follow them on Twitter, marvel at the analytics. Don’t forget to comment on Carter.

The contrast with the lobbying approach of existing industry rights holders is stark. TV and  Press interests campaign for legal protection from competition using lawyers and lobbyists. Bloggers get on with inventing the medium.

Media Revolution: Tomorrow’s TV

BBC’s Money programme available on iPlayer

If you wonder why much broadcast TV seems formulaic, this programme explains why: it’s supposed to be, because the TV formula is an essential part of the business. A TV formula is valuable intellectual property, Who wants to be a millionaire? is a global brand.

This programme explains the importance of the formula in raising money and the reduced role of direct TV production funding as a proportion of costs. Charts the decline in TV ad revenues as advertisers migrate to the internet – down £100 million in a few years- and the appeal of internet distribution for advertisers and some programme makers.

Covers the usual broadcasters’ claim that file sharing distribution only represents lost revenue, and contrasts the internet-aware view that file sharing tells programme makers where there is a new audience and  new revenue opportunities.

Some sections of the industry look to targeted ads based on your viewing history as the future business model for programme makers. Also, introducing product placement (currently illegal under UK broadcast regulations, but legal for internet distribution). Others, and a majority of the viewing public, value public service funding as an important factor in the quality of UK programme making

The economic value of TV programming to the UK economy is clearly a major factor in the way the Carter report Digital Britain approaches copyright regulation. Programme makers and the public need to make their views known through the consultation process and MPs if the public interest in diverse and high quality programme making is to be protected by legislation.

Watch via iPlayer

Money Programme – Media Revolution: Tomorrow’s TV

Download Digital Britain report Download the report for print and offline reading

Comment on Digital Britain writetoreply.org

Your MP They work for you

It’s like that

“It’s like that
… and that’s the way it is.” RUN-DMC vs. Jason Nevins

Radio news

Requiem for satellite radio

The New York Times says Sirius XM is preparing for possible bankruptcy

‘A bankruptcy would make Sirius XM one of the largest casualties of the credit squeeze. With over $5 billion in assets, it would be the second-largest Chapter 11 filing so far this year, according to Capital IQ.’ www.nytimes.com

Was it only a year ago …

March 2008
‘Justice Dept. Approves XM Merger With Sirius

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department gave approval on Monday to the merger of two rival radio networks, XM and Sirius, a marriage that would create a de facto monopoly in satellite services now used by more than 17 million subscribers.’ www.nytimes.com

For UK and European readers: satellite radio is digital but the delivery technology is different from DAB. Wikipedia Sirius XM

Both satellite and DAB are loosing the battle for music listeners to internet radio. Better audio quality, infinite choice of stations, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, global reach. Usually free to use and free of ads. Listeners choose the better radio experience, if it is available.
In the UK and Europe we have to be concerned about a similar lobbying process, where an existing industry faction influences the legislature to protect their interests and hobble the new media competition.
In the UK DAB radio occupies the same position as satellite in the US, although with BBC as well as commercial backing.

Google are pulling out of terrestrial radio advertising

Google ends selling radio ads. 3 weeks ago Google exited the print ad market.

Will continue to invest in selling TV advertising, internet radio
‘Instead we will use our technology to develop Internet-based solutions that will deliver relevant ads for online streaming audio.’ Google blog.

Meanwhile, the future of music radio, in the US at least, will be shaped by negotiations between SoundExchange and internet radio broadcasters to set royalty rates for 2006-2010 (yes, mostly retrospective) and 20011-2015.
The October 2008 Webcaster Settlement Act, previous coverage on this blog here,
set a deadline of February 15th.

That would be Sunday the 15th. At close of business on Friday 13th Kurt Hanson’s Radio and Internet Newsletter reports

“Nothing has been heard as of yet from the Digital Media Association (DiMA), from the NAB, or from Small Commercial Webcasters concerning an agreement with SoundExchange.
This past week, SoundExchange sent out what they called the “Small Commercial Webcaster Settlement Agreement.
The so-called “agreement” would require webcasters to give up a variety of rights to qualify for royalty rates essentially the same as those in 2002’s Small Webcaster Settlement Act (SWSA). Provisions include barring all agreeing webcasters from CRB proceedings to determine royalty rates for 2011-2015, setting an annual revenue cap of $1.25 million, and requiring larger companies purchasing a small webcaster to pay royalties retroactive to 2006 under the CRB-set royalty rate.”

RAIN 02/13

Internet radio listening continues steady growth and continues to draw listeners away from terrestrial radio. Sirius XM, for example.
See the graph at Weekly online radio audience at an all-time high

RAIN 02/02

Throw in some metrics for the exponential growth of listening on iPhone and Google G1 (Pandora, Last FM).
Wired 5 ways the cellphone will change how you listen to music

and it is clear that we are at a Schumpeterian moment for the music and radio industries.

To summarise:

Sirius XM prepares for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There are layoffs throughout the AM/FM radio business in the US as advertising revenues fall off a cliff.

Technology players like Apple and Google know the future is in internet radio delivered over wireless to personal devices like iPhone and G1. Crucially, the technology players don’t trouble themselves with content and royalties … until they are in a strong position to negotiate with rights holders. Google can make money from search, playlists, ads, to the device in your pocket. It’s going to be personal.

Smaller webcasters have developed audiences and musicians through a focus on music and diversity, not advertising and limited playlists. They built this market.

Their fate in the US will be determined by negotiations which are, presumably, happening now. These negotiations will occur without public scrutiny or the participation of small webcasters: they don’t keep lobbyists in Washington.

Creative destruction: the old media companies are being eliminated, the industry re-structures, the new players position themselves for the next profit opportunity.
And what of music as popular culture, rather than a commodity or profiling opportunity for marketers? Who looks after the public interest?

For UK listeners and readers looking for a policy which values culture and innovation as well as property rights, it is hoped that Stephen (Lord) Carter will be listening to feedback on the Digital Britain report from new media creators and users as well as incumbent industry interests.

Otherwise It’s like that … and that’s the way it is.

Lyrics and listen YouTube

Lyrics www.sing365.com

Get Carter

Out-law.com reports:

‘The Government’s Digital Britain plan is a failure that gives favourable treatment to the music business and props up failed business models, a software trade body has said.

‘The Federation Against Software Theft and Investors in Software (FAST IiS), which promotes the legitimate use of software, has launched a stinging attack on the Digital Britain report and on the way the music industry has approached the threat of digital piracy.’
“The entertainment sector appear to have lobbied the Government to consider establishing a ‘pirates tax’ on all of us as well as yet another quango to oversee it, meaning more cost, and more hassle,” said FAST IiS chief executive John Lovelock.”