licensing

The Littles vs. The Bigs: the “more level” playing field of mobile apps

“The field isn’t level, but it’s more level than other playing fields,” said Erin Rackelman, CMO and cofounder of Portland-based Night & Day Studios, last week.

She was talking about the app marketplace, which offers more than 700,000 products in the Apple store alone and where previously unheard-of companies like Zynga and PopCap have bested more established brands with their sales volume.

Part of their success can be attributed to the newness of the mobile market, less than a decade old and forced to address constant technological change in that time. 

Netflix surpasses 1bn hours watched in June

The past year hasn’t been the best for Netflix. After making several strategic blunders, including one of the most painful branding disasters in recent memory, the company lost subscribers and saw and investors dump its shares.

But mistakes behind it, Netflix is pushing forward and in June, the company achieved a significant milestone: its subscribers watched more than 1bn hours of video.

Is Adobe trying to kill Flash with premium features?

For many, Flash is the bane of the web and its death will be a cause for celebration.

A more balanced perspective is that Flash was at one point incredibly useful, but like many useful things, it was overused and abused and will increasingly have less and less utility as newer and better web technologies let us achieve things we once had to turn to Flash for.

Angry Birds maker doesn’t sweat piracy

While Hollywood pushes to have Washington D.C. take over the internet in the name of fighting piracy, some of the most successful purveyors of digital content are heading in the opposite direction.

Take for instance Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds.

Android pays off…for Microsoft

After building the world’s largest, most popular and most profitable search, Google’s second greatest achievement may be building one of the world’s most popular mobile operating systems, Android.

With the mobile web booming, Android could one day prove to be a very profitable initiative for Google, but ironically it’s already producing a profit for one of Google’s greatest competitors, Microsoft.

Picture theft and a shameful licensing shakedown: the hideous double standards of UK newspapers

Last month we were contacted by the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which is owned by the UK’s national newspapers. It wanted to sell us a ‘newspaper copyright licence’. The licence would ensure that we become “copyright protected”.

Apparently we need a licence if we share press cuttings internally. It also applies to links shared that include “text extracts to explain what the link is”

A licence is also required for photocopying newspaper content, scanning and email cuttings, printing from a newspaper’s website, cutting and emailing text from a newspaper website, and putting any cuttings on our website.

Much of this doesn’t apply to our organisation, but we want to make sure that we’re operating in an ethical manner and are keen to abide by the rules. 

The issue is that the rules are:

a) flaky

b) self-defeating, and…

c) being set by people who aren’t really in any position to set them.

Let me explain.

Mandatory licensing for ad professionals: worst idea ever?

Have you been asked by a local business to develop an ad strategy, manage a company’s paid search campaign or create promotional flyers for a nightclub?

If some in the ad industry have their way, you’d need a license to do all of those things.

Foursquare looks to ink search deals, but is it smart business for the search engines?

Is Foursquare about to go ‘mainstream’ like Twitter before it? The Telegraph thinks so.

In terms of size, Foursquare is still just a baby. Its growth is impressive and it just surpassed 2m registered users, but in the overall scheme of things, that’s still a relatively small number. But soon, Foursquare and Twitter may share a potentially important business accomplishment: deals with major search engines.