Monday, November 16, 2009

Google's Failed Midnight Confession

Minutes before the Friday midnight deadline, an amended Google settlement was offered in New York City, and on further's not enough. Anyone involved in copyright, digital publishing rights, and the apparently unchecked run of Google toward owning what it wants without compromise in this plan had to be disappointed, if not surprised, by Google’s minimalist revision in its new filing, especially given its somewhat dramatic timing. Basically, the key point of contention was not changed. Google still wants to maintain a monopoly on the right to "orphan" books, the digital scans it makes of all books, and the right to sell subscription licenses to its library of digital books. These monopoly rights remain a huge problem, and they still appear to be an end-run around copyright law. [read the rest of my column, including a few good changes by Google, at digiday:DAILY]

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Revenge of the Format Wars

I’ve seen more than a few format wars. Now I’m watching another one coming at the burgeoning category of e-readers and it astonishes me that businesses still have trouble learning a basic precept: Listen to your customer. Customers want simplicity, and a clear path to upgrades, and the comfort that they are not buying into a dead-end technology.

It’s not hard, is it? So why can’t businesses get it right? They have their own history to instruct them. [read the rest, including Beta vs VHS and HD-DVD vs Blu-ray, at digiday:DAILY]