Archive for the ‘VOD’ tag
News, blog posts, etc
Lisa Campbell, ‘Is Netflix just a novelty?‘ (Broadcast 14 February 2013). Given my interest in VOD (primarily how it is regulated but to get there requires understanding the market), the last few weeks have provided much to think about. I can’t decide whether to be impressed at the Netflix coup of launching House of Cards as an all-at-once release or cynical about how its press releases were parroted by some in the press. I think both. Anyway, the coverage in Broadcast does look at it from a number of different angles. (Thought I will return to although I’ve probably said it before: if the standard for being covered by EU audiovisual media law includes being ‘TV-like’ subject to interpretation in a ‘dynamic’ way, does this sort of move make a difference?)
Jeremy Phillips, ‘Save our hyperlinks! Paws for reflection as Profs Opine‘ (IPKat 15 February 2013). Commentary on the intervention of academic group the European Copyright Society (does it have a website? cannot find) in a very important case on hyperlinks, Svensson. The case is before the Court of Justice of the EU shortly and takes up a question much loved by IT textbooks more or less since they started to exist: is a link one of the acts restricted under copyright law? If so, then the consent of the author of the target page may be necessary – but the consequences are significant.
Claire Porter, ‘Google ‘flaw’ puts users’ details on display‘ (News.com.au 16 February 2013). Another tricky story about apps and privacy; this one is about the Google Play store. Worth noting that there is a bit of discussion about the way the story has been reported (and amended) – see e.g. here. Original link via Slashdot.
David Streitfield, ‘Tech Industry Sets Its Sights on Gambling‘ (New York Times 18 February 2013). Discusses the implications of any change in the law on online gambling in the US for social networks and for the casual gaming sector. Also mentions the interesting issue of gambling and Diablo.
William Turvill, ‘News agencies’ fear over impact of copyright law proposals‘ (Press Gazette 20 February 2013). It looks like the lobbying against the proposed implementation of the Hargreaves Review is well underway now. I think there is a fair point to be made about the constitutional problems (the typical, pernicious turn to secondary legislation in place of proper parliamentary scrutiny), although the substantive arguments tend to the alarmist. For example, I can see why the photographer groups who were critical of orphan works proposals in the past are sceptical about extended collective licensing. Less obvious to me is why that opposition extends to the long-overdue proposals on parody. Perhaps there’s just general opposition. We’ll see. Given that some of these recommendations are still overdue from Gowers 2006, it would be a shame to get stuck at this stage..
Speaking of parody: Kris Erickson, ‘Evaluating the Impact of Parody on the Exploitation of Copyright Works: An Empirical Study of Music Video Content on YouTube‘ (Bournemouth University for IPO, 2013). Fascinating attempt to measure the consequences of protecting (or not protecting) parody. Via Rebecca Tushnet.
And more on copyright: Lee Edwards, Bethany Klein, David Lee, Giles Moss, and Fiona Philip, ‘Framing the consumer: Copyright regulation and the public’ (2013) 19 Convergence 9-24 (£). Multi-disciplinary perspective on attitudes to copyright, with a particular interest in downloading (other articles in the same issue also explore the theme of attitudes and IP)
Double edition! At the end of January, I was caught up in the excitement of the official launch of CREATe. I was taking notes on laptop and paper, so more to follow on that soon.
News, blog posts, etc
Eric Goldman, ‘17 USC 512(f) Is Dead–Lenz v. Universal Music‘ (Technology & Marketing Law Blog 25 January 2013). Goldman discusses the latest decision in the Lenz case (the infamous ‘kid dancing to Prince‘ video and how it was taken down at the request of the record label). He reports on the way in which section 512(f) of the DMCA (misrepresentation in takedown notices) has been read in a narrow fashion by the court and argues that it will have little purpose in the future. This is interesting (as is his neat point that because a lot of takedowns now happen outside of the DMCA process, it’s already becoming irrelevant) – for me, having argued that the EU should apply its ‘groundless threats’ approach to notice and takedown to come into line with the DMCA, it’s a warning to draft that suggestion more carefully.
Mike Madison, ‘Coulton, Glee, and Copyright‘ (Madisonian 28 January 2013). On a theme of legal and other considerations – this is an article responding to a scandal which I confess had escaped me (involving Glee!), about a legal issue I’m more familiar with ‘covers of covers’. For the interest of non-US readers – this is a particular feature of US copyright law where a ‘cover version’ can be the subject of a compulsory licence. (Actually – as discussed in the post – this isn’t always the solution, as there can be negotiation or going through the Harry Fox Agency instead). However the situation here (the rights of B in its cover version of A’s composition against C’s cover version of A which is derived from B’s) may stretch the effectiveness of that solution (and, as Madison talks about in the second half of his post, suggest questions about the purpose of the law and about the ethics of the situation.
‘WhatsApp breaches privacy laws‘ (CBC News 28 January 2013). You know I like stories about apps. This one is about one of the success stories of last year, WhatsApp (instant messaging). As the CBC story explains, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (along with equivalent authorities in the Netherlands) has investigated a bunch of issues regarding the service and privacy. Some were resolved through changes to the operation of the service, but one major continuing breach was noted – the requirement to grant access to full address books in order to use the service. The full report is here.
Liat Clark, ‘WTO grants Antigua right to launch ‘pirate’ site selling US media‘ (Wired UK 29 January 2013). This story, widely reported during this period, is about Antigua’s success before the World Trade Organisation (some time ago now – see case file DS285) in its criticism of US violation of world trade law in respect of the regulation of online gambling. As suggested for a few year now – but now getting more likely as the measure has been approved – it proposes to use the WTO mechanism of trade retaliation, because the US has failed to implement the binding decision of the dispute settlement process. The US is professing shock and dismay. However, as a strong proponent of free trade (and indeed the sanctions associated with the WTO process), I’m sure that an understanding can be reached. Remember: the US took the case to an appeal and lost, and arbitration has also been pursued.
Jason Del Rey, ‘YouTube Set to Introduce Paid Subscriptions This Spring‘ (Advertising Age 29 January 2013). There’s been a flurry of stories in 2013 about how to build a model of charging for video-on-demand; this story explains the proposal to identify selected channels and charge a monthly (and possibly PPV) fee. Answers on a postcard – will this, if it succeeds, encourage broadcaster-managed non-archive VOD (e.g. the ‘catchup’ bit of 4od, for example) to try and build a charging system – and if so, is it Spotify-style or micropayments per programme? (I say non-archive VOD because there is a relatively clear mixed economy emerging for archive VOD with various forms of charging and ad support)
Kevin Chao, ‘Mobile Kills the Console But Advances the Gaming Industry‘ (Wired 31 January 2013). Is this finally the year of mobile gaming? Lovely stats here and a framing of the issue as being about reach, engagement and monetization. (There is however an ongoing and very significant issue in the UK – and no doubt elsewhere – about monetization and mobile, the role of mobile network operators vs (e.g.) Facebook credits vs other models and the role of PhonePayPlus (regulates premium rate calls and texts which is one of the ways the charge can be set) – see the very perceptive market study for that very organisation.
Bob Tarantino, ‘What the *BLEEP*? Coarse Language in Radio Broadcasts‘ (Entertainment & Media Law Signal 31 January 2013). Round-up of Canadian broadcast standard decisions on language and radio. (On that note, I noted subsequently how the New York Times reported the well-deserved Grammy success of Jay-Z & Kanye West as being for ‘___ in Paris’, and the awkward pacing of the bowdlerised broadcast version of the new UK no. 1 single, Thrift Shop; compare the editing on this page (short silencing of the offending part making the result ‘This is ___ing awesome’) with what actually went on air in the chart show (looping, making the result ‘This is aws-aws-awesome’), here at 2h54m)
Josh Halliday, ‘YouTube study shows children ‘three clicks away from explicit material’‘ (Guardian 5 February 2013). Oh dear. Apparently if you find a video aimed at children and then click and then click and click again you end up at a less suitable video. Traumatic I’m sure, but has anyone figured out a way to prevent that without making ‘related videos’ completely unworkable? Say a video has 20 ‘similar video’ links, then by the third click we are at up to 8000 possible videos – and by click five it’s over three million possibilities. See also Six Degrees of Separation, etc.
Adrienne Jeffries, ‘Why Amazon wants its own currency‘ (The Verge 5 February 2013). I was reminded about The Verge by a student recently – just in time for this piece on e-money, with a nice approach to the practical as well as legal or technological reasons to adopt a particular model of payment.
Patrick Wintour, ‘Peers pass low-cost arbitration law for victims of press defamation‘ (Guardian 6 February 2013). Somewhat overtaken by events since, but this was a tricky development in the post-Leveson story – specifically, adding in one bit of the recommendations to the Defamation Bill. Although I’m not convinced by this approach, I still hold to the view that the Defamation Bill needs to be properly linked up with the Leveson settlement. I appreciate that some people have waited a long time for defamation reform, and that there is work that needs to be done…but its changes will be more legitimate and sustainable if they form part of the new approach to press regulation (particularly as many of the Bill’s changes are specifically defended as pro-press).
Two developments (not coordinated, it seems, just one of those things) that may interest regular readers, both relating to the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) directive within the UK. The first is the one that’s getting all the publicity, and hasn’t actually happened yet. That’s the rumoured change of view, as widely reported (e.g. in the Guardian), by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that the UK will allow certain forms of product placement on television.* The Directive allows member states to provide for PP (which the predecessor Television Without Frontiers directive did not), but does not require it. Earlier indications, after a 2008 consultation process, were that the UK would decline to take up this option (see for example the Ministerial Statement of 11 March 2009, published in Hansard volume 489 column 15WS), but it is now expected that the Minister, Ben Bradshaw, will announce his view that he favours permitting it, presumably launching a further round of consultation. Interestingly, broadcasters are divided on this, it seems: ITV likes the idea, Channel 4 doesn’t.
In March, the (former) Minister said:
On balance, and mindful of the need to maintain public trust in television broadcasters and British television’s reputation for high standards, the Government have concluded that no conclusive evidence has been put forward that the economic benefit of introducing product placement is sufficient to outweigh the detrimental impact it would have on the quality and standards of British television and viewers’ trust in it.
What’s the bets that the ‘current economic situation’ is going to be the reason for the change of heart?
Anyway, another matter dealt with in the March statement was video-on-demand. The AVMS directive requires the regulation of certain types of VOD by member states. In March, the conclusion was that:
Ofcom will be given powers to regulate UK video-on-demand services so that Ofcom can then designate, and delegate powers to, an industry-led co-regulatory body to regulate programme content in these services. These arrangements will ensure that UK video-on-demand services maintain, as a minimum, the standards and requirements set out in the Directive. All UK providers will need to notify the co-regulator that they are providing a video-on-demand service.
On this, then, Ofcom has today launched its consultation on the details of such, with a six-week response time, so get writing! Download the document and supporting information here. There are three major features here. Two of them are the review of the evolving proposals for co-regulation – the existing self-regulatory ATVOD for content and the long-established ASA for advertising. The ASA is already the self-regulatory body for print advertising and the co-regulatory body for broadcast, and it’s proposed that it would have a co-regulatory role for VOD. The third, and probably most important, is the definition and procedures of the services that will be regulated. The actual level of regulation is quite low – one of the things that AVMS does is create a limited but EU-wide system for regulating on-demand services – but it will still be important for the industries concerned as well as the wider public to know who is and isn’t included. As expected, the approach is going to be one of notification rather than licensing, so the system for this is discussed too. It’s going to take me longer to get through all of this, but there are some fascinating ‘worked examples’ based on actual TV services included in the consultation: an unusual approach, indeed.
Tomorrow, I’m at a Westminster e-Forum seminar on the regulation of video-on-demand. I’m not sure what the rules are going to be on blogging and the like, but I’ll see what I can do.
* the definition of television changes under AVMS: more on this another time.