Invisible Property
The SOPA War: Why the GOP Turned on Piracy

SOPAFor Republicans, opposition to intellectual property laws is starting to look like a political winner, and that should terrify Hollywood as it misreads where the pop-culture power base now lies.

Apple iBooks EULA

"IMPORTANT NOTE: If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a “Work”), you may only sell or distribute such Work through Apple (e.g., through the iBookstore) and such distribution will be  subject to a separate agreement with Apple."

Suppose you write a book using iBooks author, then some media company wants to make a film/tv series/play/radio program based on it. Paying you a fee for permission to use your “Work”.

Better hope that Apple (a) is willing to spend time negotiating, instead of just telling you they are too busy and (b) doesn’t want too big a share, because in the “separate agreement” that you would need with them, there’s nothing limiting their cut to 30%.

Is Stealing Justified?

Re: “you can’t make the argument that stealing is justified if the price is too high”.

Nonsense. Yes you can. In fact most businesses do. (1) Check through all the recent patent lawsuits affecting IT – these happen because the patent owner tries to charge too high a price and the alleged infringer goes ahead anyway. If the price was $1 there would be no lawsuit. (2) Check the cases where big companies just infringe trademarks and settle later (3) Also check all the recent situations where pro-copyright organizations have copied text or images without permission – basically because the admin cost of getting clearance is too high.

And don’t get me started on the denial of drugs to poor people who can afford the manufacturing costs, but not the license fees and marketing costs.

TL:DR – most businesses “steal” if the price is too high, so I wish copyright maximalists would stop claiming it’s not justified when individuals do.

Whether it’s legal is a different matter altogether.

Are 44% considering buying Windows Phone 7?

You may have seen this figure reported, “when all mobile users who either owned a smartphone or intended to purchase one were asked about what kinds of devices they want to buy next, 44 percent also said that they were considering Windows Phone 7 devices” - for example PaidContent.

I have not seen the data for this figure, But the same research produced the following chart.

- Connected Intelligence Insights, September 2011

  • None of the figures in the above chart reach 44%. I therefore doubt the 44% figure in the quote. My best bet is that it was calculated, ignoring the “Don’t Knows”. Allowing for them, possibly closer to 30% of total people really claim to be considering Windows Phone 7.
  • Notice how T-Mobile users are much, much keener on Windows Phone 7 other users. This is probably connected with T-Mobile’s inability to sell iPhone for many years. I think a lot of T-Mobile customers are Apple refuseniks. Some will also be annoyed by Android. People who don’t like either of the top two players are genuinely the best bet for Microsoft
  • People have probably made up their minds between iOS and Android, because there’s been a huge amount of coverage of this rivalry. But they don’t want to seem like fanboys. So I think they are claiming to consider another phone, that they have heard of but which doesn’t attract the same vitriol, to appear open-minded. When they buy, they will pick iOS or Android as they always intended.

In summary, I think the 44 percent figure is inflated for several reasons. I expect few people will genuinely consider Windows Phone 7, except those annoyed by iOS and Android.

- Pete xD

Open Source Web Servers Win

This chart, from Pingdom, reportedly shows that IIS is failing. Not really. In fact it shows that Open Source is Winning.

Sun, once “the dot in dot com”, has fallen to about zero. Open Source Apache and nginx (popular with startups, including my company) are the only ones rising.

The reasons are clear - low cost to serve and reduced risks. There’s no licence fee and you know the technology will continue as long as you need. I would never have risked choosing a newcomer like nginx if it had been a proprietary technology, from e.g. Microsoft, because we would have been stuffed if they end-of-lifed it.