ippr IP report

The Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) has just published its report into Public Innovation: Intellectual property in a digital age. I was a member of the steering group which helped on the report, written by Will Davies and Kay Withers.

It’s worth reading as a contribution to the ongoing debate, and has some nice press-friendly recommendations, like a call to legalise ripping CDs onto iPods. The full report is a lot more detailed than the press release would lead you to think.

According to the ippr free copies are available to journalists on request from the ippr press office, but since all the other papers we’ve produced are available to download from the project website this one should be there real soon now… or there will be trouble!

Update: November 3rd.  Well, the ippr seems to want to sell copies, but the BBC has put a link to a PDF on their site, so I know where I’d go.

Building a World Wide Net…

[As ever you can read this on the BBC News website, and Kieren writes to tell me about the IGF Community Forum, where a lot of the issues will be debated over the coming week… worth visiting if you’re not in Athens]

It would be nice to think that next week’s first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum will mark the transition between today’s Western-dominated internet and a true global network, but I’m not expecting too much.

Continue reading “Building a World Wide Net…”

Losing Lost

The news that Sky has outbid Channel 4 in the auction for the rights to show the next two series of the multi-layered enigma that is ‘Lost’ has caused a stir in media-watching circles.

Whether or not you care about the activities of a disparate bunch of crash survivors and the people and phenomena they encounter on a desert island, and I confess that I was so bored by the first series that I stopped watching, the deal seems to have merited a lot of attention.

Continue reading “Losing Lost”

How copyright gets in the way.

My weekend reading is this (PDF) paper by Jeff Ubois which details the results of a project completed in May, 2005 at the University of California, Berkeley to measure the accessibility of historic television broadcasts.
It outlines the problems he encountered in trying to research one particular episode in recent US political history – the speech made in 1992 by then Vice-President Dan Quayle attacking the fictional character Murphy Brown and the programme-makers’ response.
Continue reading “How copyright gets in the way.”

IT and Modernisation: New Statesman roundtable

Last month I chaired one of the New Statesman’s regular roundtable debates where they get a group of people together to talk for a couple of hours about an issue of the day, record the results and print an edited transcript as a supplement.

The topic we discussed was IT and Modernisation, looking particularly at public sector IT. Stephen Timms, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was there, as was Richard Granger, who is charge of the NHS IT programme. And my old boss from The Guardian, Tony Ageh – now at the BBC – had some interesting things to say about public sector constraints.

You can download the PDF from the Stateman website, and it isn’t behind the paywall.

Meet the new flaws, same as the old flaws..

While cosmologists explore a universe which exists independently of them or, except at the quantum level, their choices as to what to observe and how, things are rather different for those of us who study what is happening on the Internet.

For although the physics of electronic circuit design and the mathematics of signal processing provide some boundaries to the possible and force engineers into ever more inventive approaches to getting more processing cycles per second or bits per square centimetre, much of the design and implementation of the network architecture is a matter of choice.

Continue reading “Meet the new flaws, same as the old flaws..”

How long has Ofcom got?

John Naughton’s column in today’s Observer is, as usual, elegantly constructed and convincing, in this case on the problems facing Ed Richards as he inherits (and it was surely an inheritance) stewardship of the organisation he did so much to create.

John doubts that Ofcom has a future, a point I made in an essay on the future of television published earlier this year in a book commissioned by ids, the advertising arm of Flextech. Speculating about the TV world in 2020 I wrote: Continue reading “How long has Ofcom got?”