I owe you an apology for my radio silence. But, along with my colleagues Mailin and Sherif, I've been busy with my own 'digital shift', following my firm's amalgamation at the beginning of the month with national law firm Shoosmiths where we've established a publishing and digital media team. Details here. I'm pleased to say it's going really well and our new collegues have been tremendously supporting and welcoming.
The 'digital shift' doesn't stand still. In just a couple of weeks, we've had some important US Court decisions on the scope of the US 'first sale' doctrine (Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons & Capitol Records v. ReDigi), more of which in another post. We also about to see the details on the European Commission's settlement deal with Google following its investigation into its search business.
Tomorrow, I'll be at the 'Digital Minds' conference and on Tuesday I'll be at the London Book Fair where digital is, of course, high on the agenda. As well as looking around and catching up with all you 'movers and shakers', I'll be running a seminar on Tuesday April 16th at 10 am with Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership and Pottermore and Eric Huang of Penguin on the theme of "21st century publishing - multi-platform, IP-centric" (details here) and at 2:30pm that day I'm a panel member on "What should authors, agents and rights' professionals know when making deals with film and television companies in the brave new digital world?" (details here).
So I hope to see some of you at one of these events.
Anyway, as a result of time passing, I didn't quite get to the end of my 10 themes of the 'digital shift'. As a refresher, you can find a list of them, together with the first 7 themes, here. So I thought it was time to complete the list. I'll keep it brief and just focus on the big picture.
T8: It’s a mobile economy
The continuing growth in mobile devices – tablets and smartphones in particular – means that mobile commerce and mobile advertising will be an increasingly important part of the digital economy’s landscape and in which it will be vital to create the right advertising products and business models for mobile.
T9: Everyone’s in the technology business
I remember a meeting some time in 2000 - (remember Y2K and how the world's IT infrastructure was going to collapse on the chime of Big Ben at 00:00?) - between the representatives of the ISP industry and and the creative industries discussing the Copyright Directive. The topic under discussion was the copyright exception that the ISP's wanted to ensure that copies of copyright works cached on their servers could not be treated as acts of reproduction needing the copyright owner's permission.
The meeting was a great example of how the worlds of intellectual property and technology lacked a shared vocabulary and vision. That's changing. Slowly. But the drive to collaboration and sharing through machine to machine communications and API's is relentlessly driving the two together.
The media, entertainment and information industries are now all in the technology business, including learning to borrow programme and content development techniques like 'agile' from the software industry.
T10: It’s a borderless world
This is our number one challenge. National laws, but A global medium. We see this every day. How do we create an effective regulatory framework for the press in the UK when Blogs publish the same content overseas? How does a digital platform based in country A set its standards for data protection compliance when it targets consumers on an international basis with EU and non EU laws often setting different requirements for compliance for user consent?
The answer, of course, is a slow but inexorable move towards harmonised standards of 'hard law' (e.g. through a forthcoming revision to EU's data protection legal framework) and 'soft law' in the forms of voluntary codes of practice and an increasingly international outlook of the Courts.
Have a good week,