Feeding you Links

I pretty regularly run across links and stories I don’t get around to following up on here. So I’m going to try out a new feature in Feedburner which is having a daily item of all the things I clip on Bloglines (my feedreader) go out as a post. Unfortunately no way to automate that for the site itself. If you feedreadering readers hate it, please let me know. I’ll try to include at least a sentence or two from the clip to let you know what it’s about or what I found interesting.

Bad Apples

This is one of many reports this week about Apple sending cease and desist letters to bloggers who dare to show pictures of or (rumour has it) link to sites that feature ways to create a skin for your mobile that looks just like the iPhone. This article quotes from one of the letters

“…the icons and screenshot displayed on your website are copyrighted by Apple,” the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP wrote….

Going after the people who create those skins, ok, that’s a pretty clear violation of intellectual property. But going after the people who talk about it? Hello folks, here in America we have this little thing called the First Amendment. Now I know the Constitution may seem like it’s secondary to proprietary corporate interests, but guess what? It’s not! They didn’t seem so upset about the copyright violation entailed by all those bloggers swooning over the majesty of the iPhone, so I guess it’s only a copyright violation when they don’t like it?
Besides, as Gordon Finlayson writes in the first link above:

When is Apple going to realize that the sort of people who post mods like this are the sorts of fans that have kept the company going for all these years?

I was also more than a little put off by this week’s reports that:

Black Eyed Peas Will.I.Am likes nothing more than rushing straight to the internet after a gig – to catch fans who posts illegal clips of their show on the web.[...] The 31 year old says, “I check MySpace and I look on YouTube to see who posts up phone clips of the show first. They get arrested.”

He may be right that they’re breaking the law, but it’s a very sad thing if one’s immediate response to the high of performing for adoring crowds is to run right home and see which ones you can get arrested. And besides … arrested? This is lawsuit stuff, not “hello, police officer? you need to go arrest BEPfan3398 on YouTube” “yes, sir, we’re right on it, we’ll be subpoenaing YouTube and MySpace immediately to get IP information to track that user down and we’ll have him in a cell by morning.” And where is the economic loss here? Are people not buying BlackEyedPea records because they can get a cell phone video on YouTube for free? Are they skipping the tickets and the merchandise for that reason? I can understand why musicians don’t like this stuff, and I concede that they’ve got some valid concerns, but get a grip, this is just stupid.

The Power of Fan Cultures

This has been Boing Boinged, but in case you missed it, here’s notes on a panel from The National Association of Television Program Executives called  Engaging for Insight: Putting the Power of Fan Cultures to Work for You.

The panel included:

Moderator(s): Stacey Lynn Koerner, President, The Consumer Experience Practice, Interpublic Group of Companies
Panelist(s): Larry Lieberman, Chief Marketing Officer, Virgin Comics LLC
Lydia Loizides, Vice President, Media & Technology Analytics, The Consumer Experience Practice, Interpublic Group of Companies
Jim Turner, Vice President, Digital Media, A & E Television Networks
Ilya Vedrashko, Emerging Media Strategist, Hill Holliday

Good reading.

Mavericks launch fan wiki

Earlier this week, Mark Cuban, ever up to something, launched a wiki for his basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks. From the announcement:

The Dallas Mavericks have launched MavsWiki.com, a new moderated, informational website that is the first of its kind in professional sports. The site will be a collaboration between the Mavs and their fans, with the goal being to document every game the Mavs have played.“This site will provide fans a great way to share their Mavs experiences with us and other fans,” said Mavs owner Mark Cuban. “It will also give new fans a chance to catch up on the history of the Mavs.”

As a new Madrugada fan, it was extremely fun and interesting and informative for me to be able to go through the history of set lists for almost every concert that die-hard fans had compiled at their fan site, and I can imagine what an appealing thing this could be for fans of a sports team (despite the really ugly interface on this one). I’m curious how accurate the entries about older games will be, and whether people will end up in big old arguments over what really happened or what its significance was. But hey, that’s what being a fan is all about, and if it gets too out of hand, I guess that’s what moderation is all about, so cheers to Cuban for giving them yet another platform through which to do it. This could be a big and good trend.

Humorous digression

Can I just share a quick laugh that someone was recently led to this blog with the search term “buying a fan.” I’m sure this isn’t quite what they meant, but still…