Archive for the ‘3. Personal’ Category


Thursday, August 29th, 2002

Lately I’ve been thinking about self-publishing. At a Ryze mixer I was talking with Steve Breuhaut who was at SealedMedia. It seems that even as big, well funded companies (Sealedmedia, InterTrust) shrink, or disappear – when I was at InterTrust I used to track MediaDNA but they are gone.

A fair while ago, Fatbrain set up a digital self publishing system (greymatter as I remember), but then imploded. But now, self publishing seems to be getting some traction. It seems that as venture funding contracts, there is less support for inviable business models. Qtik seems to be an almost grassroots effort at subscription content. What’s interesting though is that the web allows people to publish more simply as it is a collaborative medium, either by helping small authors traditional publishing ( or to publish to more web type environments (blogs). This is whole different topic, but I want to comment on it soon.

But the interesting thing is that the meduim seems to be changing the process by which people actually publish.


Monday, August 26th, 2002

This sure is slipping by quietly, like many things in Canada (even in the Canadian media): it looks very likely there will be new, very hefty fees on blank media in Canada. The law, which would surtax an Apple iPod to the tune of $210CDN and even a (not so huge) 160GB internal hard drive $336. In fact the plan is to tax a wide variety of digital media, removable or not, and more significantly, regardless of end use. The tax on blank CD-R’s is already more than the purchase price and will no doubt be levied on top of an already scary 15% sales tax. The tax is considered a done deal (with some exceptions for governmenty organizations, as is often the case).

The sad part about all this is that it is such a blunt way of tackling the problem of compensating artists, and it will add to Canada’s struggle to be competitive. It is a very good idea to try to have artists compensated for their work, but this type of thing really just increases the technology industry/government divide. It’s an old-fashioned solution to a rather new problem – modern computers are multifunction devices and storage media are used in a wide variety of ways, the significant minority of which are related to copyright infringement. Any data intensive business is caught in the legal/governmental crossfire.


Thursday, August 1st, 2002

This is the first post