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I’m sick and tired of the media elite bitching and moaning about their diminishing role in society. There’s lots of blame and finger-pointing going on at big media these days: people don’t watch network TV news “because they work long hours”; newspaper and magazine revenues are down, which is “the advertiser’s fault”; and everyone’s favorite scapegoat—blogging—is “not real journalism.” That’s the world according to traditional media. I disagree. The news cycle has changed, and with it, so must many of the rules of the game.

Posted Aug 05, 2005

We hear in the news about famine-stricken areas of Africa, but due to connectivity problems, much of Africa is also information-starved. And, like a shortage of food, a shortage of information can be a disaster. Founded in 2000 to mitigate the third world’s dire digital communications problems, the WiderNet Project is a largely volunteer, nonprofit organization based at the University of Iowa.

Posted Jul 22, 2005

How soon companies can protect digital content is the next big hurdle to overcome in the multi-billion-dollar race to control the living room--even more than licensing the content, according to the newest market report from Digital Tech Consulting.

Posted Jun 21, 2005

Open access is an initiative to distribute content over the Web at no charge to the reader. It is not an attack on copyrights, nor does it imply that no money is to be made on the content. Innovative business models suggest that sales of physical items like books and technical reports might actually improve if the content is freely available for browsing and searching on the Web--with some important caveats.

Posted Jun 21, 2005

In the Old Economy, those who owned the exclusive rights to a product or service could become very wealthy. Today the tables have turned; it’s openness and the free availability of good ideas that drive value. The mindset of not only the content consumer is shifting, but also that of vendors and even content providers, which seek to find ways to profit from the new (digital) economy. peggy anne salz

Posted Jun 15, 2005

NXTbook Media, a provider of technology-based solutions for digital magazines, and Digital Alternatives Ltd., a supplier to the UK market for on-line digital editions of catalogs and brochures, have signed an exclusive technology agreement for NXTbook distribution rights for the United Kingdom.

Posted Jun 10, 2005

German media giant Bertelsmann reportedly pumped $85 million into the beleaguered Napster between 2000 and 2002, before Napster finally declared bankruptcy and its remains were scooped up by Roxio. So what did Bertelsmann get for its $85 mil? The short answer is, nothing. However, Bertelsmann did get something from its dalliance with Napster: a profound respect for P2P technology and its potential for content distribution.

Posted May 31, 2005

Zinio Systems, Inc., which produces, distributes, and circulates of digital publications, has announced the signing of exclusive franchise agreements with AccesoGroup in Spain, Zinio Systems Norden AS in Scandinavia, and Taurus in Poland.

Posted May 24, 2005

Digimarc Corporation and North Plains Systems have announced the availability of Digimarc ImageBridge as an I-Piece plug-in to the North Plains TeleScope digital asset management system, providing increased brand protection and image tracking capabilities for TeleScope users.

Posted Apr 26, 2005

Sun Microsystems, Inc. has announced a new vertical group that will create technology solutions to meet Hollywood's demand for reliable, fast, and open technology. Sun is already delivering the Digital Asset Management Reference Architecture, video management, and storage products to companies like Home Box Office (HBO), WGBH and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM).

Posted Apr 22, 2005

Video Without Boundaries, Inc., a provider of interactive, media-convergent home entertainment devices, has announced the forming of a United Kingdom (UK) subsidiary to develop wholesale and retail distribution opportunities for its MediaREADY broadband media devices. With the opening of a UK office, VWB plans to exploit the demand for entertainment devices in broadband-equipped homes throughout Europe.

Posted Apr 12, 2005

Newstex, a Content On Demand company, has announced the availability of instant, full-text newsfeeds, giving content distributors and enterprise customers access to tailored newsfeeds from branded newswires, newspapers, magazines, financial and business sources, official government feeds, and weblogs.

Posted Apr 12, 2005

A year ago I would have said that the XML-based RSS protocol is still way too geeky for mainstream users, but RSS is catching on at a remarkable rate. The question is, how will content companies profit from its popularity?

Posted Mar 22, 2005

Blackwell Publishing has announced the launch of a new service, Online Open, which offers authors the opportunity to make their articles freely available to all users of the internet in perpetuity on payment of a publication fee. The new Online Open service will be on trial through to the end of 2006.

Posted Mar 01, 2005

Napster, KaZaA, and Gnutella have fuelled consumers’ passion for downloading and swapping MP3 music files—and BitTorrent and eDonkey are doing the same for video. Now, a handful of upstart vendors are poised to move peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications from the wired Internet to the wireless space to create an anywhere, anytime network for content creation and distribution.

Posted Feb 22, 2005

Califa’s Digital Library Consortium has launched an online digital library that offers patrons immediate access to hundreds of eBook and Audiobook titles. The online collection is available at http://califa.lib.overdrive.com. It serves patrons of seven participating library systems including Contra Costa County Library, Downey City Library, MARINet, Palo Alto City Library, Peninsula Library System, Pleasanton Public Library, and Sunnyvale Public Library.

Posted Feb 18, 2005

NXTbook Media (NBM), a technology-based company that provides multimedia digital publishing solutions, has signed an exclusive agreement with Advanstar Communications, Inc. (Advanstar), a business information company serving specialized markets with information resources and integrated marketing solutions. NBM has been selected by Advanstar’s senior management to become their exclusive external digital publishing platform vendor.

Posted Feb 18, 2005

Focus is a good thing, but myopia isn’t. Once in a while I have to get my head up off the page (or screen, as is increasingly the case) and look around at what’s going on in the world. This doesn’t always mean a change of scene, though—this week content made the evening news.

Posted Feb 11, 2005

OverDrive Inc., a digital book vendor to libraries has announced an audio book service for libraries that is intended to ensure that popular audio titles will always be available for download.

Posted Jan 28, 2005

Baker & Taylor, a distributor of books, AV, and library services, and OCLC NetLibrary, a provider of eContent services to the institutional library market, have announced an agreement to combine their strengths to facilitate delivery of a broader range of eContent to the library market.

Posted Jan 18, 2005

xrefer, provider of online reference services to libraries, has announced that four reference publishers will contribute titles to its xreferplus Ready-Reference service.

Posted Jan 14, 2005

SmartVideo Technologies, Inc. has announces agreements that will allow SmartVideo to deliver television broadcasts from NBC Universal and The Weather Channel to cellular-internet enabled mobile devices ("Smartphones") using Microsoft's WindowsMedia Mobile technology. SmartVideo has announced a similar agreement with ABC News that will allow for the distribution of on demand video and live news coverage.

Posted Jan 11, 2005

ebrary, an information services and technology provider, has introduced a new enterprise, server-based technology that is designed to improve the way ordinary documents in the Portable Document Format (PDF) are viewed, distributed, and shared. ebrary has also announced Custom Collections, introduced a perpetual access model, announced a distribution agreement with Blackwell's, and partnered with BookSurge on a print-on-demand offering.

Posted Jan 11, 2005

Paris-based Thomson, a provider of technologies, systems, and services for media companies will become a strategic investor in ContentGuard, a developer of digital rights management (DRM) intellectual property. Thomson has also announced that it has licensed patents from ContentGuard.

Posted Nov 30, 2004

Cadmus Communications Corporation has announced that The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School will use RapidRights from Cadmus ArticleWorks for digital rights management (DRM) protection of its role simulations and case studies.

Posted Oct 29, 2004

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