Bloody hell, a month goes by and no posts here. So here’s one, on the day that China and Google split up. If you think about it, that particular debate centres on how national governments interfere with cyber communities for their own, possibly nefarious, ends. That isn’t new, and censorship is creeping back in many Western countries as well as being sort of expected in what we rudely describe as the ‘less democratic’ world.
One of the outputs from the Digital Britain report published in the summer is the formation of bills to go through parliament to address the issues of copyright, open access, digital inclusion, that a digitally literate economy needs to get right. In the first and possibly last effort before the election, not everyone thinks that the government has got it right. Here’s Cory Doctorow on boingboing describing the assault on freedom that locking down your ISP account presents. And here’s Rebecca McKinnon in the Guardian touching upon the French efforts to reject the Satan of Music Downloading, in the context of Google’s legal battles with China, France, Italy, etc. Mind you, Johnny Halliday isn’t exactly going to be troubling my MP3 collection in the near future, but I’m lucky to live in a country where you can say stuff like that and you aren’t marked down by the authorities as a travel risk.
Good news today – the government is tabling a series of amendments that appear to curtail the most iniquitous clauses in the bill, including the one that gives a (currently unelected) minister the right to decide on who and how to crack down on copyright infringement without recourse to any other parliamentary process. Whether they do or not remains to be seen.
What’s this got to do with marketing? The dripping irony here is that in the world of brand communication, we’re almost desperate for consumers to download our brand content for free and share it with each other. We want our viral messages to go viral, and for our amateur enthusiasts to make their own versions of our slick commercials. We want to show that consumers care enough about the brand to bother. Which makes it surprising (to me, anyway) that there weren’t more agency people involved in evaluating whether this new law is a blocker to innovation. It’s not just about digital innovation, but innovation in all forms of communication. At CES, the big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, most of the new technology devices being showcased have social technologies built in to them. This means that people will be able to, if they can be arsed, link to each other, recommend where they are, tell people where they are going and where they’ve been through pretty much any device. If you think of Twitter as “what are you doing?” think of the next wave of social tech as “Where are you?” Hmm.
And this brings me back to the slow post movement on participation marketing, and the kind comments I’ve received on Twitter and Facebook about the past month’s pm abstinence. The answer is I’ve been busy. We’re working on a pitch. And will be at the weekend too no doubt. Plus ca change