Monday News: Sony’s future, focus groups and creativity, copyright v. revenge porn, and a provocative South African ad

Monday News: Sony’s future, focus groups and creativity, copyright v. revenge...

Japan Industrial Partners, which specialises in turnarounds and buyouts in manufacturing, said it aimed to reach an agreement by the end of March to buy the PC business.

A small player in the global PC business, Sony has often been criticised for having too much under its wing.

If the PC deal comes together, a new company will be established, both sides said.

Sony said it would concentrate on its line-up of smartphones and tablets and “cease planning, design and development of PC products”. –Aljazeera America


The author further points out that when the Doctor Who update was focus grouped in 2005, it showed dismally, even though it has become a huge success since. When we talk about fostering an environment of creative risk and introducing novelty in the Romance genre, I think Anderson provides some crucial food for thought:

It takes time for new products to be adopted by the public. It generally takes a small passionate group of “sneezers” (people who get excited about something new and start telling everyone they possibly can) to get behind a new product and make it a success. This is down to familiarity and status quo bias amongst the general public – we don’t tend to like “new” and “different” things when they first appear – but once people begin getting excited this initial resistance can soon be broken down. The problem is that a focus group will only enforce these biases. How can genuinely new and exciting products ever reach the market when faced with these hurdles? –Jamie Anderson’s blog

I have to admit that I have been very frustrated with attempts to have the safe harbor provision eliminated, precisely because of the speech-chilling possibilities; at the same time, though, I agree that victims of revenge porn need an easier legal route to justice. Enter the DMCA, which protects copyright of selfie photographs, so many of which are later used in the execution of revenge porn schemes:

Many of the lawsuits against revenge porn websites are for tort claims like stalking, harassment or invasion of privacy. The problem is that most stalking and harassment laws are not applicable to revenge porn submitters because there is no repeated course of conduct or direct communication with the victim.

. . .

More than 80 percent of revenge porn photos are selfies, meaning that, as the “authors” of their selfies, the majority of victims own the copyright in their photos. Victims can use the takedown provisions Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to de-index websites with their photos from search engines like Google and ask the websites themselves to remove the photos, all without having to hire a lawyer–The Atlantic