Tag Archives: web2.0

The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince reveals himself to be Currently Known As Humourless Choob

Fresh from his campaign to sue his fans (way to go on the marketing front, Your Purpleness), the Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince has decided to have a go at b3ta.com.

The British user-generated-content site (woo, feel the Web 2.0) is a sometimes hilarious source of puerile humour and, in this vein, ran a competition for users to submit amusing images of said light entertainer (and that’s all Prince is by the way, despite what his ego tells him).

Cue much mockery (some of it in less than delicate taste). But then the following message appeared on the b3ta homepage:

Under threat of legal action from Princes legal team of “potential closure of your web site” – We have removed the Prince image challenge and B3ta apologises unreservedly to AEG / NPG and Prince for any offence caused. We also ask our members to avoid photoshoping Prince and posting them on our boards.

Two things strike me about this ridiculous situation:

1) Surely a bunch of cheeky images on a daft website are too petty to be worried about by a big star like Prince (though he is just a light entertainer, remember).

2) Is there a not an issue of freedom of speech here? I understand that TAFKATAFKAP wants to protect his copyright but how exactly is that harmed by images of him being caricatured? It’s not as if b3ta was trying to pass these images off as genuine Prince merchandise. In what way was the Purple One been materially damaged by this?

Knowing b3ta, I understand that there might have been some images that were particularly offensive. But then why not just have these removed rather than getting the whole competition stopped?

Prince is concerned about protecting his image online but actions like these on his behalf simply make him look ridiculous, which I suppose doesn’t matter because he is, after all, only a light entertainer.

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Dotcom crash 2.0?

For a while now, I’ve smelled something in the online air. Every now and then, among the heady mix of Twitters, Jaikus and Backfences, I sense something… a presence I haven’t felt since…

For a long time, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It was a strangeBoo scent: a melange of fanboy over-excitement, frantic funding, neverwozzer business models and zealous hype. Now I remember when I sensed it before: Q4 ’99.

After this struck me, I looked around at all the warm and wonderful activity online and felt foolish.But I was not alone in this feeling, however. Michael Hirschorn, Peter Rip and John Dvorak among many others have written about much of Web 2.0 being a bubble.

Despite the exciting innovation surrounding much of what we call Web 2.0, there are some big bumps in the road:

  • The crisis in the economics of content creation – blogs and social networking sites usually link to something. Who’s producing that something?
  • The clampdown by mainstream media on the use of copyrighted material. (See above.)
  • The rise of the mobile phone and what that means for online products designed for broadband.

There is a difference between opinion and fact. And following on from my opinions above here’s a fact from the technology section of the BBC.

Ebay cuts back its value of Skype

EBay has conceded that it paid too much for internet telephony service Skype – dramatically writing down the value of its investment.

The online auction firm said Skype was worth $900m (£450m) less than it paid for it and set aside $530m to meet future pay-outs to some shareholders.

Soon it will be winter.

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