Weekly reader – December 15, 2007

Interesting reads from this week:

  • Owen Thomas freely licensed pictureWhy Lane Hartwell Popped the ‘Bubble’ Video (WIRED) – The hilarious video by the Richter Scales parodying the Web 2.0 bubble to the tune of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” disappeared from the Web after photographer Lane Hartwell filed a takedown request with YouTube. A picture she took of Valleywag’s Owen Thomas was used for a fraction of a second in the parody video. Although she’s gotten a lot of flack for it, it’s hard to fault her for protecting her rights as a photographer.
    The issue also brings up the challenge that the Web and amateurs pose for people like Hartwell. It’s easy to steal commercial content and it’s easy to find freely usable “good enough” amateur content. When flickr makes it so easy to find pictures that you are free to use, why go through the hassle of improperly using a commercial image? (The picture in this post is a Creative Commons image from Telstar Logistics.)
  • Amazon Ordered to End Free Delivery on Books in France (IDG News Service) – The French high court rules that Amazon is selling books too cheaply because free shipping constitutes an illegal discount. Under French law, booksellers can’t discount a book by more than 5% off the list price. (Discounts of 50% on bestsellers aren’t uncommon in the United States.) via Dave Smith
  • Search: 2010 – A Review (WebProNews) – A look at the future of search with Marissa Mayer from Google, Larry Cornett from Yahoo!, Justin Osmer from Microsoft and Daniel Read from Ask. More of the usual stuff. Usability consultant Jakob Nielsen speaks of moving from “relevance” to “usefulness” to evaluate search. Good luck measuring that. via Jim Simmons
  • Dodd Challenges Google to Provide Leadership in the Digital World (WIRED) – Presidential Noshot Chris Dodd speaks at the Google campus about providing leadership in the new information driven economy. He chastens Google for their approach to China and encourages them to stand up to governments (including our own) when they seek to trample the rights of their citizens.

About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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