RTE wants to sell us something we’ve already paid for

Eoin O’Dell’s request to have the Irish election debate made freely available has been turned down. Everybody in the debate studio will have been paid by the taxpayer. Yet us taxpayers won’t have the right to make non-commercial copies of the debate.

I recently tried to get a licence to show some RTE news footage on Votetube. I filled in all the forms on their website to make the request over a week ago. I have heard nothing back. As a result, viewers have been deprived of relevant footage and RTE has been deprived of revenue.
RTE just doesn’t get what the Internet is doing to media.

How can the music industry do itself a favour?

Someone recently asked me how the music industry can deal with piracy and make money out of online downloads. I had a few ideas about it (mainly centred around the idea that you just can’t lock down music copying completely). Revenues are falling in the industry, from around $38 bn to less than $30 billion inĀ  a few years and that’s without taking inflation into account. But I thought I’d throw it out there –

  • what concrete steps can the music industry take to stop, or at least slow down piracy?
  • how can the music industry make money from peer-to-peer and music downloads?
  • how could they trial this?

The Irish postal service is getting worse.

According to this report from the communications regulator, the Irish postal service isn’t getting any better. In fact, fewer letters are being delivered the next day after posting than ever before.
ComReg0728.pdf (application/pdf Object)

The story never changes with this. There are continuous problems, and there is no sign of any improvement coming down the tracks. The government has done absolutely nothing to sort this out. The postal service is a critical national resource. Letter post may be less important than it used to be, but parcel and packet delivery is more important than it ever was.
The only way the regulator has of dealing with this issue at the moment is to sanction an increase in the price of postage. It’s been tried several times, but it doesn’t seem to work. Maybe it is time to try something different? At this stage, consideration has to be given to privatizing some of the work of the postal service once again (parts of the service were privately operated until the 1980s)