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Google Set to Survive in Oz, but Far Bigger Threats Are on the Way

The signs are that the Australian Government and Google are close to a compromise. The Government's main demands stay in place, but some of the details will be changed. This allows the Government to claim victory, while the damage to Google will be limited... Publishers will, in one way, or another be paid for news, either through a payment based on the value of the news and the value of the Google search facility. more

EU Rulings on Geo-Blocking in Digital Storefronts Will Increase Piracy Rates in the Developing World

For the longest time, it was an insurmountable challenge for those in the developing world to be able to afford to legally consume multimedia products. Prices originally set in Dollars, Euros or Yen often received insufficient adjustments to compensate for lower incomes, something that was compounded by local import or manufacture taxes that did little to alleviate matters. more

Technology: Doomsday or Godsend – the Choice Is Ours

Following the American insurrection and the role the media played -- social media, particularly the "doomsday scenario," started to appear again in relation to technological developments. Only a few years ago, a group of hi-tech companies, including Tesla, warned against the negative aspects of artificial intelligence (AI). Other technologies that could seriously affect human developments include gene editing, nanotechnology and synthetic biology. more

25 Years of John Barlow’s Declaration of Independence in Cyberspace: When Visions Meet Realities

On February 8, 1996, John Perry Barlow published his "Declaration of Independence in Cyberspace" in Davos. Inspired by the "Digital Revolution" and the "Dot-Com-Boom", he predicted a new "Home of Mind," a cyber world without governments. "Governments of the Industrial World", he wrote, "you weary giants of flesh and steel. I come from cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather." more

The Netizen’s Guide to Reboot the Root (Part II)

The first part of this series explained how Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement is highly offensive to the public interest. But the reasons for saving the Internet are more fundamental to Western interests than a bad deal made under highly questionable circumstances. One of the world's foremost experts on conducting censorship at scale, the Chinese Communist Party's experience with the Great Firewall... more

Freedom of Expression Part 5: COVID Vaccines not Mandatory

In Part 4 of the Freedom of Expression series, I had highlighted my concerns about the lack of transparency in ingredients of all the COVID-19 vaccines, which has been addressed by Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, the same day (World Holocaust Day) I had raised these concerns. A recent Resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will see the further regulation of social media on content relating to COVID-19. more

Notorious Markets, Scams and Implications for Brands

On January 14, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List, or NML). This publication enumerates online and physical markets that have been reported to engage in trademark, counterfeiting, and copyright infringement at scale. For the first time, the NML documents show how internet platforms play a part in bringing illicit goods into the US. more

Can We Control the Digital Platforms?

The digital market has matured over the last 20 years, and it is no longer an excuse for governments to do nothing with the aim to let new markets and innovations emerge without immediate regulatory oversight. It has become clear this period is now well and truly over. The European Commission has already launched several lawsuits against the digital giants. Regulation, in general, is known as "ex-post" (after the deed has been done). This is set to change, as I will explain later. more

Digital in 2021 – Five Predictions for Brand Protection

While smartphones were an integral part of our lives before 2020, now, as a result of the changes associated with COVID, our mobile devices are virtually "super-glued" to our hands. The worldwide pandemic has heavily influenced our lives. Based on our past experiences with digital brand protection and the trends we're currently seeing, we've made five predictions regarding the future of internet usage in 2021. more

WordPress Now Powers 39.5% of the Web

Last month in the annual "State of the Word" presentation for 2020, Automattic CEO and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress now powered 39% of websites, as measured by W3Techs. The number has actually grown a bit more since that time to 39.5%.1 Perhaps by next month it will pass 40%. What is more remarkable to me is to see that in December 2020, for the first time, the number of sites using WordPress passed the number of sites that were NOT using any form of content management system (CMS). more