Sky Go

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 16.59.22Sky Go is an online television service from Sky UK Limited (formerly BSkyB), allowing users to live stream Sky’s satellite-only channels and provides catch-up/on-demand content from these channels. The unique selling point of Sky Go, like Sky Digital, is that it heavily screens American television programmes and has exclusive rights to certain Sporting events. In fact, copyright is so strict that some programmes can’t be streamed online – most notably The Simpson.

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Sky Go is free as part of a Sky TV Subscription, with the option to upgrade to 4 devices (from 2 devices) including games consoles. Having such strict copyright (and presumedly expensive) licenses explains why only 37.3 million minutes are watched on Sky Go (in comparison to BBC iPlayer which streamed over 400 million minutes worth of content). If the service was shared with the public under the Creative Commons Licence, despite the increase in users, it would become an extreme financial burden to the Murdock Empire – as it would also encourage it’s TV subscribers to cancel their subscriptions.

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Spotify – Music Copyright Restrictions are Irrelevant

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Like many other media industries, the music industry has made a shift online. Spotify is an online platform which claims to pay the artists it features through advertising and membership fees. To own a premium account it will cost you £9.99 a month.

Whilst copyright restrictions surrounding music exist, they are not enforced in a way that stop you listening for free. On the web it is easy to download music illegally via a multitude of sites or to stream it on applications such as YouTube or Soundcloud. Spotify itself has a free tier. If this is the case, then why do people choose to pay for Spotify?

The Spotify Premium account offers “on-demand access to the Spotify catalog on all devices, no ad interruption, unlimited song skips, ‘Offline Listening’ and high quality streaming (320 kbps).” Apple currently sells it music downloads at 256 kbps.

According to Statista, from July 2010 to February 2016 the number of paying Spotify users has grown from 0.5 million to 30 million. In the past 6 months this number has grown exponentially by 10 million. Therefore, I’d argue that the relaxed music copyright restrictions, when it comes to personal listening, are irrelevant. People, despite being able to access music for free, are willing to pay an online music service monthly as long as it provides variety and high quality content via a reliable channel.

Paying For Creative Freedom

Today I’m actually focusing on WordPress, which we are all using to interact on our course right now. Being a journalism student, blogs have often been encouraged to me as a way to regularly write and showcase work.

The design of a blog is often the most important aspect for many people, especially as many use it as a website for their company, so it’s essential to look professional and unique. This is where access becomes a problem; when you search for a ‘theme’ you are given a wide selection of templates, many of which look amazing. However, the bubble quickly bursts when you realise the rather pricey amount they’re asking for to use it.

Of course, there are a range of free templates but these hold restrictions, since you are constrained by a basic template limiting your control of fonts and colours.

WordPress Themes

This one here (right) was one of the most expensive I saw at $175 (roughly £125).

WordPress also offer different plan options when you sign up, meaning you have the choice to stay on the ‘free’ plan which never expires or you can go for the option of ‘premium’ at $99 per year or ‘business’ at $299 per year.

WordPress Account Plans

This grid shows the increased control you gain over your blog when you pay money.

As you can guess, the theme’s we use originate from a designer somewhere along the line, so the charge to use them is unsurprising. If a business is going to have success with their website based on the great design they used, then it only seems fair that the designer makes some money back too.

All about the Kardashians

In September 2015 the Kardashian (apart from Kourtney) and Jenner sister’s teamed up to create their own websites, the websites feature style guides, make up tutorials and about their lifestyles like fitness tips and tricks. For a hard core Kardashian fan this would be something to die for but there is a slight catch, some of the content on the websites aren’t free! If someone wanted to access all the content from each website they would have to pay $3 (£2.13) a month and that’s just for one website, so for all the 4 websites combined it would cost $12 (£8.52) a month, to some this wouldn’t seem a lot but just for a few make up tutorials and lifestyle tips it is costly.

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I don’t quite understand why they have made some content private when you can just log onto YouTube for example and find the exact the same tutorials, just because it is the Kardashian’s people are willing to sign up for a subscription which I find totally bizarre, because they already have their lives on show in their programme “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.

Also not all their fans can afford to pay for the websites after the 7 day free trial which to some of them is upsetting, if all the websites were free then these fans could feel included, surely you would want all your fans to be included?…

Kim Kardashians Website

Khloe Kardashians Website

Kylie Jenners Website

Kendall Jenners Website

BRIT Awards: unavailable in Britain

imagegenA recent experience I had with copyright restrictions was when I tried to watch the BRIT Awards live on YouTube. The really annoying announcement that the uploader has not made this video available in ‘my’ country was there on the screen.

At first, I was quite surprised because I have always been able to live stream the awards show back at my home-country. Being banned from watching it while a few miles away from the place where the event was actually taking place was strange. It struck me then – TV licence!

geoblocking

The ITV was broadcasting the event live (it wasn’t available online on their website) and if I wanted to watch Adele performing at the BRIT Awards I should have paid for the TV licence – not to mention that I don’t even own a TV. Still, people in other countries could enjoy the star-studded ceremony.

That makes me think that they lost quite a big audience because many students like me, for example, were not able to watch and therefore tweet or post on Facebook on things that they’ve just spotted. That’s still publicity after all and the BRITS lost it due to copyright agreements with ITV.

Not the best Times for journalists

The New York times is one of the most renowned newspapers in todays age. However, you need to pay and subscribe to read articles!

If you download the application, you get 10 free articles for a month

Thats a little messed up in my opinion, what is the point of regulation for a form of free speech. Being a great newspaper, it seems unfair to me, especially as a journalist that I need to pay to read the news and since I’m situated in the UK its nearly impossible to get a copy of the paper.

Some news outlets like the guardian aren’t exactly copyright but they do urge readers to donate a pound or two to keep the website in good condition. Honestly, i think copyright on sites that are for educational purposes should be completely obliterated, but thats just my journalistic opinion. If a newspaper is that successful, then why are we funding its growth?

 

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Copywritten, so don’t copy me…

Hi guys! If the topic is copyright restrictions, then one of the easiest examples to use regarding this is the music service companies- Spotify in particular, as it’s one of the most used streaming services available to us, along with Google Music, Apple Music and that other company that wants me to sign up in order to listen to Kanye West’s new album (shan’t be named).spotifylogo2013

This company does give new users a free trial before having to pay a monthly fee for the premium version, which offers good quality music with no interruptions. This seems fair, because at least the new use gets the chance to experience what they will be paying for, and the company/ artists don’t have to worry about anyone abusing strict copyright restrictions- well, you would think so.55956883

Spotify have been sued for at least $150m by a bunch of music artists, such as Taylor Swift, who claim that Spotify have reproduced and distributed their music without permission. This has resulted in many of our favourite pop stars taking their music off of this site. I see their point in doing so, because how is the artist supposed to gain money from their work otherwise? In my opinion, the creative common licence needs to be a lot more strict in order to protect original content. What do you guys think?

(Post title inspired by Missy Elliott’s Get Your Freak On)