Hard News by Russell Brown


Chasing the Trans-Pacific Express

An unprecedented extension of copyright terms -- in some cases out to 120 years from publication. Criminal penalties for the exercise of fair-use rights. No more parallel imports. And a return to the "guilt upon accusation" provisions of the much-maligned Section 92A of the former Copyright Amendment Bill. Scared yet?

While the more alarming dimensions of the US position in negotiations to bring the US into the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement have been fairly well canvassed on the internet -- including on this site, by Rick Shera -- we've seen little of them in the broadcast media (to be fair, Rick did do a useful interview with Kathryn Ryan).

Well, we're having a crack on Media7 this week, with the assistance of Rick and Jane Kelsey. Jose Barbosa also interviews Don Christie of Catalyst IT in Wellington about his concerns about the negotiations -- which resume behind closed doors in Singapore on Thursday

We'll also look at why TiVo hasn't gone well for TVNZ. The broadcaster's half-yearly result included a $14.8 million write-down of its investment in the TiVo regional licensee, Hybrid TV -- that is, the entire value of the investment -- versus an after-tax profit of $4.8 million.

I don't mind saying that when the TiVo deal was announced, I thought it might work. TiVo is an emblematic brand, and it should have represented a mature product to put up against MySky.

That view changed quite a bit when I actually installed and used a TiVo. It was irritating and confusing, and I was very pleased to be able to replace it with a Freeview-approved Magic TV DVR.

For the show, Jose has Hadyn Green (with his Consumer hat on) assess the product, and I'll talk to Sunday Star Times Business editor Rob O'Neill about what he thinks went wrong.

If you'd like to join us for the recording tomorrow evening (ie: Wednesday) we'll need you to present yourself at the Victoria Street entrance of TVNZ between 5.15 and 5.40pm. As usual, do try and email and let me know you're coming.

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