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15 Ways Technology Has Impacted Our Business… For Better or Worse

the orchard 15 anniversaryA lot has changed since The Orchard opened its doors 15 years ago. Whether it’s the way music is delivered and played, or how it’s marketed and shared, there’s no tip-toeing around it: without technology, we wouldn’t have created the opportunities to develop the way we have.

Here are 15 technological advances that have marked us, in good ways and bad (though we like to think we took the bad and turned it into something positive!):

  1. Computers
  2. Internet
  3. Evolving Formats of Music and Music Players (from vinyl and MP3s to Walkman and MP3 players)
  4. P2P/Torrents
  5. Streaming
  6. Cloud/CDNs (Content Delivery Networks)/FTP
  7. Prosumer technology
  8. UGC
  9. Watermarking/Fingerprinting technology
  10. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  11. API technology
  12. Social networks
  13. Smartphones/Mobile/Apps
  14. Mobile payments/Micro-transactions
  15. Pin Codes/QR Codes/USB Drives

And in more detail…

… Continue Reading

Jason Pascal and Josh Builder Tackle Copyright and Cloud Technology This Month

March 14, 2012 Orchard News No Comments

If you weren’t able to make it down to SXSW this week for the four panels we’re participating in, here are two you can catch nearby at the end of the month:

Right here in New York, Jason Pascal – VP, Licensing & Associate General of The Orchard – will be at the Institute for Information Law & Policy to talk about international approaches to copyright reform. The date is March 27; RSVP to this address by 3/20.

If copyright isn’t your thing, head down South (though not as far as Austin!) to Philadelphia for March 28, when The Orchard’s CTO Josh Builder will be attending Phorum, a technology conference for business and IT professionals. There, he will participate in a panel entitled “Views from the Enterprise,” where he and other industry experts will discuss the impact of cloud technology on their business and how it could help benefit them in the future.

Here’s all the information you need to catch Jason and Josh this month:

Panel Discussion: International Perspectives on Copyright Reform
with Jason Pascal
6:00pm – 8:00 pm
Faculty Commons, W201 (185 W. Broadway – New York, NY)

Is current U.S. copyright law effectively dealing with online piracy? What laws have countries such as France, United Kingdom, and Spain implemented to address the piracy issue? Has anyone found the solution? Our program will address various international approaches to copyright law regulation as a means to combat piracy. Our discussion will focus on recent legislation such as HADOPI (three strikes) in France, the now-abandoned PIPA/SOPA in the United States, Sinde Law in Spain, and international treaties such as ACTAe. Panelists will compare the effectiveness of these approaches and the impact that it has on curbing online piracy.

Panel Discussion: Views from the Enterprise (Track 2)
with Josh Builder
2:45pm – 3:30pm
World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street – Philadelphia, PA)

A panel of enterprise users discuss how cloud technology is impacting their business models and enabling them to disrupt competition, create new economic models and gain market share. Panelists include Josh Builder of The Orchard, Robert Butler of the Hay Group, Simon Moss of Pneuron Corporation and a representative from JPMorgan Chase. Moderated by Rob Kelley.

Why Do I Need a Data Cloud? AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

November 1, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

Until now there has been one iron rule when it comes to information: data belongs on devices. Phone numbers are stored in the phone, text and photos on your computer. The “cloud” changes everything. After Google (Android phones) and Amazon, Apple has also joined the cloud services bandwagon. Now, the data from phone and computer moves to the “data cloud”.

What does the “cloud” mean?

Essentially, “clouds” are huge data centers that store your data. Your phone or computer connects to them via the Internet (cable or wireless), and can store data or bring it to you. Because the data center is invisible to you, the term “cloud” has been used.

What type of data can be stored?

Anything from your photos, videos, music and texts (self-written, even whole books) can be stored on a “cloud”. Even your personal user settings, contacts and phone numbers, and apps have their place there. Most vendors specialize in certain types of data and manage those comfortably.

Where are the data centers?

For security purposes (espionage, sabotage), vendors keep the exact location of their centers secret. Most often however, they are in the U.S., Israel and Ireland for Europe.

What are the benefits of the “cloud”?

  1. Your data is stored centrally in a datacenter, not on a specific device. If the device (for instance a mobile phone) gets lost or damaged, your data is still intact.
  2. A data center usually makes multiple copies. If your computer crashes, you would still have a copy in the “cloud”.
  3. You save yourself the trouble of complicated setups. For example, when you buy a new cell phone, all you need to do is log on to the “cloud” and immediately have all your phone numbers, appointments, etc. on your new device.
  4. There are several ways to access your data. For example, you can view an electronic book on your phone, but also on your laptop at home and on office computers.
  5. You do not need large memory on your device, because the data is stored externally and accessed only when needed. Also, software is often hardly necessary.
  6. The “cloud” opens up new opportunities for collaboration. A group of people working together on a text can access it centrally in the datacenter.

What are the disadvantages?

  1. You need an Internet connection to access your data. If the connection is bad or unavailable (i.e. in the train), you might not be able to access your data.
  2. You are dependent on data center operators, because they have your data. Weak companies that risk bankruptcy or have technical problems are very risky, both financially and personally!
  3. Even a well-managed data center may have problems (i.e. lightning). If the data center is out of service, you’re out of luck; there’s nothing you can do.
  4. You don’t know where your data is located (which country). For corporate users that can be a problem, because of data protection law: for instance in Germany, all data needs to be in Germany.
  5. Major suppliers can be attacked by criminals seeking to steal or destroy data, but other agencies may also be interested in the data (i.e. FBI, CIA)…

What are typical “cloud” applications?

You can load your entire music collection or favorite e-books in the “cloud” and then listen to or read them from anywhere. All devices (mobile phone, computer) and operating systems (Windows, Mac) work.

Which are the largest providers?

Google, Amazon and Apple are the largest “cloud” providers. But smaller, local providers are also offering “cloud” services, like Telekom in Germany. Check out an overview of the Amazon data center here.

What does the future look like?

Until now, data centers have only been used for storage of simple data such as texts or presentations. With the “cloud,” storage expands to contacts, photos, music and more, paving the way for a new outlook on information storage and communication.

How do I find a good provider?

Surf the Internet for local providers! Prefer large, well-known vendors to small firms, as they have better funding and will likely stick around. Smaller, less known companies risk losing your data should they have to shut down.

Sharing The Knowledge @ CMJ

Last week, Jason Pascal, The Orchard’s VP & Associate General Counsel, was invited to speak on two CMJ panels.

An already experienced speaker, Pascal was honored to share his expertise on both industry trends and current legal discourses.

Here’s a little more on the panels Pascal attended:

1.  The Cloud Is Shaped Like an $

Everybody is talking about clouds these days, and I don’t mean the ones in the sky. Along with representatives from Google, RightsFlow, Merlin and CatchMedia, Jason Pascal discussed how dollars are and will be made in the world of cloud-based distribution. The audience was very engaged, and even wrote a bit about it!

2.  Unlocking Revenue Streams

Focusing more on the legal side of the industry, this panel broached the topic of royalty accounting and the assumptions underlying royalty payments. Pascal sat beside attorney Brian D. Caplan, CPA J. Christopher Hull and Massarsky Consulting president Barry Massarsky, all familiar with auditing and royalty-centric litigations. Pascal was happy to publicly state that he felt The Orchard’s accountings were solid and prepared to face any challenges. “We do the best we can, and though mistakes can be made, we work with our clients to solve problems as they occur,” says Pascal.

Did you miss him last week? Fear not! Jason Pascal will be speaking at more conferences in the near future. Stay tuned for more information.


But What If There Is No Cloud?

April 21, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

Countless internet businesses, including Foursquare, Quora, Hootsuite, Reddit and Myxer found out today what happens when there is no cloud.

Part of the reason why the internet start up culture is so rich and thriving is due to the low cost to launch and deploy web services on-demand, without owning or renting massive data centers and expensive monthly bandwidth you may or may not use.  You can pay for this storage and bandwidth and processing power “on-demand” which dramatically drives down the cost of operating your web business, or artist website.

The downside of this is when the service you rely on to run your business also goes down.  Amazon’s EC2 service experienced hardware failure today, and is causing havoc across the web.  Here are a few articles describing the outage and the heavy reliance on Amazon’s cloud: Tech Crunch, USA Today, and you can check the status of service on Amazon’s status page.

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About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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