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August 4, 2022

Democratic control is fundamental to cooperative values: it's the second item of the ICA/Rochdale Principles1 , after being open to all. For most cooperatives, however, democracy means coop members can submit resolutions and vote on these at an AGM (Annual General Meeting) under the principle of one member one vote.

September 9, 2015

Given Uber's ability – in spite of owning no cars and employing no drivers – to swiftly grow and dominate any market it enters, there's understandably a lot of interest in a driver-owned Coop competitor, not least amidst growing controversies and opposition. In this article, two coop structures are explored, as well as a third, more open and decentralised protocol option.

February 15, 2015

A short essay for Geo Coop on what makes worker-on-demand (WoD) service Uber unique and what it would take for the cooperative world to do the same. Some extracts:

Uberfication has become shorthand for many new concepts—from the sharing economy to any significantly disruptive digital business model. But what exactly did Uber do that was materially different to earlier disruptive digital businesses?

In short:

May 15, 2014

“Staged financing must become the film business’s immediate goal.”
– Ted Hope, September 2013

Over a series of blog posts I’ve been looking at some challenges that film and documentary are dealing with online. In a conclusion to the series looking at what can be done, I explore the limits and opportunities around crowdfunding.

January 27, 2014

Not before time, the new year started with some promising news about selling films online. For the first time, the annual decline in DVD and Blu-ray sales in the US has been outstripped by the growth in digital sales, rentals and subscriptions. Home entertainment rose 0.7% in 2013 (PDF source). $6.5bn – over a third of total consumer spending – came from digital rental, retail and subscriptions, with download-to-own rising a hefty 48% on 2012.

December 11, 2013

The monopoly that created the independents that created the studios

Imagine having to pay a license fee every time you filmed something or screened your work. At the start of the 20th century, the Motion Picture Patent Company (MPPC) in America controlled patents around cameras, film and projectors, and demanded fees for anyone screening or filming anything.

December 4, 2013

Perhaps no sector has been more involved in shifting the debate around video piracy than the TV industry. It seemingly began in late 2006, nine months after Steve Jobs had sold Pixar to Disney, joined their board and become more involved in their operations. Disney co-chair Anne Sweeney declared at a conference that piracy was not simply a threat, but a competitor – that pirates competed on quality, price and availability.

September 1, 2013

While co-ops and open source both exist within capitalism, and in some ways help drive it, they run contrary to its orthodoxy - as does most of the digital space, driven by unpaid activity. They could offer each other much: making the web more publicly controlled, and mobilising networked people to solve complex real world problems.

December 20, 2012

There are only so many hours in the day. Take a look – if it’s not etched already in your film business memory – at the graph of cinema admissions in the UK following the launch of television. TV's arrival, peaking in the 50s, did not herald an end to people engaging with mass-market moving image – but it dramatically changed the platform and format for where they did that.

September 4, 2006

"So the guys who started this business all cheated somebody to get there, and now they're being cheated, perhaps, by all these crazy, geeky people all over the internet. I must say, my anguish level is not great."
Richard Dreyfuss

"although iTunes has 70% of the pay to download music market - only 1 in 40 of all tracks downloaded on the web are ever paid for. That's 2.5%"