Friday, May 30, 2008

New media musings

Been following with interest some issues brought up by friends, colleagues as well as the papers this week. Usually, I'll scan through The Straits Times main news section, the supplements are the ones which I spend more time perusing through these days actually, esp Digtal Life and Urban. Ha.

Some issues on my mind which I have been pondering for most of my enforced homestay for the past few days.

First up is the Vuestar issue, where a quick browse through the local forums such as HWZ and SPUG have shown some interesting reactions towards the firm as well as the tactics used to, IMHO, extort money from the new media businesses here by threatening legal action because of a patent they filed. While we know the broad coverage of patents and how some parties deliberately file broad patents to provide themselves as much space to negotiate around and to protect their intellectual property, I'm still astounded by how they managed to get their patent filed successfully here. This diminishes the worth of IP rights when unscrupulous businesses abuse the use of patents to cause unnecessary panic and concern among the community. Even though this case might not stand in court, for it to get as far as the patent offices here shows perhaps a need to review how patents are granted, esp as Spore strives to be an IP hub, among others.

Besides this, another interesting comment which came out in the papers which may pave the way for future local new media policies and regulations, was this comment/headline which stood out for me in Wed's papers, "MM: A lie against the Govt will be pursued - even in cyberspace."
So far, the government's taken the stance of a light touch approach when it comes to governing the cybersphere in Singapore. Though how long this will last has been a question which has been hotly debated amongst myself and my friends, even in our undergrad days a couple of years back, which of course, also depended to some extent, our political inclinations.

Myself though, I've always believed in the power of expression, though I feel that it is impossible, naive even, to achieve freedom of speech, taken in the sense that one can say whatever one wants to, without expecting to face consequences of one kind or another. There are always limits and boundaries in which we operate in the public sphere, and it is pertinent to know that while the rules might be bent and made more flexible in cyberspace, there are still rules withstanding, and more often than not, these rules are transferred to a certain extent from the real physical space, esp in terms of policies and legislation.

Time and again, hints of tightening the regulation of the internet have surfaced but this time, coming from an esteemed and influential political figure, made me wonder - will something actually come out from this case? And how will the changes in the policies and regulations affect us? Are they for particular industries or sectors or will they be applied across the board?

Just some new media musings on the local scene. Hope I've not opened a Pandora's Box with these thoughts. Ha.

Also, I wasn't impressed by Gate's revealing of the latest offering from MS. Almost simultaneously when I received news of Apple releasing their solar-powered iPhone. Bleah. Given the frequency of breakdowns of my N73 lately, am considering the iPhone these days. Hmmm....

Have a great weekend peepz! Just received some disappointing news, well life moves on yea? And congrats to BFF for getting through another trying round - u go gal, am proud of you! ;) *hugz*