Archive for November, 2011
November 3rd, 2011
As you may have seen last week, war has broken out between two of the best known news wire services, as Marketwire filed a $25 million lawsuit accusing rival PR Newswire of causing irreparable harm by hiring away its workers and inducing them to divulge confidential information and trade secrets, violating confidentiality and non-compete agreements.
That’s quite a statement and I imagine pretty hard to prove. The action probably says more about Marketwire’s frustration at the issue rather than its chances of actually winning.
The main thrust of Marketwire’s legal action is based around an accusation that PR Newswire hired Marketwire’s former Chief Technology Officer, Shoeb Ansari, as part of what it alleges is a continuing campaign to steal its technology and gain access to customer data.
The complaint confirms that there has been a steady flow of staff from Marketwire to PR newswire since Ansari’s appointment as Chief Information Officer.
Newswire has responded with the following statement, which lays out its defence nicely:
“PR Newswire has every legal right to hire these employees and it has no interest in any trade secrets Marketwire may have. Marketwire is turning to the courts in an attempt to prevent fair competition between the companies. We are confident that the court will agree this case has no merit.”
The lawsuit seeks at least $25 million in damages and a permanent ban on any use or disclosure of confidential business information and trade secrets.
This is probably a case of two closely matched competitors paying a little too much attention to each other in an otherwise poorly differentiated market, however it certainly spices up the sector a little.
It’s fair to say i’m not a big fan of newswire services. Not because i don’t think they serve a valuable purpose for organisations that need to distribute news widely for earnings or corporate governance, but that fundamentally the services have evolved very little in my 14 years in the sector, and if you are not bound by relevant financial and stock market regulations, the services offer little value.
I should make it clear that I am part of the team at Pressitt and social media news release platform that takes the opposite approach to traditional news wires by promoting useful content via search engines, bookmarking and content sites to reach influencers directly rather than going through the traditional wires approach, so of course i am biased. However, this social approach was borne not only out of the changing way we consume media, but also fundamentally because existing news wires have neither evolved nor offer a useful return for what can be a very expensive service.
November 2nd, 2011
Today is the 75th anniversary of the world’s first television broadcast service by the BBC. The first and only BBC station at the time had two hours of programming a day.
From Wikipedia: On 2 November 1936 the BBC began transmitting the world’s first public regular high-definition television (HDTV) service from the Victorian Alexandra Palace in north London. It therefore claims to be the birthplace of television broadcasting as we know it today. Instead a 17.5mm film was shot, rapidly developed and then scanned while the film was still wet. This intermediate film system was discontinued within three months in favour of a 405-line all-electronic system developed by Marconi-EMI.
To mark the occasion of TV’s 75th anniversary, Alexandra Palace will allow access this weekend to the TV studio where it all began.
Activities over the weekend of 5th and 6th November will allow you to go ‘on air’, made up in authentic 1930s TV style, and even sample 1930s inspired food from the ‘BBC canteen’.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The 75th anniversary of the world’s first television broadcast service by the BBC from Alexandra Palace is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on London’s role as a pioneer and innovator. With master-planning underway to regenerate the iconic Alexandra Palace site for future generations to enjoy, it is a chance to celebrate the great achievements of public service broadcasting and also discover how world-renowned colleges like Ravensbourne are helping to shape the future of television and digital media.”