Microsoft is to launch the Zune on November 14th according to its PR site.
This date is just in time for the American holiday of Thanksgiving. What is not clear from the site is if this is an American launch date of a global launch date.
I wrote, in not too glowing terms previously about the Zune. One criticism I missed at that time is that if someone shares one of my podcasts over wifi on the Zune, the Zune adds on its own DRM to my podcast, in direct contravention to my podcast’s Creative Commons Licence causing the podcast to self-destruct in three days or after three plays.
Can someone in Microsoft explain the legality of that to me please? ‘Cos to me, that’s just plain illegal.
PodZinger is a search engine for (audio and video) podcasts. It listens to the audio content of podcasts, transcribes the content and makes it searchable. This is quite a useful service because transcribing podcasts manually would take waaaay too long.
I published an interview I conducted with Alex Laats, president of PodZinger, yesterday on the PodLeaders.com site. It was only after I published the interview that I thought of the one question I should have asked Alex – “Why doesn’t PodZinger provide transcriptions of the podcasts back to the podcasters?”
As a podcaster, PodZinger listens to my content, transcribes it, and makes it searchable on its site. It has Google ads on its site so it is profiting from my work. I am not a lawyer, but my podcasts are licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License and this would seem to me to breach the non-commercial part of that license.
What do I get out of it? I get the opportunity to allow people to view my content transcribed on the PodZinger site. I would far prefer to have my content on my own site.
I can see why PodZinger are doing this – they want to bring all the traffic to their site. This is real old school thinking. Alex, if you provide the content back to the podcasters, you will create enormous good will and PodZinger will still be the only place where people can search content across all podcasts.
I have been contacted back by PodZinger about this post and will be talking to their president, Alex Laats about this post on next Monday (8th) – if you have any questions or concerns about Podzinger that you’d like me to put to him, leave them in the comments.