Business Matters: SOPA Delayed, Not Dead, After House Judiciary Committee Session Ends
Business Matters: SOPA Delayed, Not Dead, After House Judiciary Committee Session Ends

SOPA: Not Dead Yet
-- A House Judiciary Committee ended two days of markup on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on Friday with plans to reconvene on Wednesday. Most of the amendments introduced to the committee were voted down, but the bill's opponents scored a win when Chairman Lamar Smith agreed that a report on the bill's impact on cybersecurity would be a good idea.

SOPA, the House's anti-piracy bill aimed at foreign rogue websites - the counterpart to the Senate's PROTECT IP bill - was in its markup phase this week. In the markup phase legislators vote to accept or reject changes to a bill. One part of how sausage is made in Washington D.C. involves the lobbying before a bill is introduced and influencing the actual wording of the bill. Anyone who caught the hearing's webcast probably realized the markup phase is important yet often dry and mundane.

The fervor around the sessions has been anything but mundane, however. Lobbying, publicity campaigns and personal advocacy have been in overdrive this week. Twitter has been alive with tweets advocating opposition to the bill. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is reportedly considering taking down the site as a stunt, basically a preemptive fight against a remote chance of actual censorship through an actual act of self-censorship.

Readers unsure about the gravity of this bill need look no further than the rhetoric on display. Google co-founder Sergey Brin likened SOPA to state-sponsored Internet censorship in China and Iran. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a left-leaning political action committee, has argued that "big corporations" are pursuing a bill that dissuade entrepreneurs from creating the next Reddit, YouTube, Google or Bit.ly. Of course, the PCCC is referring to big content companies in the entertainment business, not big, multi-billion-dollar corporations involved in technology-related IP.

The PCCC claimed victory on Friday after the committee adjourned. "The Internet fought back to protect the Internet -- and we won, for now," it wrote at its website. "We have to assemble our Internet army for next year, when this bill will come up again." The Guardian also declared victory for the tech community. But, as The Guardian noted, and, to borrow a phrase from Monty Python, SOPA isn't dead yet.
( The Hill)


Why Apple iOS Still Has A Greater Share of New Dev. Projects: $$$

-- By all accounts, Google's Android mobile operating system dominates new mobile device purchases. But Flurry, a provider of analytics for app developers, found that Apple iOS has maintained its share of developers' new projects starts in the last four quarters of 2011 (the last quarter is just an estimate since the month is not yet over). In the first quarter of 2011, iOS commanded 63 percent of new project starts to Android's 37 percent. But iOS's share increased to 73 percent, 75 percent and 73 percent in the following quarters.

What's driving developer interest in iOS even as Android takes a commanding share of new mobile phone purchases? "Of particular note, Apple expanded distribution for iOS devices beyond its long-standing exclusive with AT&T to include Verizon in February and Sprint in October," Flurry explains. "Further, the highly successful launches of iPad 2 in February and iPhone 4S in October resulted in increased developer support for Apple. By contrast, Android does not enjoy a truly recognizable flagship device among its army of OEMs supporting the platform."

But the bottom line could simply be, to no surprise, money. "Anecdotally," Flurry continues, "developers consistently tell us that they make more money on iOS, about three to four times as much."
( Flurry blog)

TargetSpot Announces Deal With Spanish Broadcasting System
-- TargetSpot, the largest digital audio advertising network, announced Thursday that it will deliver in-stream audio ads for Spanish Broadcasting System. The deal will allow TargetSpot to expand its rapidly growing network into the Hispanic arena, with 1.3 million unique monthly listeners across Spanish Broadcasting System's 21 Hispanic-oriented stations. Spanish Broadcasting System's stations reach 42 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population.

Last week, TargetSpot announced three new partners. Musicovery delivers music programming based on moods. Digitally Imported is an Internet radio service that focuses on electronic and dance music that claims 2 million monthly listeners. And Berlin-based Aupeo creates personalized audio streams with a recommendation technology based on an algorithm from the Fraunhofer Institute.
( Press release)