Google recently filed an “amicus curiae” brief in a New York federal court case where EMI (record label) is suing MP3tunes. An amicus curiae is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it. The information provided may be a legal opinion in the form of an “amicus brief”, a testimony that has not been solicited by any of the parties, or a learned treatise on a matter that bears on the case. The decision on whether to admit the information lies at the discretion of the court.
According to MP3tunes Founder Michael Robertson, at stake in this case is whether a corporation can store digital assets for a consumer to access later. Google is supporting MP3tunes because its business model depends on the ability for its customers to store document, media files and associated data.
The brief itself sites the following statistics regarding Google’s services:
- On Blogger, 270,000 words are written each minute (388 million words per day)
- Many of these blogs link to music posted by enthusiastic fans
- YouTube customers post more than 35 hours of video every minute. If three networks were broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for 60 years, they still would not broadcast as much content as is uploaded to YouTube every 30 days.
- More than 13 million bands have established web pages on MySpace.
How many bands have you seen or heard in your life? How many bands could you actually name?
What is the “take-away” point from these statistics? We are definitely in the information age, and swamped in data. The new and rising stars of this information age will be those that analyze, classify, and rate this information. If you are in Information Technology, you might want to consider specializing or taking extra training in these areas.
In my work with Olexe.com, we help to sift through these piles of data and identify people with desired skills, and help those people identify the courses and programs they need to further develop their skills.
Incidentally, the brief was written by Keker & Van Nest LLP of San Francisco, just a few blocks from First Republic Bank where am I am currently consulting on an e-commerce project that makes life easier for professional wealth management companies.