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About The Authors

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall. With a background in journalism, publishing and web design, Suw is now one of the UK’s best known bloggers, frequently speaking at conferences and seminars.

Her personal blog is Chocolate and Vodka, and yes, she’s married to Kevin.

Email Suw

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is a freelance journalist and digital strategist with more than a decade of experience with the BBC and the Guardian. He has been a digital journalist since 1996 with experience in radio, television, print and the web. As a journalist, he uses blogs, social networks, Web 2.0 tools and mobile technology to break news, to engage with audiences and tell the story behind the headlines in multiple media and on multiple platforms.

From 2009-2010, he was the digital research editor at The Guardian where he focused on evaluating and adapting digital innovations to support The Guardian’s world-class journalism. He joined The Guardian in September 2006 as their first blogs editor after 8 years with the BBC working across the web, television and radio. He joined the BBC in 1998 to become their first online journalist outside of the UK, working as the Washington correspondent for

And, yes, he’s married to Suw.

E-mail Kevin.

Member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup
Dark Blogs Case Study

Case Study 01 - A European Pharmaceutical Group

Find out how a large pharma company uses dark blogs (behind the firewall) to gather and disseminate competitive intelligence material.

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Interview series:
at the FASTforward blog. Amongst them: John Hagel, David Weinberger, JP Rangaswami, Don Tapscott, and many more!

Corante Blog

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Open publishing - A wider context

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

The temptation when you’re looking at a topic of open publishing is to focus on the case studies of people and publishers who are making works available online for reuse, but it’s really important to take a look at the wider context within which writers, publishers and booksellers are working and related issues such as DRM and piracy (which I will also address at length in another post). You can’t consider open publishing in a vacuum, despite the temptation to focus in on just that one area, otherwise you get just a fraction of the story.

Tim O’Reilly has a really fascinating and detailed post which does just that. He talks about the things he’s learnt being both a writer and a publisher. His lessons are:

  • Lesson 1: Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.
  • Lesson 2: Piracy is progressive taxation.
  • Lesson 3: Customers want to do the right thing, if they can.
  • Lesson 4: Shoplifting is a bigger threat than piracy.
  • Lesson 5: File sharing networks don’t threaten book, music, or film publishing. They threaten existing publishers.
  • Lesson 6: “Free” is eventually replaced by a higher-quality paid service.
  • Lesson 7: There’s more than one way to do it.

Tim examines each of these lessons in detail, but rather than attempt a summary, I recommend that you go and read his post and get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

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2 Responses to “Open publishing - A wider context”

  1. CarsonsPost Says:

    Thanks for this link. I read something similar awhile ago, essentially that we don’t need DRM as much as we are told. I lost the content and have ever since been fighting DRM concepts solely with principles… never easy.

    I really enjoy all three blogs of yours. Thank you. Congrads and best of luck on the new and exciting future.

  2. Suw Says:


    I do think that if we, as the people with the money, refuse to buy DRM’d products, we could collectively send a message to the creative industries that DRM is not the path to go down. I think a few people within that sector are starting to realise it, but the problem is a lack of transparency on their part - they aren’t telling us when CDs are DRM’d, so we don’t find out until too late; or they aren’t explaining the implications of their DRM on buyers of music or ebooks. So I think there’s a long hard fight ahead.