R.I.P. Rightscom Daily News Briefing

Rightscom, the UK consultancy that specializes in online intellectual property standards, has ceased publication of its Daily News Briefing, which it had published since 2000 — predating both this blog and its predecessor publication DRM Watch.

The Daily News Briefing was a free email subscription service that provided digests of articles pertaining to online and mobile content, with special focuses on rights issues, standards, technologies, and content services, primarily (not exclusively) in European markets.

It was one of the most useful sources of information for my publications as well as my own consulting practice; and they were kind enough to include my articles in their summaries occasionally when appropriate.  

Of most value was the service’s smart  “curation” or selection of news stories, with links to the full stories where possible.  Rightscom knew its audience and picked a set of stories likely to be of interest to them each day.  

Ironically, their service took more effort than it would have in the US: “deep links” to the summarized news stories require obtaining permission under UK law, whereas in the US they generally do not.  Perhaps that is why Rightscom decided, as they put it in their emails, that it was no longer worth the effort to publish given the range of alternative sources now available.

I’ll miss the Rightscom Daily News Briefing, and I offer deep gratitude to those who produced it.   It lent credence to the theory — as espoused by people like musician/social entrepreneur Peter Gabriel and media pundit Jeff Jarvis — that savvy curation of media has inherent value to consumers (at least in well-defined niche markets).  I, for one, would pay for the service if they brought it back.

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