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February 2019
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Email Marketing by the Numbers: A Smart Investment

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No matter where your business is located, email marketing is one of the best channels you can use to increase the visibility of your brand, drive conversions, and boost revenue. It's important for any business to master email marketing. The question is: how do you do so? Just like any other marketing strategy, the first […]The post Email Marketing by the Numbers: A Smart Investment appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:00am on 09-Feb-2019
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ChooseCo Inks Lucrative Deal With Amazon, Possibly Thanks To Netflix's 'Bandersnatch'

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When we discussed Chooseco, the company behind the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books from decades past, and its lawsuit against Netflix for having content that allowed watchers to choose paths within the narrative, we focused mostly on how silly the lawsuit was purely from a merit standpoint. The trademark suit rested mostly on a throwaway reference or homage made by a character in the Netflix work, and the claim that Chooseco has licensed its name in the past but lost the opportunity to do so for this work. None of that makes the public at all likely to be confused into thinking that Bandersnatch was somehow a Chooseco product, nor does such a reference somehow cause the work to be trademark infringement.But there's another angle in all of this. The homage made in Bandersnatch was truly an homage, meaning that it called to mind for many of a certain age the fondness we had for these Choose Your Own Adventure books. Despite the films dark themes, the reference itself is a positive one. And, frankly, it probably caused many to think about the series of books for the first time in a long time, making it something of an advertisement for Chooseco's products.And that buzz surrounding Bandersnatch certainly coincidentally occurred alongside the more recent announcement that Chooseco has agreed to partner with Amazon to produce Choose Your Own Adventures for the Alexa.

You may remember ChooseCo from its lawsuit with Netflix over the Black Mirror episode. The company claims that Netflix never acquired the proper license to use the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark.But clearly, ChooseCo still aims to benefit from the attention, and from Netflix’s ability to make this storytelling gimmick popular with a younger generation of tech-savvy consumers.In collaboration with Amazon’s  Audible division, the two companies are together releasing an Alexa skill (properly licensed) that will bring ChooseCo’s Choose Your Own Adventure stories to life on Alexa-powered devices, like Echo smart speakers, which are controlled through voice commands.
Should Chooseco actually have thanked Netflix for its nod in Bandersnatch rather than suing over it? I'm not sure, but it doesn't seem unlikely that the huge amount of buzz surrounding the film contributed to, if not created, the Amazon opportunity for Chooseco.And that's often the point when we talk about intellectual property lawsuits. There are often other ways to look at what is being sued over, with the relinquishing of a bit of control actually resulting in free promotion, free advertising, and the kind of word of mouth buzz that simply can't be bought as part of a media campaign. It would be immensely interesting to be on the inside at Chooseco, in order to get a sense of the sequence of events in which all of this occurred.Regardless, it seems Chooseco at least had the option of choosing to be less litigious.

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posted at: 12:00am on 09-Feb-2019
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California AG Steps Up To Help Cops Pretend New Public Records Law Doesn't Apply To Past Misconduct Docs

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The bullshit debate over California police misconduct records continues. A new law granting the public access to police misconduct records for the first time in decades has resulted in a slew of public records requests. It's also resulted in a slew of refusals and legal challenges.Some law enforcement agencies (and their unions) have chosen to believe the law erases their past misdeeds. Although the law says nothing limiting access to records created prior to January 1, 2019, some agencies have decided the lack of specific language allows them to draw this inference from the missing words. Multiple lawsuits have hit the California court system, which may soon force the state's Supreme Court to deal with this miss, even if it took a hard pass on one law enforcement union's attempt to get a preemptive declaration that past misconduct records are off-limits.If these law enforcement agencies were truly seeking clarity, they were given a crystal clear explanation of the legislative intent from none other than the law's author, Senator Nancy Skinner.

[I]t is my understanding in enacting SB 1421 that the change in the law applies to all disclosable records whether or not they existed prior to the date the statute went into effect…
This isn't the answer cops wanted. They wanted someone to tell them they could whitewash the past and stonewall the future. Instead, the law's author told them the law applies retroactively. If they missed their opportunity to destroy these records prior to the law's enactment, that's on them.But they're getting a little help from the state's top cop. State attorney general Xavier Becerra has decided retroactivity is still an open question, despite Sen. Skinner's statement on the issue.
The attorney general's response to a public records request seeking that information references some superior court challenges to the law's application to past records brought by police unions."We will not disclose any records that pre-date January 1, 2019 at this time," Mark Beckington, supervising deputy attorney general, said in a response last Friday to a request from freelance reporter Darwin BondGraham.
This sentence follows a very dubious assumption by the attorney general's office.
[U]ntil the legal question of retroactive application of the statute is resolved by the courts, the public interest in accessing these records is clearly outweighed by the public's interest in protecting privacy rights.
Oh, really? But whose privacy rights? The public may want to protect their own privacy rights, but I doubt they're more concerned about protecting the "privacy" of public servants who committed misconduct on the public's dime.AG Becerra is deliberately confused by the retroactivity non-question. Sen. Skinner, the law's author, is honestly confused.
"I find the AG's interpretation puzzling considering that we have law enforcement agencies up and down the state, including our California Highway Patrol, releasing records..."
Also confusing: the AG was sent a copy of the same letter Skinner sent to the Senate Rules Committee clarifying the law's retroactive powers.Cops have a friend in high places. With this action, he's the best friend a bad cop could have. But he's only delaying the inevitable. These records will be in the public's hands. If the courts somehow find in favor of law enforcement agencies, this only keeps the past a secret. Unless police misconduct is somehow also only a thing of the past, California cop shops will still be generating a whole lot of publicly-accessible documents.

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