Cute baby video wins battle against music label

Filed under: — Aviran

How much should a copyright owner pay for improperly telling a web site to remove content?

Stephanie Lenz got into trouble with Universal Music Group in 2007 after she posted a YouTube video of her toddler dancing to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy.” The label fired off a letter demanding removal of the clip and Youtube complied.

Lenz then teamed with online free-speech advocates at the Electronic Frontier Foundation to get a judge to declare that her video was a “fair use” of the song. She then sought damages against Universal, the world’s biggest record company, for sending a meritless takedown request.

Universal fought back by raising affirmative defenses that Lenz had bad faith and unclean hands in pursuing damages. Now a California district court judge has rejected those arguments, granting partial summary judgment to Lenz and paving the way for Lenz to collect attorneys fees.


Wal-Mart agrees to buy movie service Vudu

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Wal-Mart Stores Inc will buy the Vudu movie service in a deal that puts the world’s largest retailer in competition for online delivery of films with the likes of Netflix Inc, the New York Times reported on Monday.


IFPI Loses “Deep-Linking” Case Against Baidu

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In 2008, Baidu was sued for around $9 million by Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music for providing so-called “deep-links” to copyright music tracks. A court has now ruled that providing search results does not breach copyright law, clearing China’s biggest search engine of wrong-doing.


YouTube Takes On Last.fm, Pandora and Jango

Filed under: — Aviran

Popular video site, YouTube holds many of music videos, as more and more users compile play lists and use YouTube as a music player, YouTube debut a new section called Disco, where you can search for music by artist, mix and create play lists with a push of a button.

Another interesting feature which compete directly with streaming music sites such as Pandora and Last.fm is the related artist tab where you can discover and find new similar artists to the one you like.


YouTube expands into movie rentals

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Internet’s most popular video channel will make its debut as a rental outlet Friday to help promote some of the movies that will be shown at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

It’s part of a test that YouTube hopes will encourage more studios to rent movies through its site, eventually creating a new financial stream to supplement the Internet ads that bring in most of its revenue.

The first five films available to rent through YouTube will cost $3.99 for a 48-hour viewing period. Movie studios will be able to set their own prices, with rental viewing windows ranging from one to 90 days. YouTube will get an unspecified commission from each rental.


Intel Demonstrates Blu-ray Stereo 3D Demo at CES

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel demonstrated a giant leap towards bringing 3D content to the home with Blu-ray Stereo 3D playback on the new 2010 Intel® Core™ i5 Processor with Intel® HD Graphics at the Consumer Electronics Show 2010. The new Blu-ray 3D specification, announced by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) sets the stage for consumers to view Blu-ray 3D content on their Intel based PCs.


Disney unveils KeyChest technology

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Walt Disney Co on Tuesday unveiled a technology called KeyChest to enable consumers to buy films or television shows from various distributors, store them on remote servers, and play them on multiple platforms ranging from TVs to computers and phones.

Disney said it plans to roll-out KeyChest for both the U.S. and the international market, and that it will soon announce partners who will participate in the program.

“Discussions are going to step up dramatically at the Consumer Electronics Show,” said a Disney spokesman, referring to the upcoming technology conference in Las Vegas.

Disney said negotiations with content distributors, cable companies and telecommunications services have been ongoing for several months.

Disney hopes the technology will be deployed before the end of 2010.

The company also said a third-party company will operate KeyChest, and that it expects other studios to make their content available through the authenticating technology Disney has developed.

Panasonic, DirecTV team up on 3D

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Panasonic is the world’s biggest maker of plasma TVs, which has been beaten out by LCD TVs in market share, and it hopes an added dimension will help it reverse brutal price falls and dwindling margins.

“Now, so many other major brands have announced 3D products,” Yoshi Yamada, CEO of Panasonic North America, said at a news conference attended by 3D movie “Avatar” producer Jon Landau at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday.

“But we will be the only end-to-end 3D provider, from the cameras to the TVs to the editing.”

The exclusive agreement includes 3D broadcasts of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Games. DirecTV will further work on additional broadcasts by networks including Viacom Inc’s MTV, CBS Corp’s CBS, and General Electric Co’s NBC, the two companies said.


Borders jumps into digital books fray

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Loss-making Borders, which has been losing readers to larger rival Barnes & Noble Inc, plans to integrate a new online store with its own website, Borders.com, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Kobo, a spinoff of Indigo Books & Music Inc that now provides books to customers in over 200 countries, will also host a separate e-book store that caters to multiple mobile devices from the Apple Inc iPhone and Palm Inc Pre to Research in Motion Ltd’s Blackberry and cell phones running on Google Inc’s Android operating system.

Idol creator launches new multimedia show

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Fuller, the man behind the money-spinning “Idol” pop singing contest, called his “If I Can Dream” venture “a new generation of post-reality entertainment.”

Launching in early 2010, it will document the story of five young people who dream of success in Hollywood and will allow fans to interact with them in real time.

Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, a subsidiary of CKX Inc, has partnered with online television viewing site Hulu.com, Clear Channel Radio, Newscorp’s MySpace, Pepsi and the Ford Motor Co..

Episodes of the show will stream exclusively on Hulu.com, which is jointly owned by News Corp, NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co, while Clear Channel Radio will promote the show on its radio stations and its online and mobile devices.

MySpace will allow fans to interact with the Hollywood hopefuls and audition via video uploads for a part in the show.

PepsiCo and Ford are creating marketing campaigns around the venture, 19 Entertainment said in a statement.

Fuller said the show was tailor made for a younger generation that conducts much of its life via social networking sites, mobile phones, tweets and text messages.

Like “American Idol” — the most-watched TV show in the United States — and the 100 spin-off versions around the world, viewers will play a role in creating potential stars of tomorrow.

Comcast unveils online viewing of cable TV shows

Filed under: — Aviran

Comcast Corp. customers can now watch several cable TV shows and movies over the Internet, a move aimed at helping the cable TV operator manage the flight of viewers to online video.

Comcast hopes that by making the service available starting Tuesday exclusively to subscribers, it can keep them from defecting to rival TV providers or the Internet.

Comcast, which announced the service in July before reaching a deal for majority control of NBC Universal, becomes the first cable TV operator to offer cable content online at no additional charge. Until now, programs available for free online have been generally limited to shows from the over-the-air broadcasters or to older movies.

Other subscription-TV operators with similar plans in the works include Time Warner Cable Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS service.


Google and MS sued over links to RapidShare

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mini music label Blue Destiny Records has sued both Google and Microsoft for allegedly “facilitating and enabling” the illegal distribution of copyrighted songs.

Filed on Monday with a US federal court in Northern Florida, the suit is an attempt to choke off the distribution of Blue Destiny tunes on the Germany-based file-sharing service RapidShare. It accuses RapidShare of knowingly running “a distribution center for unlawful copies of copyrighted works,” while claiming that Google and Microsoft are propping the company up.

According to the suit, RapidShare benefits from ad relationships with the two search giants. “RapidShare generates revenue by selling subscriptions for its high-speed download services, and through advertising dollars generated by its advertising partnerships with Google and Microsoft,” the suit reads. “RapidShare’s business success is accomplished only with the knowing assistance of these two top search engines - Google and Microsoft’s Bing.”

But the overarching claim is that RapidShare is able to “achieve consistent prominent ranking in search engine results that direct users to websites where illegal ‘free’ copies of [Blue Destiny’s] recordings may be stolen.” US copyright law exempts companies from liability if they’re merely linking to infringing content - but only if they’re unaware of the infringement and don’t receive financial benefit.

The suits insists that Google and Microsoft benefit financially because they generate ad revenue from search results. And both companies have received DMCA takedown notices requesting removal of the links in question.

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