Spotify Appeals Copyright Rate Hike, Songwriters Respond

Spotify, the streaming music leader with 87 million global subscribers, is appealing the Copyright Royalty Board’s 2018 decision to raise songwriters’ pay rate by 44 percent over the next five years. Spotify is joined in this unprecedented move by Amazon, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora. Artists are furious, especially since Spotify portrayed itself as being on the side of creatives. Those appealing the Board’s decision say they’re against its complex rules. Apple is the sole company who stands to benefit from the fray. Continue reading Spotify Appeals Copyright Rate Hike, Songwriters Respond

Instagram Announces Adam Mosseri to Serve as New Boss

One week following the sudden departure of Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, it was announced that the new “Head of Instagram” will be Adam Mosseri, the company’s current VP of product — and a former senior exec at Facebook where he was responsible for managing the platform’s News Feed. Systrom and Krieger resigned unexpectedly six years after selling Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion. The co-founders were reportedly frustrated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s increased control over the popular photo- and video-sharing service. Continue reading Instagram Announces Adam Mosseri to Serve as New Boss

Google’s Geoff Hinton Tests Capsule Networks as AI Solution

In 2012, University of Toronto professor Geoffrey Hinton and two grad students showed off artificial neural networks, a technology that empowered machines to understand images. Google hired Hinton and his grad students six months later; Hinton now splits his time between Google and the university. Although neural networks now underlie speech transcription and many other tasks, Hinton isn’t enthused over the technology he helped launch. Instead, he’s now bullish on an “old” idea that could help reshape artificial intelligence. Continue reading Google’s Geoff Hinton Tests Capsule Networks as AI Solution

Netflix Doubles Down on Movie Production with $50M for ‘Okja’

On the heels of its first original theatrical film acquisition, “Beasts of No Nation,” Netflix is financing “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho’s next film, “Okja,” to the tune of $50 million. The film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton and Paul Dano and will be produced by Brad Pitt/Dede Gardner’s Plan B, marks the next step of the streaming media company’s transition to film production studio. Netflix’s 2016 releases include a “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel and the Weinstein’s “Marco Polo.” Continue reading Netflix Doubles Down on Movie Production with $50M for ‘Okja’

NBC News to Purchase Stringwire for Streaming Phone Video

NBC News is looking to leverage on-the-scene user generated content for its news coverage, envisioning a day when live video could be streamed directly to its New York control rooms from the camera phones of witnesses to newsworthy events. This approach could replace or complement footage by professional crews and ease the pressure of producers frantically searching Twitter and Facebook to locate eyewitness accounts. The network is acquiring Web service Stringwire as its first step toward this goal. Continue reading NBC News to Purchase Stringwire for Streaming Phone Video

USC and AFI Lead THR Ranking of Top Film Schools for 2013

The Hollywood Reporter has released its third annual ranking of the Top 25 Film Schools. This year’s top spots went to USC, AFI, NYU, UCLA and CalArts. THR editors evaluated graduate and undergraduate programs nationwide, and consulted with industry insiders to rate the programs. More than 600 anonymous ballots were submitted by members of the Writers Guild of America West, American Cinema Editors and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Continue reading USC and AFI Lead THR Ranking of Top Film Schools for 2013

Social Media Photo Apps Creating a New Internet Language

Photo sharing and social media are paving new ways to communicate, simply and without words. They are forming a new online language, one that is universal and overcomes language barriers. Most major social media platforms offer photo and new video sharing services, and they are receiving major investments to do so. These new services are starting to chip away at established text messaging, but some are concerned of this new communication’s effect. Continue reading Social Media Photo Apps Creating a New Internet Language

Cinematographer Praises the Soon-to-be-Released Canon EOS C300

  • Jonathan Yi is a freelance director and cinematographer who works largely in film and advertising. He teaches camera and cinematography at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts film program.
  • Yi recently posted an impressive six-minute test video of the new Canon EOS C300 that makes comparisons with current DSLRs and reveals a new standard for digital cinematography.
  • “I believe that Canon made a beautiful camera that is sensible, reliable and portable in a way that I’ve always dreamed a camera could be. It prioritizes great skin tone and has higher ISO sensitivity than any other camera out there,” he writes. “I know there’s nothing I can say to change the minds of the RED fan club. For the rest of the skeptics, I think once you get your hands on it you’ll understand how great this camera really is. Please buy this camera in January and go film some good skin tones in the dark. You’ll love it.”
  • The EOS C300 and EOS C300 PL are expected to be available in early 2012, at an estimated cost of less than $20,000.
  • Yi’s (very) detailed review is available on the Canon site, in which he writes: “As Canon’s flagship 1080p HD cameras, the EOS C300 and EOS C300 PL are designed to fit a wide variety of production needs. They are at home as A Cameras for Independent Films, Commercials, Television and Dramas as well as B Cameras on Major Motion Pictures, offering in addition to the more common 23.98P frame rate, several selectable frame rates including a straight 24.00P setting for intercutting directly with film originated material. Full HD 1920×1080 (1080p) is currently the most used and needed deliverable frame size for these applications. The EOS C300 and EOS C300 PL provide easy adoption and simplified workflow that 4K cameras currently cannot deliver.”