Despite Blockades, The Pirate Bay’s Numbers Are Increasing

The Pirate Bay’s visitor count has doubled since 2011 despite repeated attempts to block the website. Courts around the world and entertainment industries have pushed for Internet providers to block subscriber access. Meanwhile, about 9 percent of the site’s users connect to it through a proxy, showing that some people are willing to bypass court-ordered blockades. The numbers do not prove that blockades are ineffective, however, since the increased traffic could be from different countries. Continue reading Despite Blockades, The Pirate Bay’s Numbers Are Increasing

Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

A new study from Accenture found that as our finances move to new digital platforms, younger generations place more trust in Internet and retail brands than they do with traditional banks. The study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 would consider doing their banking entirely online while also getting their financial services from non-traditional providers. Topping the list, 46 percent of respondents in this age group said they would be likely to bank with PayPal. Continue reading Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

Today’s Piracy Sites Making Millions in Advertising Revenue

Because of automated ad-buying technology, illicit sites streaming video content can make hundreds of thousands or even millions from advertising. MediaLink researched 596 piracy sites, and found that the advertising, often from major brands, generated $227 million annually. These sites get to keep most of this revenue because profit margins typically range from 80 percent to 94 percent after site maintenance and human resources fees are paid. Continue reading Today’s Piracy Sites Making Millions in Advertising Revenue

Studios and Music Labels File Lawsuits Against Megaupload

Major film studios — including 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. — have filed a civil lawsuit against the now defunct entertainment website Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom. The studios claim that visitors to the Hong Kong-based site illegally downloaded thousands of copyrighted works. Damages could reach a maximum of $150,000 for each infringement. In addition, four music labels filed a similar lawsuit yesterday. Continue reading Studios and Music Labels File Lawsuits Against Megaupload

CreativeFuture: Coalition Looks at Solutions to Online Piracy

Independent film executive Ruth Vitale — who has held positions at New Line Cinema, Paramount Classics and First Look Studios — was recently named executive director of CreativeFuture, a coalition of movie and television producers, unions and companies that is aiming to steer Hollywood’s digital future. After tech giants convinced Congress that proposed antipiracy laws were too restrictive of online freedom, the film and television industries remain threatened by online piracy. CreativeFuture hopes to change that. Continue reading CreativeFuture: Coalition Looks at Solutions to Online Piracy

Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

A new report released by the Motion Picture Association of America during CinemaCon this week in Las Vegas points to good news as movie industry revenues around the globe increased four percent from 2012 to 2013. While revenue from U.S. and Canada box offices were only up one percent, the global increases suggest that the movie industry has been able to survive during the ongoing threat of online piracy. Revenue in China also increased, the country that sits on top of the piracy list. Continue reading Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

AOL On Network: Premium Video Platform Launches in the UK

AOL launched its AOL On Network in the United Kingdom this week, the first market outside of North America to gain access to the on-demand video platform. AOL On is a syndication platform that offers curated and original content (currently 750,000 videos). It is an extension of the Be On end-to-end video platform for brands and its Adap.tv video trading platform. Web-only for now, an app for AOL On will be available in the UK early next month via the App Store on iTunes and Google Play. Continue reading AOL On Network: Premium Video Platform Launches in the UK

Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Japanese game developer GungHo Online recently released its 2013 financials, revealing sales of $1.5 billion, 91 percent of which came from the game “Puzzle & Dragons.” This marks the first mobile game to officially earn over $1 billion. The company noted that $775 million of these sales were generated through Google Play, and $650 million through the Apple App Store. GungHo also announced that the game generated $155 million in January this year.  Continue reading Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

PandoDaily and TheWrap are among those reporting that visual effects industry workers are planning a demonstration outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood during Sunday’s Academy Awards to protest ongoing efforts to send post-production work overseas. The group believes that offshoring has led to a slow collapse of the VFX industry in the U.S. While there was little the effects industry could do about this in the past, it may now be armed with a new weapon based on the MPAA’s attempts to combat Internet piracy. Continue reading VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Samsung has become the largest smartphone maker worldwide without having many of its own retail stores. Since its growth has slowed while faced with a variety of cheaper models from rivals, Samsung is looking to expand its retail presence in North America and Europe. In the next few months Samsung is planning to open around 60 stores in Europe, and 90 kiosks in Canada. The company has no independent retail stores in the U.S., but teamed up with Best Buy last year to create 1,400 “store-in-store” kiosks. Continue reading Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

A statement from the Writers Guild of America West raises the group’s concerns regarding copyright infringement fees and agreements, digital sales and other related issues. The letter particularly references the “notice and takedown” system of copyrighted material shared on the Web, noting that the system’s intentions are good, but may also cause potential harm. The statement was written in response to a recent green paper on copyright policy. Continue reading Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

CEA’s Steve Koenig on the State of the Global CE Industry

Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association, presented the organization’s annual “State of the Global CE Industry” press event at CES. Koenig explained that worldwide sales of consumer electronics grew 3 percent last year to a new record of $1.068 trillion, but growth is expected to remain flat or decline by 1 percent in 2014. Sales of smartphones and tablets have tapered off in major markets and Ultra HDTVs are not expected to gain significant traction until at least 2017. Continue reading CEA’s Steve Koenig on the State of the Global CE Industry

IHS Says More Than 70 Percent of U.S. Homes Have Broadband

According to a new Broadband Media Intelligence report by IHS, 86.1 million U.S. households had broadband Internet access at the middle of 2013. That figure represents a 70.2 percent penetration of American households. IHS estimates a 71.3 percent penetration by the end of the year, up from 69.6 percent the previous year. IHS also forecasts coverage will reach 74.1 percent by 2017 (about 94.7 million homes). Cable is currently the leading mode of access. Continue reading IHS Says More Than 70 Percent of U.S. Homes Have Broadband

House Passes Innovation Act: Enough to Save Patent System?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Innovation Act yesterday, a bill that intends to help reform the troubled American patent system. The bill, which passed by a vote of 325-91 with bipartisan support, will now go to the Senate (where it expects to pass), and then to the White House. Supporters hope the bill will save the current patent system plagued by low-quality patents and trolls, while others suggest it is merely a small solution for a much bigger problem. Continue reading House Passes Innovation Act: Enough to Save Patent System?

Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

An article in MIT Technology Review this week looks at the history and trends involving content distribution and suggests that Hollywood should consider adopting methods that are similar to those related to media piracy. While efforts to combat piracy continue, some question the perceived impact of file-sharing and other techniques, suggesting the film industry might be better served by adopting new ways to distribute its content and gain potential exposure. Continue reading Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

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