California Senate Passes Amended Smartphone Kill-Switch Bill

Weeks after the California Senate voted down legislation that would require anti-theft tech in all new smartphones, it has now passed a revised version of the bill after Apple and Microsoft withdrew their opposition. While the legislation is applauded by law enforcement groups, it is still opposed by some wireless carriers, and could face an uphill battle in the state Assembly. If passed, kill-switch technology would be required for phones sold in California that are manufactured after July 1, 2015. Continue reading California Senate Passes Amended Smartphone Kill-Switch Bill

Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

Major record labels Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with indie label ABKCO, filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last week, claiming that streaming music service Pandora is violating New York’s common-law copyright protections by using songs recorded prior to 1972 without licenses. The suit acknowledges that older songs are not protected under federal copyright, but contends that Pandora needs permission to use them under state law. Continue reading Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

CES Panelists Discuss Entertainment Trends and Future of TV

Industry leaders speaking at two CES panels this week addressed new directions in entertainment media. During the panel “What are the Entertainment Trends at CES 2014?”, wearables were discussed, smartwatches in particular, and what it will take to spark consumer adoption. During “The State of the New TV Business: What Comes Next?” panel, speakers examined how networks are tackling distribution and monetization of content in an era of streaming media. Continue reading CES Panelists Discuss Entertainment Trends and Future of TV

Facebook Under Fire for Decision to Make Teens’ Posts Public

Facebook announced this week that it would allow teenage users between 13 and 17 to make their posts public so that they can be seen by anyone on the social network, underscoring the competition between today’s social platforms to reach the teen audience and attract advertisers. Previously, the posts of teenage users could only be viewed by friends and friends of friends. While drawing criticism from privacy advocate groups, the move will enable Facebook to operate more like its rival Twitter. Continue reading Facebook Under Fire for Decision to Make Teens’ Posts Public