Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

Nielsen and Twitter teamed up to study how consumers decide to go see a movie, and they found that Twitter played a major role in that decision. About 87 percent of surveyed moviegoers said that Twitter influenced their choice of movie and 47 percent said that they saw a movie based on recommendations from family or friends on Twitter. The survey also found that in general, 62 percent of moviegoers use the Internet or mobile apps to look up films before their theatrical release. Continue reading Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

The following is on the schedule for the Federal Communications Commission: whether to approve or block AT&T’s newly announced $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, whether to allow Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, establish rules for next year’s auction of TV airwaves to wireless carriers, and determine whether and/or how to regulate the way broadband providers treat traffic over networks (and possibly face a busier calendar if Sprint makes a bid for T-Mobile). Continue reading FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

Mortar Data Makes it Easier to Build Recommendation Engines

Mortar Data, a New York-based company known for building and hosting custom big data applications, recently announced the launch of a recommendation engine platform that allows anyone to build their own system, and use it with their own data, for free. Recommendation systems are becoming increasingly popular, and have become a gold mine for big companies such as Pandora and Netflix, which use the services to make recommendations based on customer history. Continue reading Mortar Data Makes it Easier to Build Recommendation Engines

Will Networks Consider Cable or OTT Service to Combat Aereo?

CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said the network would consider launching its own over-the-top streaming TV service with other leading television networks if the Supreme Court rules that New York-based startup Aereo is allowed to continue reselling broadcast programming over the Internet without permission. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Aereo case later this year. “We are going to win either way,” Moonves said. Continue reading Will Networks Consider Cable or OTT Service to Combat Aereo?

Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

In somewhat anticlimactic fashion, the lengthy, dramatic battle regarding what digital music service Pandora should pay ASCAP ended Friday when U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Pandora should continue to pay the performing rights organization what it has been paying through 2015. Pandora had argued that it should pay less than the current 1.85 percent of revenue, while ASCAP had argued for an escalating rate structure that would require Pandora to pay 2.5 percent of revenue for 2013 and 3 percent in 2015. Continue reading Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

IEEE Predicts That Our Daily Lives Will Be Gamified by 2020

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) suggests that 85 percent of tasks in an average person’s daily life will include game elements by 2020. Gamification is already being integrated into social media, data collection, the healthcare industry and more. Social media sites including Foursquare, Yelp and Facebook are incorporating game and reward features. For example, they encourage users to check into restaurants by rewarding them with badges and titles, such as “mayor” of a restaurant. Continue reading IEEE Predicts That Our Daily Lives Will Be Gamified by 2020

Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

A new Web application named Hola is bypassing copyright laws to deliver content to users who otherwise don’t have access to it. The app essentially unlocks international versions of Netflix so U.S. users can watch shows like “True Grit” or “Community” — only available overseas — whenever they want. By changing users’ IP addresses and making their devices act as routers, content is never copied illegally. Since beta testing began, the app has become incredibly popular, and it could alter the way the Internet operates. Continue reading Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

Mitsubishi Exits Front Projection and Large Format LCD TV Biz

Mitsubishi recently announced that it would shutter its front-projection and large-format LCD TV operations in order to focus on the company’s LCD data wall display efforts. Mitsubishi says sustained losses in recent years factored into its decision. The move follows the company’s decision last December to exit the rear projection TV business. Mitsubishi, which developed one-piece rear projection systems in the 1970s, is credited with helping to launch the large-screen TV movement. Continue reading Mitsubishi Exits Front Projection and Large Format LCD TV Biz

Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia issued a ruling that utilizing the “Like” feature on Facebook to show support for a political candidate is protected by the Constitution. The ruling is in light of a lawsuit brought by former employees of a sheriff’s office who claim they lost their jobs after supporting their boss’s opponent, which involved a campaign on Facebook. The Virginia Court’s decision reversed an earlier decision from a lower court. Continue reading Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

Fox Considering an Appeal to Supreme Court in Aereo Battle

On Tuesday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals refused TV broadcasters’ petition to appeal an earlier ruling that Internet-streaming startup Aereo is legal in New York City. The appeal came from Fox, CBS and others. Judges were polled and a majority did not want to rehear the case, although Judge Denny Chin called Aereo a “sham” and harmful to the TV industry. Fox Broadcasting is reviewing its options and may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading Fox Considering an Appeal to Supreme Court in Aereo Battle

Federal Judge Rules that Apple Colluded on E-Book Pricing

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled yesterday that Apple colluded with five U.S. publishers in 2010 to drive up the prices of e-books. The decision threatens to limit Apple’s options when negotiating future content deals and potentially exposes the company to additional investigation of its other business practices. The decision to go to trial was considered a significant risk for Apple since the publishers, after denying any wrongdoing, had already settled similar charges. Continue reading Federal Judge Rules that Apple Colluded on E-Book Pricing

ITC Ruling Favors Samsung, Could Impact Apple Products

Samsung won a largely unexpected legal victory against Apple yesterday that could potentially stop the sale of early model iPhones and iPads. The U.S. International Trade Commission, which has jurisdiction over certain trade practices, ruled that Apple violated a Samsung patent related to tech used to send data over wireless networks. Devices in question include the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, iPad 2 3G and iPad 3 (the more current iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPad were unaffected). Continue reading ITC Ruling Favors Samsung, Could Impact Apple Products

Court Rules Comcast Does Not Have to Carry Tennis Channel

According to a federal appeals court ruling, cable provider Comcast is under no legal obligation to offer the independently-owned Tennis Channel as widely as its own sports networks, which could be disappointing news for smaller cable channels in search of viewers. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stated the Tennis Channel failed to prove that Comcast did not have business reasons for pushing the channel to a lesser tier. Continue reading Court Rules Comcast Does Not Have to Carry Tennis Channel

ReDigi: Judge Rules Reselling of Digital Goods not Legal

ReDigi, the online platform that allows consumers to buy and sell used MP3 files that were initially purchased legally through retailers such as iTunes, has been deemed unlawful by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan. The case considered the first sale copyright doctrine, which gives people in possession of copyrighted materials the right to resell them. But the judge ruled that this first sale theory does not apply to the reselling of digital goods. Continue reading ReDigi: Judge Rules Reselling of Digital Goods not Legal