Oculus and Valve Have Yet to Open Tracking to Third Parties

A year after going on record that they would open up their tracking systems to third party developers, neither Oculus nor Valve have done so. So called ‘6DOF’ (degrees of freedom) tracking allows for head and body tracking, as well as mapping of physical objects like handheld objects and furniture, into the virtual world. Oculus’ Constellation tracking system uses a collection of IR-LEDs tracked by an external camera. Meanwhile, Valve/HTC’s Lighthouse tracking system uses photodiodes that track lasers from base stations. Continue reading Oculus and Valve Have Yet to Open Tracking to Third Parties

RSA Conference Reveals More Nuances in FBI-Apple Battle

By now, everyone knows the general outline of the argument between Apple and the FBI, over the latter’s request for a backdoor into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Apple’s refusal to do so has sparked a war of words and legal actions between Apple and other proponents of data protection/digital privacy and the government, as well as others who believe national security trumps digital privacy. More recently, at the RSA Conference, an information security event, more nuances were revealed. Continue reading RSA Conference Reveals More Nuances in FBI-Apple Battle

Open-Source Companies Turn to Proprietary Code for Profits

Open-source projects and operating systems are in offerings from Facebook, Twitter, Uber Technologies and operating systems such as Linux at the foundation of servers, financial trading platforms and Android phones. But businesses based on open-source code find it hard to make a profit, and sell tech support and consulting services for revenue. Even those that spin off companies from open-source projects don’t make big profits. The solution, some are finding, is to create proprietary code to support the free tools. Continue reading Open-Source Companies Turn to Proprietary Code for Profits

Pandora Media to Acquire Rdio Assets Following Bankruptcy

Pandora has largely been focused on Internet radio since its inception, but has also been increasingly competing with on-demand music services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The company announced yesterday that it plans to spend $75 million for the assets of struggling online service Rdio, which is filing for bankruptcy. The move could help Pandora significantly expand the way it delivers music. While the company presently touts 78 million customers, most of them listen for free, and the current Pandora model involves a feed of songs based on a user’s tastes, but with limited control. Rdio’s tech could offer Pandora users more control over their selections. Continue reading Pandora Media to Acquire Rdio Assets Following Bankruptcy

Court Win for Google Books Could Impact Film, TV and Music

In the latest page of Google’s decade-long saga to scan the world’s books and make them searchable, the company won a case that decided in its favor and against the Authors Guild, on whose behalf the Motion Picture Association of America and the music licensing organization ASCAP filed amicus briefs. The October 16 ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit means that writers cannot stop Google from adding their books to Google’s 20-million book library, which the Court calls “non-infringing fair uses.” Continue reading Court Win for Google Books Could Impact Film, TV and Music

NFL Stops Fans From Sharing Sports Video Clips via Twitter

The tension between intellectual property owners and user-generated video sports replays came to a head when Twitter deactivated two popular sports accounts: Gawker Media’s Deadspin, with more than 887,000 Twitter followers, and @SBNationGIF, an offshoot of Vox Media’s SB Nation. The takedown came in response to complaints from the National Football League. But critics note the fuzzy line between fair use and IP infringement; some sports leagues, such as the NBA, regard user-generated videos as marketing, not infringement. Continue reading NFL Stops Fans From Sharing Sports Video Clips via Twitter

WikiLeaks Releases IP Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

WikiLeaks has released what it says is the complete intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. With its release, some digital rights activists say their worst fears have been realized. They’re referring to one portion that says any of the 12 signatory countries can curtail legal proceedings to tamp down the public spread of embarrassing information, and a legal action from any signatory can force all signatories to block any online content/website rules to be infringing copyright. Continue reading WikiLeaks Releases IP Chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Twitter Will Remove Plagiarized Tweets on Copyright Grounds

Twitter is cracking down on plagiarized tweets, since tweets are considered the intellectual property of the original tweeter. Users can request to have copied tweets removed on copyright grounds. Twitter has deleted several copies of a stolen joke originally penned by freelance writer Olga Lexell after she reported the infringement. Although most social media-related copyright claims involve embedded media or links rather than text, anyone can submit a claim through Twitter, and the company will remove the tweet if the request is valid. Continue reading Twitter Will Remove Plagiarized Tweets on Copyright Grounds

To Combat Patent Trolls, Google Offers Patents to Startups

Google has started a program to give away up to two non-organic patent families to startups. The offer requires those startups that gain patents to join the LOT Network, a cross-company licensing drive to decrease the number of patent-trolling suits. Canon, Dropbox, Pandora and SAP are among the other members of the LOT Network. This new move comes on the heels of Google’s April launch of a pop-up marketplace for companies to sell patents to Google. Google bought 28 percent of the total offered, some of which are available in this new program. Continue reading To Combat Patent Trolls, Google Offers Patents to Startups

3D Printing Brings More Piracy Issues to Entertainment Industry

The rise in accessibility to 3D printing has provided avid fans and hobbyists with the ability to print their favorite characters and props from movies, TV shows, comics and video games, which often violates the intellectual property rights of entertainment companies. So far, Hollywood has not taken any significant legal action against 3D printers. Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios and Warner Bros., however, are among those that have responded by releasing sanctioned 3D designs as a promotional tool prior to movie release dates. Continue reading 3D Printing Brings More Piracy Issues to Entertainment Industry

SoundCloud Signs Warner, Grows Mix of Music and Social Media

SoundCloud, which has mixed music and community for eight years, now boasts 150 million registered users who have uploaded over 100 million tracks and clips. Such artists as Prince, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé and Drake have used the platform to release special tracks, remixes and promos. But as SoundCloud transitions from a free service with unlicensed content to one that licenses content and shares revenue, it teeters between two different creative models and the potential of a major breakthrough or bust. Continue reading SoundCloud Signs Warner, Grows Mix of Music and Social Media

New Chinese Security Law Raises Concerns by Tech Industry

New language in China’s recently enacted national security law is generating major concern across the global technology industry. The rules call for a “national security review” of networking, tech products and services, and foreign investment. In addition, the rules call for crucial tech sectors to be made “secure and controllable,” which industry groups fear may suggest that back doors for allowing third-party access to systems would be necessary, perhaps even leading to the sharing of encryption keys or source code. Continue reading New Chinese Security Law Raises Concerns by Tech Industry

Development of MPAA Cloud Security Standards Moves Forward

On April 15, at ETC’s Media Management in the Cloud conference held at the NAB Show, John McCoskey, EVP & CTO of the Motion Picture Association of America, and Jim Reavis, executive director of the Cloud Security Alliance, delivered the MPAA keynote updating the audience on the MPAA’s first cloud security standards, which are continuing to progress and may be launched later this year. They encouraged media industry professionals interested in cloud security to implement the CSA’s Cloud Controls Matrix. Continue reading Development of MPAA Cloud Security Standards Moves Forward

Film Executives Form Alliance in Effort to Combat Online Piracy

Five film companies are forming an antipiracy coalition called the Internet Security Task Force with plans to mobilize small businesses in the gaming, music, software, film and TV industries against online theft of intellectual property. The alliance — comprised of Bloom, FilmNation Entertainment, Millennium, Sierra/Affinity and Voltage Pictures — is considering a range of initiatives, including the launch of a media campaign, more political lobbying efforts, and placing pressure on companies that advertise on pirate websites. Continue reading Film Executives Form Alliance in Effort to Combat Online Piracy

Nintendo Characters Come to Life with Interactive Gameplay

Nintendo recently released a Wii U version of the popular “Super Smash Bros.” in addition to a series of Amiibo toy figurines designed for interactive gameplay. While facing the growing popularity of less expensive games for mobile devices, Nintendo has also recently struggled to compete with other console manufacturers, leading to disappointing overall sales of its Wii U. Nintendo hopes that the Amiibo line can reignite interest in some of its most beloved characters such as Mario and Luigi. Continue reading Nintendo Characters Come to Life with Interactive Gameplay

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