TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC filed a 59-page brief to the Supreme Court a few weeks ago that detailed how online video startup Aereo is stealing their programming and undermining the TV business model. The filing also noted that “a ruling against Aereo would pose no threat to innovative online-distribution services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon,” since those services “pay for the right to use copyrighted content.” In a Supreme Court filing yesterday, the Justice Department backed the networks in their fight with Aereo. Continue reading TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

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

UFC Discusses Its Big-Data Strategy at the HPA Tech Retreat

The HPA Tech Retreat was in full swing on Tuesday, and one of the most intriguing presentations was a case study in the use of Big Data, given by Christy King, VP digital technology and R&D at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. King, co-presenting with journalist Deborah McAdams of TV Technology outlined the methods that UFC employs to collect and analyze data about its fans and viewers, including how they use that data to make decisions about marketing and expansion. Continue reading UFC Discusses Its Big-Data Strategy at the HPA Tech Retreat

Android: Justice Department Fight Against Piracy Goes Mobile

For the first time, federal prosecutors are targeting people who have illegally distributed pirated versions of apps for Google’s Android operating system. Numerous individuals are currently under investigation, and four men from Oregon and Florida have been charged with copyright crimes. The Justice Department is pursuing criminal charges, rather than going the traditional route with cease-and-desist letters from copyright holders or civil suits, in order to send a strong message to deter piracy. Continue reading Android: Justice Department Fight Against Piracy Goes Mobile

BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras. Continue reading BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

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

Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

Crowdsourced music videos of live performances are becoming more and more popular as concert-goers increasingly record shows with their smartphones or cameras. One Neil Young fan named Tom Adams went so far as to piece together multiple recordings of the same performance captured from different angles by other fans in attendance. On top of the video, he added a single audio recording of the concert to create one cohesive video. Continue reading Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Several countries have launched “graduated response” initiatives in an effort to reduce online piracy, but new findings from U.S. and French researchers suggest the measures do not have the intended effect. Last year, the U.S. implemented its six-strikes system to warn infringing file-sharers, and then penalize them after multiple warnings. Although the penalties range from a fine to a prolonged Internet disconnection, the study suggests this does not prevent piracy.  Continue reading Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Netflix Tests Subscription Model Based on Number of Users

Netflix is testing a new pricing model with some of its new customers that provides streaming access to as many as four screens simultaneously, allowing household members to view different shows at the same time. Pricing ranges from $6.99 to $11.99 per month. The approach offers more ways to watch content, similar to how cable providers rent multiple set-top boxes. Netflix may also be looking for ways to curb account sharing. If successful, the new pricing could be expanded to additional customers. Continue reading Netflix Tests Subscription Model Based on Number of Users

Settlement: Hotfile to Pay $80 Million and Cease Operations

Prominent file-sharing cyberlocker Hotfile has agreed to shut down and pay $80 million in a settlement with the Motion Picture Association of America. The move follows an August decision by a federal judge in Florida who agreed with the MPAA that Hotfile did not qualify for safe harbor protection under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The settlement was initiated in order to avoid a jury trial that was scheduled to begin this week. Continue reading Settlement: Hotfile to Pay $80 Million and Cease Operations

Hollywood Executives Discuss Piracy with President Obama

Entertainment media execs met with President Obama this week to discuss including copyright protections in new trade agreements and help in facilitating improved relations between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. During the meeting, the president offered his administration’s assistance in bridging the divide between the two industries. A priority in Hollywood is to stop search engines from linking to websites that stream pirated content. Continue reading Hollywood Executives Discuss Piracy with President Obama

MPAA Updates its Anti-Piracy Guidelines for Movie Theaters

The Motion Picture Association of America offers theater employees a $500 reward for catching moviegoers illegally recording films on the big screen. The Association recently updated its anti-piracy guidelines, which outline tips for spotting illegal recording activity. The new guidelines urge theaters to enforce a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding any video, audio, or photographic documentation that may lead to piracy. Continue reading MPAA Updates its Anti-Piracy Guidelines for Movie Theaters

Video Game Industry Booms as Other Media Industries Struggle

While some areas of entertainment media such as the movie and music businesses are struggling to find their footing in an evolving digital landscape, the video game industry is thriving. “Grand Theft Auto V” by Rockstar Games, for example, earned $800 million worldwide in its first 24 hours of availability. That’s the largest launch day any form of entertainment media has ever experienced. Challenges involved with pirating games contribute to the industry’s success. Continue reading Video Game Industry Booms as Other Media Industries Struggle

Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

Following last month’s report by major Hollywood studios stating that 82 percent of infringing URLS that point to pirate sites and torrent files come from Google’s search engine, the Motion Picture Association of America has released a list of major worldwide torrenting sites, cyberblockers, and brick-and-mortar marketplaces. The MPAA is not creating this list to facilitate piracy, but rather to raise awareness in an effort to combat it. Continue reading Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Credits Illegal Downloads for Popularity

Vince Gilligan, the creator of the Emmy-winning series “Breaking Bad,” told BBC in a recent interview that he attributed the show’s following in part to illegal downloads. The dramatic final episode was downloaded illegally more than 500,000 times in just 12 hours — the show’s most pirated episode, according to Variety. But Gilligan also says those downloads negatively affected the people who worked on the show and earned them less money as a result. Continue reading ‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Credits Illegal Downloads for Popularity

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