MPAA Wins Lawsuit Against Hotfile for Copyright Violations

In a major victory for the Motion Picture Association of America and its member studios, a Florida federal judge has ruled that Hotfile is liable for copyright infringement. According to the MPAA, the decision marks the first time a U.S. court has ruled against a cyberlocker regarding copyright infringement. Hotfile is one of the most popular cyberlockers and of the largest scale, but its claims of safe harbor from copyright liability and no indirect liability of its users failed. Continue reading MPAA Wins Lawsuit Against Hotfile for Copyright Violations

Machinima Looks to Turn Game Re-Streams into Big Business

Video game “re-stream” is a popular video genre on YouTube where gamers post recorded video of their gameplay, sometimes accompanied by voice-over commentary. One of the most popular channels is Machinima, which is looking to transform itself from a YouTube channel with billions of monthly views to a real media company. It may be the future of television, so long as Machinima, and others like it, can overcome copyright issues and create a sustainable model. Continue reading Machinima Looks to Turn Game Re-Streams into Big Business

Black Box Project: Intel Readies Internet TV Service and STB

We previously reported that Intel was moving forward with its planned Internet TV service and set-top box, and noted earlier this month that the chip giant was pursuing programming deals, reportedly offering to pay as much as 75 percent more for content than traditional cable rates. In March, the company started conducting closed trials, code-named the “Black Box Project,” with company employees. CNET has learned that “what they’re using is leaps away from the final product.” Continue reading Black Box Project: Intel Readies Internet TV Service and STB

Netflix and Amazon Continue Pursuit of Younger Audience

Netflix today announced the launch of Netflix Families, a new destination site intended to promote Netflix’s family-friendly offerings. The website features Netflix recommendations for parents and children, streaming tips and promotional content. Also, Amazon announced that it has added more than a thousand books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows to its Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, including kids’ titles from Disney, Warner Bros. and Electronic Arts. Continue reading Netflix and Amazon Continue Pursuit of Younger Audience

Fleetwood Mac and Clear Channel Agree on Revenue-Sharing

Clear Channel, which owns the iHeartRadio online music service and about 800 radio stations, announced this week that it will pay Fleetwood Mac a percentage of radio-advertising revenue in exchange for playing the band’s newest music via online services. As Internet radio and subscription services impact the music business, Clear Channel has initiated deals with labels for digital use of music in exchange for a share of airplay revenue. Fleetwood Mac is the first to close such a deal directly. Continue reading Fleetwood Mac and Clear Channel Agree on Revenue-Sharing

Music App Plays Man of Steel Soundtrack in Surround Sound

For those who purchase the newly released “Man Of Steel: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” limited deluxe edition CD, a unique feature joins Hans Zimmer’s musical score. The deluxe edition includes an access code to download the Z+ Music app for iOS devices that allows users to play the soundtrack in 11.1 channel surround sound using any headphones, including earbuds. The free Z+ app will soon be available to Android users. Continue reading Music App Plays Man of Steel Soundtrack in Surround Sound

Apple Inks Deal with Warner Music: Preps Streaming Service

Insiders suggest Apple is closer to launching its anticipated streaming music service for iTunes. Over the weekend, the company agreed to a licensing deal with Warner Music Group for rights to its recorded music and music publishing. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple is offering Warner’s publishing arm 10 percent of ad revenue, which is more than twice what Pandora currently pays major music publishers. Continue reading Apple Inks Deal with Warner Music: Preps Streaming Service

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

Yahoo Latest to Pursue Hulu with $600-$800 Million Bid

Last week we reported that pay TV operators Time Warner Cable and DirecTV had joined the group of potential Hulu suitors. Over the weekend, it was reported that Yahoo has bid $600-$800 million for the premium video site. The range is based on a number of circumstances including the length of content licensing rights and the amount of control programming companies have over their media. The bid comes amidst plans by Yahoo for other possible acquisitions. Continue reading Yahoo Latest to Pursue Hulu with $600-$800 Million Bid

Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Amazon announced Kindle Worlds yesterday, a digital publishing platform that enables fan fiction authors to publish under official licenses and receive royalties. The current deal is limited to “Gossip Girl,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment, but Amazon promises licenses for more Worlds in the future. Stories will be made available via Amazon.com, Kindle devices, iOS, Android and Kindle Free Reading apps. Continue reading Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Advertising: Twitter Amplify Will Target Social TV Viewers

Twitter is capitalizing on the growing trend of television viewers using social media while watching TV. Its new product called Twitter Amplify will allow marketers to match TV advertisements with Twitter commentary by viewers who are watching specific programming. Brands can then forward messages to selected Twitter users who have already watched the TV ads. The company offered a presentation on Twitter Amplify in New York yesterday. Continue reading Advertising: Twitter Amplify Will Target Social TV Viewers

Google Signs Labels, Readies Subscription Music Services

According to inside sources, Google may unveil its rumored subscription music services today at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco. The company has reportedly signed separate licensing deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group that involve both YouTube and Google Play, the entertainment hub for the Android operating system. Earlier this year, Google signed similar agreements with Warner Music Group. Continue reading Google Signs Labels, Readies Subscription Music Services

From Disc to Online: Impact of iTunes Over the Past Decade

Over the past decade, Apple’s iTunes has helped shape music discovery and consumption by providing a legal online model for distribution and sales. Since its 2003 launch, the iTunes Store has revamped the way music is distributed and has dismantled the traditional concept of the album. However, now there is concern that artists are not receiving proper creative and financial support with digital distribution expanding to multiple platforms. Continue reading From Disc to Online: Impact of iTunes Over the Past Decade

Distribution of Film Prints May Soon End in North America

The end of celluloid film distribution in North America may come as soon as the end of this year, as the transition from film to digital continues. Michael Karagosian, president of MKPE Consulting, said that by the end of last year, 75 percent of worldwide cinema screens had already made the digital transition. This is expected to be an important topic this week at the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas. Continue reading Distribution of Film Prints May Soon End in North America

Veronica Mars Movie Funded on Kickstarter: New Model?

As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign for the “Veronica Mars” movie is over. It broke fundraising records and took in more than $5 million in crowdfunding. Launched just one month ago by show creator Rob Thomas and actress Kristen Bell, the campaign has raised the topic of whether or not fan-funded projects could change the way films are being made, particularly for projects with rabid fan bases. Continue reading Veronica Mars Movie Funded on Kickstarter: New Model?

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