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Media

Corporate Claims On Public Domain YouTube Videos 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrr-me-hearties dept.
esocid writes "Cory Doctorow has written a Guardian column, 'The pirates of YouTube,' about how multinational copyright-holding companies have laid false claim to public domain videos on YouTube. The videos are posted by the nonprofit FedFlix organization, which liberates public domain government-produced videos and makes them available to the world. These videos were produced at public expense and no one can claim to own them, but multinationals from CBS to Discovery Communications have done just that, getting YouTube to place ads on the video that deliver income to their coffers. What's more, their false copyright claims could lead to the suspension of FedFlix's YouTube account under Google's rules for its copyright policing system. This system, ContentID, sets out penalties for 'repeat offenders' who generate too many copyright claims — but offers no corresponding penalties for rightsholders who make too many false claims of ownership."

Comment: This is a new but well understood business model (Score 1) 161

by GregGardner (#37924056) Attached to: 'Free' Games Dominate Top-Grossing Game List On App Store

This is a new (in the last year or so) "freemium" business model which is turing out to be a very lucrative way for developers to make money in the new App Store mobile gaming world. It is all explained quite well in this blog post:

http://blog.flurry.com/bid/65656/Free-to-play-Revenue-Overtakes-Premium-Revenue-in-the-App-Store

Most of these games don't require you to make in-app purchases to continue in the game, they just allow you to buy items to proceed in the game faster. Because the games are free, the developers get vastly more distribution of their games than if they were paid, and even though only a small minority pay for in-app purchases, the developers can make a significant amount of money off of them. This ends up being a win-win: developers get paid and get lots of exposure for their hard work and potentially millions of people get quality games for free which is subsidized by a small number of people with more money than time on their hands who want to proceed faster in the games.

Movies

Filmmakers Resisting Hollywood's 3-D Push 521

Posted by kdawson
from the flatland-is-a-nice-place-to-visit dept.
gollum123 passes along a piece from the NY Times on the building resistance to Hollywood's 3-D plans — from filmmakers. "A joke making the rounds online involves a pair of red and green glasses and some blurry letters that say, 'If you can’t make it good, make it 3-D.' While Hollywood rushes dozens of 3-D movies to the screen — nearly 60 are planned in the next two years, including 'Saw VII' and 'Mars Needs Moms!' — a rebellion among some filmmakers and viewers has been complicating the industry’s jump into the third dimension. Several influential directors took surprisingly public potshots at the 3-D boom during the recent Comic-Con... Behind the scenes..., filmmakers have begun to resist production executives eager for 3-D sales. For reasons both aesthetic and practical, some directors often do not want to convert a film to 3-D or go to the trouble and expense of shooting with 3-D cameras, which are still relatively untested on big movies with complex stunts and locations. Tickets for 3-D films carry a $3 to $5 premium, and industry executives roughly estimate that 3-D pictures average an extra 20 percent at the box office. Filmmakers like Mr. Whedon and Mr. Abrams argue that 3-D technology does little to enhance a cinematic story, while adding a lot of bother."
Image

Officials Use Google Earth To Find Unlicensed Pools 650

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-in-the-sky dept.
Officials in Riverhead, New York are using Google Earth to root out the owners of unlicensed pools. So far they've found 250 illegal pools and collected $75,000 in fines and fees. Of course not everyone thinks that a city should be spending time looking at aerial pictures of backyards. from the article: "Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, DC, said Google Earth was promoted as an aid to curious travelers but has become a tool for cash-hungry local governments. 'The technology is going so far ahead of what people think is possible, and there is too little discussion about community norms,' she said."
Cellphones

Android Outsells iPhone In Last 6 Months 514

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the more-competing-please dept.
tomhudson writes "Despite all the hype about Apple's latest iPhone, Android has sold more in the last 6 months (27% of all smartphone sales) than Apple (23%). The gains for Android are coming at the expense of RIM (still #1 at 33%, down from 45% a year ago), Windows Mobile (11%, down from 20%) and the iPhone (down from 34% at it's peak 6 months ago). If the current trend continues, Android is expected to be #1 within the year."
Movies

Avatar Blu-Ray DRM Issues 376

Posted by Soulskill
from the revolutionary-zero-d-technology dept.
geekd writes "Once again, DRM only hurts legit content purchasers: 'An unusual glitch has angered some Avatar Blu-ray owners. For these unlucky people, since the disc won't play on their Blu-ray players, their new Avatar DVD serves no real purpose other than to sit idly on the coffee table. ... It appears the main culprit concerning playback issues with Avatar is, ironically, the disc's DRM (digital rights management). ... Even with updated firmware, a lot of Blu-ray players weren't prepared for these security measures. Despite the security problems, bootleggers are having a field day. Pirated copies of Avatar, according to Los Angeles Times, were available as early as January.'" Reader Murpster adds that this problem isn't specific to the Blu-ray version: "Got a regular Avatar DVD and it won't play on either of my DVD players. It will play on one computer DVD drive, if I want to watch it on a 12-inch screen."
Privacy

NJ Court Upholds Privacy of Personal Emails At Work 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the easier-said-than-done dept.
chiguy sends word of a ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court which found that a company did not have the right to read emails from an employee's personal account even through the account was accessed on a company computer. This ruling is likely to set precedent for other workplace privacy cases around the country. "'The court has recognized the very legitimate and real concerns with regards to privacy. This gives some guidance to employers in terms of how explicit (e-mail) policies need to be,' [attorney Marvin Goldstein] said. The ruling stems from a harassment and discrimination lawsuit Marina Stengart of Bergen County filed three years ago against Loving Care of Ridgefield Park. Stengart, then the executive director of nursing, sent her attorney eight e-mails from her company-loaned laptop about her issues with her superiors. Stengart used her Yahoo e-mail account. 'Under all of the circumstances, we find that Stengart could reasonably expect that e-mails she exchanged with her attorney on her personal, password-protected, web-based e-mail account, accessed on a company laptop, would remain private,' Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in the decision, which upholds an appeals court’s ruling last year."
Botnet

Zeus Botnet Dealt a Blow As ISPs Troyak, Group 3 Knocked Out 156

Posted by timothy
from the brief-respite-while-sauron-regroups dept.
itwbennett writes "Ninety of the 249 Zeus command-and-control servers were knocked offline overnight when two ISPs, named Troyak and Group 3, were taken offline. Whoever was behind the takedown 'just decided to knock out a large area of cyber-crime, and this was probably one of the easiest ways to do it,' said Kevin Stevens, a researcher with SecureWorks. As with the McColo takedown of just over a year ago, Troyak's upstream providers seem to have knocked it off the Internet, Cisco said in a statement. 'The ISP was "De-peered,"' Cisco said. 'Troyak's upstream network providers effectively pulled the plug on Troyak's router, refusing to transmit its traffic.'"
Government

There Is No Cyberwar 149

Posted by kdawson
from the because-i-say-so dept.
crowfeather notes an interview with cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt that Wired's Threat Level conducted this week. "Howard Schmidt, the new cybersecurity czar for the Obama administration, has a short answer for the drumbeat of rhetoric claiming the United States is caught up in a cyberwar that it is losing. 'There is no cyberwar,' Schmidt told Wired.com in a sit-down interview Wednesday at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco. 'I think that is a terrible metaphor and I think that is a terrible concept,' Schmidt said. 'There are no winners in that environment.' Instead, Schmidt said the government needs to focus its cybersecurity efforts to fight online crime and espionage. His stance contradicts Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence who made headlines last week when he testified to Congress that the country was already in the midst of a cyberwar — and was losing it. ... There's been much ink spilled in recent years over the turf battles in D.C. over whether the NSA (representing the military) or DHS (on the civilian side) takes the lead role in cybersecurity. But... "I haven't seen that tension," Schmidt said. As for which will take the cybersecurity lead, Schmidt simply says it's a shared effort."
Games

Life Imagined As One Big RPG 176

Posted by timothy
from the congratulations-you're-employed dept.
Scoop Snookems writes "Will there be a day where we earn achievement points simply by brushing our teeth or high-fiving a friend? There could be, according to Carnegie Mellon professor Jesse Schell. In this video from the annual DICE summit, Schell comments on recent evolutions in gaming before fixating on a concept where our futures evolve into one big RPG. Fascinating stuff, and I hope writing this post nets me 10 points."
Communications

Dragging Telephone Numbers Into the Internet Age 239

Posted by timothy
from the imagine-that dept.
azoblue writes with this teaser from Ars Technica, presenting a tempting suggestion for online consolidation: "E-mail, IM, Facebook, phones—what if all of these ways to reach you over a network could be condensed into a single, unique number? The ENUM proposal aims to do just that, by giving everyone a single phone number that maps to all of their identifiers. Here's how it works, and why it isn't already widely used."
Games

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-ralph dept.
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."

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