Tag - Sony BMG
US District Jude Loretta Preska has allowed a class-action lawsuit against RIAA music labels to continue forward. The lawsuit, which accuses major labels of conspiring to fix prices for digital music distribution, will be pursued under the Sherman Act to explore potential antitrust violations of federal law. Similar antitrust actions under New York state law will also be investigated, as well as other claims related to consumer protection and unjust enrichment.
Amazon is trying to secure agreements with the major music labels to secure licensing deals after launching its Cloud Player service on Tuesday. According to the Wall Street Journal, unnamed sources said the aggressive negotiations have the intention of making good with the four main record label groups after Amazon surprised them with the launch of the service. The music companies didn't immediately take kindly to the service, as it allows users to stream their existing music libraries to their portable devices from a remote server.
A lawsuit that dates back to 2006 has been settled, with a federal court judge finding file-sharing service LimeWire liable for copyright infringement. The judge ruled in favor of the RIAA and its member labels that LimeWire's parent company engaged in 'unfair competition' and induced copyright infringement.
Qtrax recently announced that its free and legal music download service will soon launch, naming October 28th as the launch date in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. A launch in the US, Canada and the UK will happen before year's end, Qtrax informs, while the rest of the world will get the service within the first half of 2010. The reason for the initial Asia launch is because of the region's record Internet user growth and specifically the ratio of Internet users downloading music, which is more than double that of the US.
Apple is planning to expand the content buyers receive when shopping for iTunes music, writes the Financial Times. The company is currently said to be in negotiations with the four major record labels -- EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal -- regarding a project called "Cocktail," aimed at boosting music sales by supplying interactive material with albums. At the core of the concept is a new booklet, which can mix photos, lyrics and liner notes.
A new video-sharing website may be in the works, as the four major music labels -- Universal, Warner, EMI and Sony BMG -- are in preliminary talks for creating their own web portal, according to a weekend Financial Times report. Early last week, news came of the four labels planning to band together to create a site devoted to music videos and related content. More recently word has leaked of the three options the labels are considering, due to unhappiness with the ad revenue derived from the Google-owned YouTube. Under consideration is a premium service on YouTube, a totally new site, or a partnership with Hulu, the film and TV site jointly owned by News Corp. and NBC Universal.
Hold-out major labels are split on what they want before allowing DRM-free tracks on the iTunes Store, anonymous sources claim. Although Apple CEO Steve Jobs has claimed to want DRM-free tracks on iTunes, only EMI and a host of independent labels have so far offered any material which can be copied without arbitrary restrictions. Apple benefits financially from DRM by forcing iTunes customers to use iPods for many tracks; this is not why DRM-free tracks have been slow in proliferating however, according to the sources.
Apple may have already completed negotiations with the three major record labels not yet on iTunes Plus, reports suggest. Apple is only recently said to have begun talks with Warner, Universal and Sony BMG to open up its catalog for the DRM-free Plus service, which currently hosts EMI and a collection of independent labels. Although Plus tracks are popular, allowing unlimited backups and broader media player support, most major-label tracks on iTunes are locked to Apple's FairPlay DRM.
Sony today announced that it has bought out Bertelsmann's 50 percent stake in Sony BMG and will now completely own its music label. The new label, named Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (SMEI), ends the short four-year run of Sony BMG and will let Sony create a "total entertainment experience" where the electronics giant can more closely integrate its music with its devices, according to company chief Sir Howard Stringer.
Sony today reported that its profit had dropped approximately 47 percent in the spring quarter versus the same quarter a year ago, representing one of the company's steeper drops in recent history. The Japanese company chiefly attributes the company-controlled aspects of the shortfall to poor Sony Ericsson results, which saw the company's cellphone sales virtually flatten as customers turned away from its mid-range and high-end phones, which target the same camera and music fields as devices like Apple's iPhone, LG's Viewty, and Nokia's Nseries.
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Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu