January 2007


According to this article, Europe online and digital content in Europe is going to suffer due to the uneven rollout and take-up of broadband, combined with the piracy of IP (given than music is one of the content sectors predicted to be ‘big’ for online transactions)

Warner Brothers’ Chinese joint venture company, CAV Warner Home Entertainment Co., will aim to beat DVD pirates in China at their own game, according to Xinhua News Agency feed.

The company, which is the only sino-foreign JV company licensed to sell audio-visual products in China, says that it will compete head on with pirates by matching them in price while providing significantly higher quality products and faster release.

This follows on from Warner pulling out of their Chinese cinemas venture and making a decision to distribute content directly via DVD (see my Nov 10 entry).

CAV Warner will also distribute locally produced Chinese-made films throughout China, both a signficant step towards a localisation strategy, and an attempt to further curb losses from film pirates recording movies in US cinemas and sending to China for bootleg production and distribution.

According to director Jia Zhangke, whose film Still Life Warner are distributing, problems with DVD piracy are compounded by the Chinese central government’s restriction on the number of foreign films allowed to be imported each year. While I don’t condone restrictions on any imports, it is interesting to see a local director come out in support of increasing imports…

Japan’s Sony has passed the 1 million mark for PlayStation 3 sales in Japan, and has reached 2 million units for PS3 sales worldwide. Yet according to news articles, the milestone is 2 weeks short of the target set by Sony Computer Entertainment. This has led Nomura Securities to cut its predicted shippings of PS3 units by up to 25 percent.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) (the international arm of the US motion pictures lobby group) has accused Shenzhen Xunlei Networking Technologies of encouraging the illegal sharing of its members’ films.

According to an article in PC World (via IDG News service), Shenzhen Xunlei, which claims to be China’s largest download engine, have come under fire for the amount of copyright-protected content flowing being exchanged by its users.

MPA S-VPand Asia-Pacific regional director Mark Ellis says he hopes Google will encourage Xunlei to”respect copyrights”.

It is our hope that Google will influence its partner in a manner appropriate to a company with the stated philosophy of ‘You can make money without doing evil.’ From our perspective, copyright theft falls under ‘evil.

Illegal file-sharing of copyright content is hardly surprising. The MPA’s decision to take issue with the Chinese firm has no doubt been based on Google’s announcement of a partnership with Xunlei this month.

According to an article in The Australian, Telstra is pushing the Australian Government to deliver on broadband to the bush (read: lobbying the government to accept its proposal and not its rival’s). Telstra says it has the means and strategy to deliver 8mbps ADSL to 95% of Australian households (up from 91%) mainly by removing its paired-gains system that prevents ADSL use.

But seriously, ADSL? Over what distances? Attenuation of signal strength is a well-known issue when using ADSL over long distances (which I imagine this would be). An 8mbps signal would drop below 1mbps after a couple of kilometres from the exchange (which I imagine many of these households would be).

While providing HiBIS-like subsidies for satellite broadband users might not be sustainable in the long-term, the question needs to be asked whether giving up on competition for an 8mbps in theory ADSL connection for the bush is any better, and whether it could be worse.

Freedom to Differ blog has an entry about Lisensa for use in specifying terms for non-commercial use of blog feeds

There seems to be a lot of excitement over Apple’s announcement of iPhone, but really, what is the big deal? What is new?

The functions available on the announced model of iPhone, such as music downloads and web browsing, have been around in Japan for years.

This article form NewsDay tells the story: In Japan, iPhone is old news

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