Wednesday, May 30, 2007

CD Wow to pay labels $81 million news:-CD Wow has been ordered to pay a Big 4 music cartel 'trade' company some £41 million (today about $80,994,655) for breaking UK import rules.

And downloading wasn't an issue.

"The High Court in London ruled in March that the site's owners, Music Trading Online, were 'in substantial breach' of a 2004 agreement to stop importing CDs," ordering the company to pay "£37m plus interest to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI)," says the BBC.

The story has ceo Henrik Wesslen declaring, "We are the little guys selling CDs to the UK market and they (the BPI) have picked on us for that reason. Other bigger sites doing the same thing have been left alone."

According to The Times Online, CD Wow imported cheap CDs from Hong Kong, "but promised as long ago as 2004 to stop the practice." But earlier in the year it was found guilty of continuing the trade.

"Yesterday CD Wow - a privately held company with little-known British and European founders - said that the BPI was able to cite only 39 instances of the rules being breached, a fraction of the 10,000 CDs it ships a day," says the story.

But, "CD-Wow is no consumer champion," stated the BPI's Geoff Taylor, says the BBC.

Full story

Lobbyist Urges Income From Karaoke

HONG KONG — The music industry needs to obtain more revenue from karaoke royalties and radio stations in China to offset losses to piracy, the head of an industry association said Wednesday.

"The new business model is built on the diversification of revenue streams," IFPI chief executive John Kennedy said at a music industry conference in Hong Kong.

Revenue from CD sales still represents a big chunk of the industry's overall earnings, but its share is decreasing, and record companies need to branch out into digital music, radio and karaoke royalties, especially in China, Kennedy said.

London-based IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, estimates that sales of pirated music products worldwide were worth $4.5 billion in 2005 and that nearly 20 billion songs were illegally downloaded that year.

China is a serious offender, with pirated CDs or tapes accounting for more than 85 percent of the market, according to IFPI.

Full story

Monday, May 21, 2007

Microsoft signs software deal with Vietnam

HANOI -- US software giant Microsoft Monday signed an agreement with communist Vietnam to use its licensed programs in government desktop computers in a bid to reduce rampant software piracy.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on a one-day visit during which both witnessed the signing of the agreement with the post and telematics ministry to use genuine Microsoft software.

Under the deal, Microsoft Office Systems software will be loaded onto 300,000 central and rural government desktops and computers in educational institutions, said a spokesman for Microsoft.

The deal aims to make Vietnam's government compliant with intellectual property (IP) protection rules and to foster a vibrant information and communication technology (ICT) industry, both sides said in a statement.

Full story

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hollywood steps up fight against ‘pirates’ in Asia

SINGAPORE— Hollywood has stepped up its fight against movie piracy in Asia with the release of an anti-piracy trailer in Singapore.

The 30-second trailer shows a thief, swinging in from a helicopter and dodging lasers, trying to steal a DVD. He is later caught. More than 30 cases of pirated movies, filmed with handheld video cameras in theaters, have been traced to the Asia-Pacific region in the past two years, said Fritz Attaway of the Motion Picture Association

“As we tackle this problem in our cinemas across North America and in Europe, we anticipate that even more will come from the Asia-Pacific region,” Attaway told reporters.

In the last week, the MPA discovered 14 recordings in Malaysia of the new “Spider-Man 3” movie.

Asia: The Steep Cost of Software Piracy

The overall rate of theft declined in the Asia-Pacific region, but because of increasing computer sales, its even more damaging to revenue

Despite a dip in the overall software piracy rate, increased PC ownership and growing broadband Internet access have pushed up revenue losses due to piracy in Asia.

According to the latest software piracy report released Tuesday by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the average piracy rate in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and Japan, grew slightly to 55 percent in 2006, compared to 54 percent in 2005. However, estimated revenue losses due to piracy rose sharply by 44 percent to US$11.6 billion last year, compared to US$8.1 billion the year before.

Full story

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mexican piracy ring smashed

Anti-piracy experts have worked closely with Mexican authorities in executive several search warrants against a freight forwarding company that was a distribution point for pirated music and film product to various cities across Mexico. An investigation was underway for a number of weeks after a seizure of 37,000 pirate CD-Rs in the company's dispatch terminal.

Full story

Principal Guilty in Software Piracy Case

Russian officials frequently allege that foreign governments, including the U.S., are meddling in Russia's internal affairs, and Russian media reports have portrayed the software piracy case as that of a Western corporation bringing its power to bear on one man -- in this case, a principal who also teaches history and earns $360 a month.

A court Monday found the principal of a village school guilty of using bootleg Microsoft software and ordered him to pay a fine of about $195 in a case that was cast by Russian media as a battle between a humble educator and an international corporation.
The trial of Alexander Ponosov, who was charged with violating intellectual property rights by using classroom computers with pirated versions of the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software installed, has attracted wide attention.

Full story

Asia West??

In Bid to Stem Piracy, Warner Bros. Halts Promo Screenings in Canada

Burbank, Calif. - In a move aimed at combating piracy, Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Wednesday that it has cancelled all promotional and word-of-mouth screenings in Canada for all of its forthcoming releases.

The studio said it is responding to Canada's lack of legislation banning the videotaping of films in movie theaters, adding that over the last 18 months, some 70% of its films have been camcorded in Canada.

The practice is illegal in the U.S. under various federal, state and local laws.

"Canada is the number one priority in terms of anti-camcording legislation," said Darcy Antonellis, Warner's senior vice president of worldwide anti-piracy operations.

"Within the first week of a film's release, you can almost be certain that somewhere out there a Canadian copy will show up."

Full story

Friday, May 04, 2007

BSA Steps Up Anti Piracy Drive

According to reports, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) recently carried out civil enforcement action against Hyderabad-based SM Technologies, and its owner, Suresh Babu Mandava, leading to the seizure of pirated software worth Rs 2 crores approximately.

A total of 1,843 CDs were recovered, allegedly containing pirated software of Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, and Symantec, under various titles, versions, and copies.

This is the second time, in a short span of three years, that the same company has been raided. Earlier, in September 2004, BSA had filed a criminal complaint against the company, and police had raided the premises at three locations in Hyderabad.

Full story

Not exactly asia, but...

NYC aims tougher law, public plea at piracy

NEW YORK - With the summer blockbuster movie season just ahead, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week signed legislation that upgrades film piracy from a violation with a $250 fine to a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and penalties of up to $5,000.

The stricter law coincides with an advertising campaign against film piracy.

The Motion Picture Association of America says more than 40 percent of bootlegged films are secretly videotaped in New York City theaters. The duplications are typically sold for mass reproduction or posted on the Internet, sometimes just hours after the movie has premiered.

Full story

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

US put India in "priority watch list"

India, China, Russia and nine other nations have been targeted by the United States for failing to sufficiently protect American producers of music, movies and other copyrighted material from widespread piracy.

The Bush administration on Monday placed the 12 countries on a "priority watch list", which will subject them to extra scrutiny and could eventually lead to economic sanctions if the administration decides to bring trade cases before the World Trade Organization.

Another 31 countries were placed on lower level monitoring lists, indicating the concerns about copyright violations in those nations did not warrant the highest level of scrutiny.

Full story