Bad news for Italian bloggersThursday, May 16, 2013
After the recent conviction of an Italian blogger for defamatory comments posted by a user, there is more bad news for bloggers in Italy, writes Gianluigi Marino on the IPT Italy blog run by global legal firm DLA Piper.
The Criminal Court in Rome has recently jailed a Facebook page manager and blogger for nine months for the offence of 'instigation and encouragement to commit crimes' on the grounds of comments posted by its users.
Google launches music service ahead of AppleThursday, May 16, 2013
REUTERS. San Francisco, 15 May, 2013. Google Inc launched a music service on Wednesday that allows users to listen to unlimited songs for $9.99 a month, challenging smaller companies like Pandora and Spotify in the market for streaming music.
With its new service, announced at its annual developers' conference in San Francisco, Google has adopted the streaming music business model ahead of rival Apple Inc, which pioneered online music purchases with iTunes.
NY Times reveals digital subscription plansFriday, April 26, 2013
The New York Times Company, under the leadership of former BBC Director General, Mark Thompson, has revealed its strategy for the digital future following a disastrous first quarter. Total revenues for the quarter were two percent down, year-on-year at $466m and, while income from newspaper sales increased - fuelled by growth in digital subscriptions and a price hike for the print edition - this did not compensate for a combined decline in advertising revenues in digital and print editions of more than 11 percent. While print income suffered most (at over 13 percent) even digital income declined.
At a press conference on 25 April, the publisher announced plans to introduce 'multi-tiered' paid subscriptions for its digital editions. Options will include low price access to top stories, or narrowly defined areas such as sport or politics, and more expensive prices for comprehensive digital access plus print, along the lines of the Guardian's offering in the UK. The higher price plans will include bonuses such as live events and multi-platform access designed for families.
Google boss defends company tax recordTuesday, April 23, 2013
In a BBC interview on 22 April, Eric Schmidt (pictured), the executive chair of Google, defended his company's minuscule payment of UK corporation tax. The comments followed condemnation by a parliamentary committee of the tax arrangements of giant transnationals like Google as 'immoral'.
A number of European leaders, including Chancellor George Osborne, have also called for international action on 'profit shifting' as a means of tax avoidance.
In the interview, Schmidt says his firm invests heavily in the UK and helps boost the economy, noting that 'Britain has been a very good market for us'.
Bertelsmann to dispose of shares in RTLWednesday, April 17, 2013
The privately owned Bertelsmann SE, Europe’s largest media company, is raising 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion) from the sale of a stake in the Luxembourg-based broadcaster RTL Group SA - former owner of the UK's Channel 5. The purpose is to gain funds for acquisitions, according to a report on the Bloomnberg website on 17 April (see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-17/bertelsmann-to-raise-up-to-1-6-billion-euros-in-rtl-share-sale.html).
The Gutersloh-based Bertelsmann currently owns about 92 per cent of RTL, which is Europe’s largest broadcast company, and plans to keep at least 75 per cent. Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann's chief executive, will put the money it makes towards a 3 billion euro 'warchest' aimed at funding acquisitions over three years in order to expand its holdings outside of Europe.
Electronic Arts continues to shrinkWednesday, April 17, 2013
A report by Matt Martin on the Games Industry International website notes that 'around 50 jobs have gone at Electronic Arts India, according to reports from the Facebook page of the region's software trade organisation Nasscom.' (see http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-04-17-ea-cull-continues-with-50-jobs-lost-in-india?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=european-daily)
Pinewood goes to ChinaWednesday, April 17, 2013
A press release, dated 17 April 2013, from Pinewood studios group, part of the Peel Group which also owns Salford's MediaCityUK, has announced a trailblazing deal with a Chinese company, Seven Stars Media. Alongside a number of opportunities for property development, focusing on movie-themed projects, the deal covers co-productions and the creation of film and television diploma courses to be delivered by UK educational institutions in China. The picture shows (l to r) Fred Milstein (CEO-Seven Stars Entertainment), Bruno Wu (Seven Stars Chairman and CEO), Ivan Dunleavy (Pinewood CEO) and Michael Grade (Pinewood Chairman) signing the joint venture agreement.
Apple bans app that might upset ChinaFriday, April 5, 2013
According to a report from the UK Financial Times (4 April, 2013), Apple's increasingly troubling tendency to ban apps that fail to meet its idiosyncratic criteria for acceptance has reached the nadir of removing an app, called jingdian shucheng, from its Chinese App Store because it provides access to books banned by the government, according to the app's developer, Hao Peiqiang.