November 21, 2005
Volume 11, Issue 4
Welcome to Qadar Royal
Please warmly welcome Qadar Royal Enterprises LLC to the Platform Group. We look forward to providing valuable services to this newest DCIA Member and supporting its contributions to commercial development of the distributed computing industry
Qadar Royal provides website templates in real-time featuring high-quality designs, saving cost and time versus hiring a web designer or web design studio.
Qadar's templates consist of .zip file(s) that contain PSD file(s), HTML file(s), fonts, and advanced clipart libraries.
Its website templates are available in Photoshop and HTML formats. Fonts are included with Photoshop files. In most templates, HTML is compatible with Adobe GoLive, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and Microsoft Frontpage.
Customers have the flexibility of choosing non-unique (non-exclusive) or unique (exclusive) purchase options for their templates.
In addition, Qadar's help center provides detailed online information regarding post-purchase modifications, including how to change flash portions of templates.
1.8 Billion Web Users by 2010
Excerpted from KenRadio Report by Ken Rutkowski
The worldwide number of Internet broadband subscribers will surpass 215 million in 2005. That's up from less than 5 million in 1999 and 67 million in 2002. The US is the leader in broadband subscribers and will reach nearly 47 million at year-end 2005.
China is #2 and will challenge for the lead in a few years. Worldwide broadband Internet subscribers are forecast to reach 500 million by the end of 2010.
The US will have nearly 198 million Internet users by year-end 2005, and worldwide Internet users are projected to top 1 billion in 2005. Worldwide Internet users are forecast to reach nearly 1.8 billion in 2010.
Skype to Expand in China
Excerpted from Red Herring Report
DCIA Member Skype is negotiating with Chinese government-owned phone companies about expanding its operations in China to allow the SkypeOut computer-to-phone calling service to be offered there, according to Wednesday's edition of the Financial Times.
Niklas Zennström, chief executive of Skype, which was acquired by eBay earlier this year, dismissed reports that China was about to install a Skype-blocking system. Shares of eBay were up $0.18 to $43.23 in recent trading.
"We have quite a good relationship with the operators here in China and are in dialogue with them," Mr. Zennström told the FT. "I am optimistic that we will be able to launch the SkypeOut service in China."
Skype will need to negotiate with the Chinese authorities and phone carriers to work out a way for its service to be used and still comply with Chinese laws before SkypeOut and the regular Skype service can gain widespread use.
Approximately 30 percent of Skype's users are based in China.
Skype spokesperson Kat James confirmed the company is in talks in China but added that "the content of those talks is confidential information."
International IPRP Forum in Beijing
Excerpted from Xinhua Report by Tu Yen
An international forum on protection of intellectual property rights held in Beijing attracted government officials, entrepreneurs, and experts from Asia, Europe, and America. While stressing the significance of IPRP in this digital era, participants were also reminded that overprotection of copyright needs to be avoided.
"Through P2P networks, people can exchange data from copies of CDs or DVDs. We cannot control the Internet. Technical development is faster than legal acts," said Zdenek Rybar, representing the Czech Republic.
But easier access to information and knowledge does not justify using others' intellectual property without paying for it.
Luo Jianhu of China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television said, "Without effective protection of intellectual property rights, people are unwilling to put their fine audio or video works onto information networks. Without good works, online audio and video business can hardly achieve healthy development. And without reasonable returns, people can hardly start producing new works."
To avoid such vicious circles, China has taken a series of measures. "China launched a campaign two years ago to use authentic software in government agencies at various levels. And next year, this campaign will be extended to enterprises," commented Zhang Ruichang of Microsoft China.
Professor Xiong Chengyu from Tsinghua University also advises that overprotection should be avoided.
"The original intention of IPRP legislation is to promote social development. This has been acknowledged by outgoing US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But there has been a trend of overprotection of digital copyright in recent years. This may hinder an overall development of society."
Professor Xiong Chengyu therefore calls for a balanced consideration when relevant parties draft laws and regulations for protecting digital copyrights.
Report from CEO Marty Lafferty
The DCIA commends the Chinese Institute of Policy Studies (CIPS) and the China IPRP (Intellectual Property Rights Protection) Coalition for hosting the historic global IPRP forum on November 16th in Beijing, China.
This gathering began a meaningful process of seeking solutions for how best to implement efficient IPRP strategies, not only for China's emerging market, but also for technology/distribution and media/entertainment companies worldwide.
DCIA Member company senior executives had this to say:
"The Chinese broadband marketplace and the vibrant and growing Chinese economy present a unique opportunity to many, including independent and emerging content providers who may be able to access that market through peer-to-peer (P2P) technology and other digital media delivery platforms. We salute event organizers for putting together this terrific forum." – Trebor Lloyd, CEO, City Canyons Records.
"My music conveys a message of peace and uses the Internet as a means to connect us all. As a Member of the DCIA and the 'most searched for' independent artist on the P2P networks, I can tell you it is an exciting time for artists and businesses worldwide. I hope to soon be able to reach across the digital globe and share art, theory, thesis, poetry, ideas, music, and film with the people of China. Our shared experiences will guide us to a better understanding of humanity." – Scooter Scudieri, Artist & President, FirstROCKstaR.com.
"The business development issues related to the Chinese broadband marketplace are critical to our success at indie911.com. Presenting great media to the Asian market across a broad range of distribution possibilities is a key focus for our company. The chaotic changes within the music and film industry from corporate consolidation, downsizing, and roster cuts have created enormous opportunities for the independent sector, which we are excited about pursuing in China." – Justin Goldberg, CEO, indie911.
"KlikVU endorses the efforts of the event organizers, who understand that new media technologies are the next wave of human progress, and the important role of China in that development. Our interests are security of intellectual property, open access to the widest audiences for the greatest variety of content, and the empowerment of new media and e-learning." – Lowell Feuer, CEO, KlikVU.
"China is our top market priority; above all others, the US market included. With state of the art cell-phone networks and a nascent financial services industry, we believe that our peer-to-peer cash transfer system will become a standard in China. This will naturally lead to a worldwide standard with the traction we are developing in China." - Tom Meredith, President, P2P Cash.
"The Forum holds an exciting opportunity to initiate policy that will lead the world. The US and Europe are frozen by restrictive laws and litigation. In contrast, China can re-ignite innovation by promoting market-based solutions that both promote P2P technology and protect content owner rights." –Marc Freedman, CEO, RazorPop.
"Sharman Networks Limited welcomes this initiative to drive forward ways in which P2P may provide China with the most efficient way of distributing content and communications securely and legitimately." – Alan Morris, Executive Vice President, Sharman Networks.
China is rapidly embracing new technologies. It is easier for China than Western societies to adopt new technologies in various sectors because there are no legacy systems to impede progress. China can move ahead faster. This is particularly true with digital media.
China is demonstrating proactive leadership by such actions as commissioning IDV-GMOD, the US based company which invited DCIA participation, to address IP piracy issues. This landmark agreement positions IDV-GMOD as the "gate keeper" to the massive China IP and mobile media market. This is what CIPS has considered to be SOFT ACCESS, which is done with positive consent and support of both China State affiliated companies and top China government leaders.
As the economy of China develops, the rise of a larger middle class will increase exponentially. This growing demographic will search for new entertainment options and ways to spend discretionary income. China is developing a secured platform that will protect the IP rights of delivered media content. Implementing proactive policy, enhanced technology, and diligent enforcement will be vital to long-term success of technology and content industries in China and the global market.
In collaborative support of IDV-GMOD's "One World Media Platform," California-based Media Rights Technologies (MRT), which initially demonstrated its robust digital rights management (DRM) super-distribution solutions at the DCIA's quarterly general meeting, participated in the forum and formed a strategic alliance to create solutions for IPR protection.
MRT CEO Hank Risan believes its technology, "opens the door to truly secure and distribute content across all digital platforms including cell phones, computers, and P2P networks."
We applaud event organizers for assembling global leaders to address pertinent issues affecting the Chinese broadband marketplace related to the development of digital media delivery platforms, including P2P, which is our primary area of interest.
The potential for this forum to benefit worldwide commercial development of file sharing and other Internet distribution technologies is enormous. Share wisely, and take care.
Sega Signs with Digital River
Excerpted from Games Industry Report by Ellie Gibson
As the trend towards digital distribution of content continues to gather pace, Sega has signed with DCIA Member Digital River to offer downloadable games via the company's oneNetwork sales channel.
Digital River will handle digital purchases of games such as "Virtua Fighter," "House of the Dead," and "Eastside Hockey Manager 2005" through Sega.com. Selected titles, including "House of the Dead 2" and the "Virtua Squad" games, will also be offered on oneNetwork.
"Online distribution presents growth opportunities for Sega and we are poised to bring leading-edge games into that channel," said Sega's Chris Olson.
"Digital River's oneNetwork will allow us to quickly and easily expose our games to a very large audience of consumers that shop on popular, high-traffic online retail sites."
Digital River CEO Joel Ronning added: "With more than 10 years of experience, we have developed e-commerce best practices to successfully grow an online business."
Macrovision Lands Yahoo Europe
Macrovision, which recently acquired DCIA Member Trymedia Systems, last week announced the re-launch of downloadable games sites across Yahoo Europe utilizing Macrovision's complete digital distribution solution. Macrovision's Trymedia division will manage the core and casual game channels for Yahoo Germany, Yahoo Spain, Yahoo France, Yahoo Italy, and Yahoo UK & Ireland.
Within each of the five regions, Macrovision has added new download functionality to Yahoo's existing Video Games channel, strengthening the offering for core gamers. Yahoo has also transferred its existing "Download Games" channels focused on casual games to the Macrovision solution. In addition to providing the digital distribution technology for Yahoo Europe, Macrovision will manage the catalog of hundreds of core and casual game titles.
With the Yahoo rollout, Macrovision has implemented its next generation e-commerce solution which includes a new storefront design and shopping cart features in French, Spanish, Italian, German and English. The new storefront also supports local currencies. Payment methods range from all the top international credit cards to Bank Transfer, PayPal, gift certificates, and vouchers.
"As the world's largest distribution network for downloadable games, Macrovision offers games that appeal to each Yahoo user's unique tastes, greatly enhancing their entertainment experience," commented Fred Amoroso, CEO of Macrovision.
File Sharing on the Increase
Excerpted from Digital Spy Report by Neil Wilkes
An estimated 52 million people in the US regularly use file-sharing software, according to a new study. The report from research firm XTN Data also indicated that downloading of DVD, TV, and movie files is on the rise.
"While music download services have legitimized some of the demand for music content, the lack of comparable services in the movie and TV sector, combined with the increase in faster Internet connections, has helped fuel demand for video content," noted Greig Harper, founder of XTN Data.
58% of respondents believe that music download services are too expensive and 41% thought they are difficult to use.
Computer games are also popular for downloaders, with 11% doing so. Among the most downloaded titles are "GTA: San Andreas," "Rome Total War," and "The Sims 2."
Must P2P TV: NBC File Sharing
NBC Universal and Wurld Media last week announced that Universal movies and NBC TV content will be made available to Peer Impact customers on demand. This agreement marks the first-ever license of major studio content to a P2P service. Titles will be available for a 24-hour viewing period after purchase.
"NBC Universal has a long history of embracing technology to better serve our viewers," said Bob Wright, Chairman & CEO, NBC Universal. "This agreement is a significant step forward in our goal to capitalize on the myriad possibilities of new digital-media services."
"It has been a great honor to work with the executives at NBC Universal with whom we share a common vision for the future of this consumer marketplace," added Greg Kerber, Chairman & CEO, Wurld Media.
Peer Impact offers its users a secure, high-quality environment for rental and purchase of digital content, including music, video games, and, with this announcement, major film and television event titles. For the benefit of its users, all content is placed on the P2P network by Wurld Media – no unauthorized content can be introduced onto the network.
Warner Online Home for TV Oldies
Excerpted from NY Times Report by Saul Hansell
Warner Brothers is preparing a major internet service that will let fans watch full episodes from more than 100 old television series.
The service, called In2TV, will be free, supported by advertising, and will start early next year. More than 4,800-episodes will be made available online in the first year.
The move will give Warner a way to reap new advertising revenue from a huge trove of old programming that is not widely syndicated.
Programs on In2TV will have one to two minutes of commercials for each half-hour episode, compared with eight minutes in a standard broadcast. The internet commercials cannot be skipped.
America Online, which is making a broad push into internet video, will distribute the service on its web portal. Both it and Warner Brothers are Time Warner units. An enhanced version of the service will use peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology to get the video data to viewers.
Public Knowledge on the Hill
In her testimony last week before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn made the case that the balance in copyright between the rights of consumers and those of creators has been chipped away as the content industry has waged a campaign to restrict what their customers can do with their content.
Her partial list of personal uses currently prohibited by law included: ripping the songs from copy-protected CDs to personal computers and MP3 players; making a digital copy of a DVD for playback on a video iPod, cell-phone, or other portable device; making backup copies of a copy protected CD or DVD; playing legally downloaded music on a competing MP3 player or computer; and removing from a computer malicious digital rights management tools, like the infamous Sony-BMG rootkit DRM.
While Congressman Boucher (D-VA) and Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) were favorably disposed to giving consumers fair-use rights, a number of Subcommittee members were not. Mary Bono (R-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) to one degree or another equated fair use with piracy and a belief that everyone simply wants music for free.
Boucher's bill, HR 1201 would restore fair-use rights taken away in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Separately, as reported in DCINFO last week, the Justice Department proposed new legislation, which would make "attempting" to infringe a copyright a criminal offense that carries the same weight as any other attempt to commit a crime. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said large scale intellectual property theft could be used to fund terrorist activities.
Public Knowledge's take on the proposals is that they inappropriately put copyright enforcement into a whole new category of offenses, and that some of the provisions could have the effect of discouraging copyright registration.
SonyBMG Software May Infringe
Excerpted from Digital Media Wire
The controversial CD copy-protection software that last week prompted SonyBMG to recall millions of CDs also appears to have lifted elements from open-source software, which could constitute copyright infringement, Reuters reported on Friday.
Developed by UK-based First 4 Internet, the anti-piracy software included a "rootkit" designed to hide it deep within a computer's operating system; this tool can also be used independently by virus writers to attack PCs, and Microsoft and anti-virus firms are now actively working to remove it from PCs worldwide.
The CD copy-protection software also includes a media player, which developers said makes unauthorized use of LAME, an open-source MP3 player application. One principle of free-to-use open-source software is that if it is utilized for other applications, the derivatives must also be open-source.
Failure to heed the rules of open-source software can trigger copyright infringement claims. "That's the flipside of open source: if you don't respect the open-source rules, the old regime of copy protection comes back in full force," Internet law expert Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm told Reuters.
Apple Denies iPods for EMI CDs
Major label EMI said that it soon plans to release copy-protected CDs whose tracks may for the first time be transferred to Apple's iPod digital music players, although Apple has denied this claim, CNET News reported.
To this point, major developers of CD copy-protection software – including SunnComm, First 4 Internet, and Macrovision – have utilized Microsoft's media format to encode protected tracks that can be transferred to portable players.
Microsoft media files cannot be played on the iPod. "Apple is nearly finished with the technical work necessary to enable consumers to transfer music from content-protected discs to their iPods," EMI said in a statement.
"This is an important step for EMI and Apple, but even more so for music consumers who will soon be able to legitimately port music from protected discs they own to the iPod."
EMI is using Macrovision's copy-protection technology on its CDs. Apple, however, denied the label's claim. "The information EMI provided regarding iTunes and iPod compatibility with Macrovision's technology is not true and we have no idea why EMI made this statement," Apple said in a statement.
RIAA Downs i2hub
Excerpted from MP3 Newswire Report by Jon Newton
i2hub is a network linking more than 200 universities, which Ed Felten described as being like a "set of express lanes for the Internet, built so that network traffic between Internet2 member institutions can go faster."
Universal, SonyBMG, EMI, and Warner Music finally succeeded in shutting i2hub down with help from Congressmen Howard Berman (D-CA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX).
"Last December, two influential members of Congress sent a letter to Douglas E. Van Houweling, President of Internet2, asking him to crack down on the rogue network," says the Chronicle of Higher Education.
i2hub, founded in 2004 by Wayne Chang, then a student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, ran on P2P application Direct Connect.
"In April, record companies and movie studios started filing lawsuits that accused students of using the network to pirate music and films," the Chronicle of Higher Education goes on.
"The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has since filed suit against 635 i2hub users at 39 different institutions.
'Internet2 officials responded with steps to control illegal file sharing,' according to Lauren Rotman, Internet2's Media Relations Manager.
'Internet2 does not condone piracy,' Ms. Rotman said. Campus officials, not Internet2 administrators, are 'in the best position to take responsibility for network issues that occur at the campus network level, including file sharing.'
In September the recording industry sent cease-and-desist notices to seven P2P networks, including i2hub.
The extra speed of Internet2 doesn't seem like an issue for music files. Music files are small and can be downloaded quickly on ordinary broadband connections. Any speedup from using i2hub would mainly affect movie downloads, since movie files are much larger. And yet it was the music industry, not the movie industry, that brought these suits.
By painting Internet2 as a separate network, the RIAA can imply that the transfer of infringing files over Internet2 is a new kind of problem requiring new regulation. And by painting Internet2 as a centrally-managed entity, the RIAA can imply that it is more 'regulable' than the rest of the Internet."
Who are the Real Pirates
Excerpted from Online Spin by Shelly Palmer
We hear the content industry and rights holders complaining about piracy everyday: file sharing, physical piracy, theft-of-services, derivative works, etc. But has anyone stopped to think about how many times consumers are asked to pay for the same content?
Computer files may be the final form factor, but that is not stopping media companies from extracting every last bit of value from each file.
For example: first you pay 99¢ to purchase a song on iTunes. Then you pay $2.49 to download a portion of that song as a ringtone. You can then pay $1.99 to use a portion of that song as a ringback tone – and $1.99 on iTunes to purchase a download of the video for that song.
Next comes a charge of $1.49 – for a still image of the artist to use as wallpaper on your mobile device. You would rather download it for free from the Internet, but you can't get it into your phone.
You may pay $14.99 for the DVD of the movie that features that song and, if you are truly out of your mind, you will pay $19.99 for the CD of the album that includes that song.
Then you will pay $3.95 to watch the pay-per-view or video-on-demand version of the movie – and another $6.95 for the HD VOD concert that features the same song.
If the media company has its way, you will pay $12.95 per month for the subscription to HBO that will broadcast the movie and the concert. Ultimately, part of your basic cable package will go to pay a per-subscriber fee for you to hear the song.
You may also pay $12.95 per month to a satellite radio company where you can hear the song and, if Apple continues its world dominance over the personal music player world, you will ultimately purchase a co-branded iPod with the complete collected works of this artist (including this same song) for about $200.
How many times can you sell the same master file? There doesn't seem to be any limit. You just have to keep the walls in the walled gardens up and keep the formats incompatible.
How many times will you buy the same master file? That question is being answered every day on P2P networks, via e-mail and podcasts.
Obviously, some consumers are willing to pay for the convenience of not having to bother converting their own files to be used in all of their devices.
But there are far more consumers who would rather not pay for the same thing over and over again. Is there a middle ground?
Coming Events of Interest
The Digital Entertainment & Media Expo (DEMXPO) – November 30th-December 1st at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Join over 1,500 senior-level executives at the premier event for the digital entertainment and media Industries. Over 150 featured speakers cover the key issues you need to know in digital music, mobile, digital video, gaming, and digital advertising.
The Future of Broadband – December 1st, presented by the Forum on Technology and Innovation, 12:00-2:00 PM at the Senate Dirksen Building, Room G50, Washington, DC. Recent reports have cited the importance of a robust broadband network to support innovation in the United States. How will this network be built and financed? What incentives and impediments exist? Who will be the major players and what services will they offer?
Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo – December 5th-8th in Chicago, IL. Real-time actionable information to grow your business through search engine marketing. Ins-and-outs from top search experts and the search engines themselves. Access to the world's most comprehensive gathering of search engine marketing & optimization-related solutions providers and potential partners. Please click here to learn more about this event.
Copy Protection Technical Working Group (CPTWG) Meeting – December 7th at Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. If you are interested in offering a presentation at this meeting, please as soon as possible so that CPTWG may schedule the agenda accordingly. Presentation guidelines can be found on the CPTWG website at www.cptwg.org.
FutureMedia 2005 – December 8th in London, England. This C21 Media event is a must-attend one-day conference that brings attendees face-to-face with the players shaping the future of entertainment. FutureMedia 2005 is the meeting place for the converging media industries, where producers, channels, rights owners, technology suppliers, and advertisers come together to discuss the fast-changing environment.
Digital Hollywood at CES – January 5th-7th at the Las Vegas Convention Center North Hall. The Consumer Electronics Show will have over 140,000 attendees; 2,500 exhibitors; 4,000 press representatives; and keynotes by Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft; Howard Stringer, Chairman & CEO, Sony; Paul Otellini, CEO, Intel; and Terry Semel, Chairman & CEO, Yahoo. The DCIA will moderate the "Next Generation P2P" panel on January 7th.
MidemNet Forum at MIDEM – The World's Annual Forum for Digital & Mobile Music January 21st-22nd, Cannes, France. Confirmed keynotes to date are EMI Group Chairman Eric Nicoli; Ken Lombard, President of Starbucks Entertainment; Patricia Langrand, Senior EVP of Content for France Telecom and Nokia's EVP and GM of Multimedia Anssi Vanjoki. MidemNet forum will welcome the world's leading digital music experts and global authorities on mobile music.