September 8, 2008
Volume XXIII, Issue 6
P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE Coming Soon to Berlin
The first-ever P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE is scheduled to take place at PopKomm in Berlin, Germany on Friday October 10th. This special event, co-hosted by PopKomm and the DCIA, will address commercial advancement of peer-to-peer (P2P) solutions for music distribution and help foster productive relationships among content rights holders and software distirbutors. Please plan now to attend.
The conference is sponsored by Cugate, QTRAX, Unlimited Media, and Javien Digital Payment Solutions.
Thomas Reemer, CEO of Cugate, a Berlin-based technology provider that specializes in watermarking and ad brokering, and a charter sponsor of the event, said, "When we approached PopKomm and the DCIA to co-host the P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE, they quickly agreed that the time was right to bring relevant parties together to learn from each other. We are thrilled that so many of the people who define the web experience and provide music for millions of consumers will be with us in Berlin."
This "Conference-within-PopKomm" will take place in the Grosser Stern Conference Center on the Exhibition Grounds of Messe Berlin, Germany and feature keynotes from top P2P companies and major music distributors, panels of industry leaders, and valuable workshops.
PopKomm is the international music and entertainment business trade show. The PopKomm Conference will offer an outlook on decisive developments within the music business. For three days, industry experts will voice their opinions on the current state of creation, communication, and commerce. The PopKomm Festival is one of the world's major showcases with more than 400 solo artists, bands and DJs playing in over 25 official locations.
The P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE will address such topics as: China & Russia - Market Opportunities or Previews of the Future; Digital Challenges - Sound Fundamentals or Changed Circumstances; Technology Advancement - Creating the Commercial P2P Music Ecosystem; and Private Versus Public Approaches - P2P for Content Rights Holders.
Please visit http://www.dcia.info/activities/p2pmcde2008/register.html to sign-up at special pre-registration rates and save $100.
We7 and EMI Music Offer Ad-Supported & Paid Tracks
EMI Music and We7, the pioneering ad-supported music service, this week announced that approximately 400,000 tracks from EMI Music's repertoire of artists, including We7 founding investor Peter Gabriel, will be available on We7 through both on-demand, ad-funded audio streaming and paid-for MP3 downloads.
The partnership means We7 users will be able to listen to full tracks and albums on an unlimited basis at no cost, create personal playlists, and share their favorites with their friends. We7's advertising technology plays short, targeted audio adverts before each streamed track and ensures that music offered through the site is legal but rights owners get paid and valued.
We7 plans to start delivering EMI Music's content later this year, and is delighted to welcome We7 founding investor Peter Gabriel to its growing roster of available artists. Peter Gabriel said, "I am very happy my catalog is finally available on We7."
Douglas Merrill, President, Digital Business, EMI Music, added, "We7 represents the new and innovative digital experiments underway in the market today, giving fans another way to experience their favorite music and providing artists with an avenue to reach new audiences. We are pleased to be a part of emerging digital initiatives, including We7."
Steve Purdham, Founding Investor & CEO, We7, said, "We7 is making phenomenal progress ahead of our full launch later in the year. There's real momentum in the industry right now and ad-funded streaming is becoming more widely accepted as a legal alternative to copyright infringement."
"We're really excited to be offering great music from EMI Music's world-class repertoire of artists on We7, enabling fans to listen to tracks for free when they want and then buy the music they love."
Clive Gardiner, VP of Digital Music at We7, will deliver a keynote address at the P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE.
Report from CEO Marty Lafferty
We are very excited about plans for the first-ever P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE and especially grateful to Cugate for recommending this landmark event and to PopKomm for working together with us on this historic effort, which represents on a global scale a significant breakthrough in our industry's relations with content owners.
The P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE will bring together music leaders with the most prominent P2P solutions providers from around the world for a vital and candid exchange of ideas.
We have always held that, for the P2P distribution channel to achieve its full potential, content providers need to actively participate.
The DCIA Content Group must be as fully developed and have as prominent a role and voice as the other two key groups that must be aligned - the Operations and Platform Groups - comprised of P2P software distributors and Internet service providers (ISPs), respectively.
The DCIA, in fact, has consistently worked, since our inception, to advance content provider interests in the P2P distribution channel.
Prior examples include: sponsoring demonstrations of P2P digital rights management (DRM), interdiction, and filtering solutions for content owners; initiating projects like the P2P Revenue Engine (P2PRE) to provide a blueprint for commercially harnessing P2P by content owners; conducting working groups such as the P2P Digital Watermark Working Group (PDWG) to protect the rights of content owners; and actively recruiting Member companies for the DCIA Content Group.
To date, Content Group Membership has been comprised of progressive and forward-thinking independent music labels, video producers, and games publishers, as well as technologically adept individual artists. But more established media entities are now also seeing the value of participation, an option that was not possible given their litigation strategies in the period prior to the US Supreme Court MGM v. Grokster decision.
We believe timing is optimal now for several content-focused initiatives to contribute in major ways to commercial advancement of the P2P marketplace. These span the gamut of organizing solutions and defining practices ranging from content-protection to content-delivery efficiency to content-acceleration.
DCIA Membership benefits have never been greater nor have dues been more attractively priced than now for content owners to join the DCIA. For instance, DCIA Member companies are entitled as a privilege of their Membership to participate in DCIA-sponsored working groups, as well as to call for the establishment of new working groups.
Last week's announcement by the P4P Working Group (P4PWG) research team, for example, followed on an earlier P4P research statement underscoring the fact that active participation by content owners in the DCIA and in our ongoing initiatives would help ensure the inclusion of their preferences in such considerations.
There can be no question that commercial development of the P2P distribution channel will develop most productively for all stakeholders if each representative group actively participates. That is the reason the DCIA was originally conceived with three equal Membership Groups - for Content, Operations, and Platform interests, respectively.
The threat to established methods of content monetization from early implementations of P2P in the form of file-sharing applications has finally been superseded by the benefits to content business models of commercial P2P, exemplified by Kontiki and by Pando Networks, each of which has successfully entered into high-profile ground-breaking relationship agreements and deployments with major international media companies.
Cost, speed, and terms-and-conditions for content redistribution can each be precisely controlled. Downloads to watch in real-time, downloads to watch later, and live broadcast transmissions can all be supported with the unprecedented advantages of P2P. Leading examples in this category are Abacast, CloudShield, GridNetworks, Ignite Technologies, Solid State Networks, and Velocix.
P2P is the only online distribution architecture that can, in fact, replicate broadcast economics.
Ubiquitous digital rights management (DRM) and micro-payment solutions, as well as related anti-piracy tools, have also been individually developed by a host of companies and now need a coordinated effort to optimize the impact of their implementation. At last, this, too, is within reach to support business models such as paid P2P music and on-demand video downloads.
The confluence of events that will provide both incentives for participation as well as penalties for non-participation, in order for this aspect to be realized, has brought realization of this vision nearer than ever before, and may actually be achievable without resorting to legislative or regulatory measures.
Content owners, from major motion picture studios and record labels, to television and radio programmers, to independent producers and singer-songwriters, are welcomed and strongly encouraged to join the DCIA Content Group.
Take advantage of this opportunity to directly provide leadership and direction to the rapidly emerging P2P industry. Help drive and accelerate progress towards the end that we all want, a robust P2P distribution channel where every content transaction is monetized according to terms-and-conditions stipulated by its rights holders. Share wisely, and take care.
Music Downloads About to Become Even Bigger
Excerpted from Courier Mail Report by Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
Hang on to your CD singles: they might soon be heirlooms. While those "I Kissed a Girl" singles might not be very valuable now, they are becoming increasingly rare.
Music downloads are taking over, with digital tracks filling the song charts and even encroaching on album sales. Australians now download 20 digital songs for every physical CD single sold, according to ARIA, and Internet companies and record labels are taking notice.
Telstra recently launched unrestricted, MP3 downloads to appeal to "the iPod crowd," while Sanity launched a service giving users access to 300 songs for less than $30 a month.
New entrants like Nokia are also biting at their heels, while market leader Apple iTunes offers TV and movie downloads.
Unauthorized file-sharing sites also are facing a new threat from QTRAX which is now offering free, licensed music downloads.
But do these new music download services offer convenience or confusion?
Though many Internet users downloaded songs without authorization in the Napster era, Australia did not get its first licensed music download service until BigPond Music arrived in January 2004. iPod users holding out for Apple's iTunes had to wait until October 2005.
In spite of these delays, online music sales are booming. Australians bought more than 12 million digital tracks between January and June, ARIA says, up from 8 million songs last year.
Digital music sales also climbed 43% during the six-month period, and sales of digital albums soared 55%.
ARIA Chairman Ed St. John says the skyrocketing popularity of online music shows the industry is maturing. "This is only the beginning of a whole new cycle for the Australian music business," he said.
Consumer technology analyst Peter Blasina said Australians have embraced licensed music downloads due to competitive pricing, a wide choice of songs and players, and the convenience of adding to music libraries from the lounge room.
Downloading music is not always straightforward. Digital songs typically come in three formats: MP3, which is unrestricted and widely supported; WMA, which is Microsoft's format with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions; and AAC, which is Apple's restricted format. DRM-protected songs can only be burned to CD or added to music players a limited number of times, and are not compatible with all digital music players. WMA files, for example, will not play on iPods.
This incompatibility can leave music lovers unable to play their new songs on their hardware. Despite this, many online music stores were forced to sell these DRM-protected tracks due to record company demands. BigPond Managing Director Justin Milne admits this system confused users. "Until now, many people found it complex to download music, and ended up frustrated when they discovered their music was locked onto a single device or was impossible to transfer to the player of their choice," Milne says.
However, this problem is being overcome. BigPond Music recently announced it would sell unrestricted MP3 files in its music store, becoming the first in Australia to offer MP3s from all four major record labels and some independents. BigPond Music spokesman Peter Habib said the move is designed to open up the site for use with iPods - the most dominant MP3 player in Australia. "It sends a message that buying your music online from BigPond will no longer be confusing," he said.
MP3 tracks will also be available in high quality (256kbps or 320kbps) and will not cost more than WMA downloads. The site's MP3 library is limited though. Only 20,000 songs are available in MP3 format, but Habib says the company plans to expand its MP3 library to one million songs by 2009. Apple also offers unrestricted music downloads through its iTunes Music Store. Called iTunes Plus, these songs are also of a higher quality (256kbps) and cost the same sum as DRM-protected songs.
In addition to downloads, two companies are now testing the waters with streaming and subscription services. Music retailer Sanity recently launched its "Load It" subscription service. Load It lets subscribers download up to 300 songs each month for $29. These WMA tracks can be played on up to three computers and two MP3 players as long as you keep your subscription current. Once the subscription fee stops being paid, all songs downloaded essentially 'self destruct' and no longer work. In short, the user never actually owns the music, but rather is simply leasing it.
The service cannot be used with iPods, but users who sign up for a year will receive a free 1GB digital music player. Load Unlimited general manager Tony Quinn said the service works like the mobile phone business, where users get a subsidized device and pay for its service. "Some people will say Australians don't get subscription services, but they already do with mobile phones," he said. "There will be people who prefer to own and there will be people who prefer to access music." Quinn says the service will likely change the way users listen to music, and the type of music they listen to.
Sanity will also offer kiosks in stores to download songs and take them away. Nokia is also offering a digital music service with a difference in Australia.
Launched in April, the Nokia Music Store offers song downloads and a music streaming service. This allows users to play as many songs as they want through their computer for a $10 monthly fee. Nokia Music also lets users download songs to their PC or their music-ready mobile phone, and Nokia Music Services Manager Karen Farrugia says the company has been surprised at how many are using their phones to download tunes.
"Approximately 30% of downloads are made from mobile phones which is a pretty strong number and something we didn't quite expect - we expected more from the PC." Farrugia says Nokia is committed to taking on iTunes for the top spot in the music downloads market. As such, the company has added more than one million songs to its music menu since its launch, boosting its library to 3.5 million tracks. These songs, however, are WMA files and cannot be used as ring-tones.
As well as established players, new entrants like QTRAX are vying for business. The company marketing itself as "the first, 100% free-and-legal P2P music application" launched in America in June, offering free music downloads from EMI, Sony, and Universal.
The music is played through the QTRAX application, and the service is funded by advertising.
QTRAX Chairman & CEO Allan Klepfisz will deliver a keynote address at the P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE.
DailyTech Talks with Top Independent Music Chief
Excerpted from Daily Tech Report by Jason Mick
The music industry is a wholly different beast from your father's music business or even the industry that existed at the start of 1990s. While the advent of CDs and music video brought revolutionary changes of sorts, nothing would compare to what the future held in store in the form of the digital revolution.
From MP3 players like iPods, to the complex issues that came with them such as P2P networks, to the emergence of online music services, the music landscape was transformed.
Today, artists get their break frequently, not from dedicated touring, but from posting a catchy demo on MySpace. Bands sometimes offer free albums for download, or offer exclusive content in digital form.
With these changes has come controversy. Some of the digital rights management (DRM) software used in the past to manage copyright control borders has been likened to malware.
A vast legal war is being waged against infringers. And Uncle Sam is looking to gain a bit of extra tax revenue tapping into the vast untaxed online downloads business characterized by the music industry services iTunes and Rhapsody.
Amid this chaotic landscape, DailyTech recently talked to Rich Bengloff, a music veteran and President of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), an organization that represents small labels.
A2IM represents such popular labels as Matador, Sub Pop, Epitaph, and Saddle Creek, and thus represents artists as diverse as The Shins, Nirvana, the Postal Service, Belle and Sebastian, Sage Francis, and Bright Eyes.
With his prominent clientele, Mr. Bengloff seemed the ideal person to bounce off some thoughts on the digital music industry - someone who is an industry boss still in touch with his independent roots.
One thing Mr. Bengloff did make clear in our early questions is that copyright infringement is hurting independent musicians as well as big record labels. He said, "Piracy is a problem for all music creators, large or small. The goal for creators of music has to be to drive people to licensed sources of music and to make sure that these sources for consumers properly compensate artists and labels for the use of their music. Unless these entities and the social networking sites, as well as the sellers of music, physical and digital, as well as mobile carriers and subscription oriented models, properly compensate creators, the creation process will decline."
When asked about the recent Jammie Thomas case and other RIAA lawsuits, he made it clear that A2IM does not officially endorse nor condemn the RIAA's lawsuits. He said that while A2IM sometimes works with the RIAA and sometimes operates separately, most of his constituents believe in deterrents to copyright infringement.
While A2IM takes no official side on the DRM debate, Mr. Bengloff did warn big labels not to be overly aggressive with DRM, lest they drive paying customers to piracy. He continued, "The key issue is interoperability so that consumers can enjoy their music where and when they want to and any form of DRM in the marketplace needs to allow this usage or DRM will drive consumers toward greater piracy."
Finally, the discussion touched on the issue of taxation of online music downloads - a touchy topic both for citizens and for the music industry. He warned that consequences to the formative online music business may be dire; "Do you think consumers will start paying $1.08 instead of $.99 for a track download?"
A last issue he expressed concern over was the upcoming orphan works legislation, which would allow parties to use musical works without gaining rights to use, if they made a "reasonable effort" to find the copyright owner and can show they were unsuccessful. He said the vagueness of this bill could hurt small independent labels that are less well known.
Abacast Live Powers Online Olympics Broadcasts
Abacast, the industry leader in hybrid content delivery network (CDN) services, announced that its Abacast Live P2P-based distribution solution successfully powered the SBS Internet Olympics live online broadcast of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
SBS is an international media company operating terrestrial broadcast television and radio stations, as well as cable and satellite channels offering entertainment, sports, and drama. SBSi, which provides Internet service through the SBS portal, chose Abacast's solution because of its superior reliability, stability, and cost effectiveness.
The use of Abacast Live resulted in over 13 gigabits per second of bandwidth savings.
"The Abacast Live service performed flawlessly," said SBSi IT Manager Chang Joo Lee. "We carefully evaluated several solutions, and Abacast Live was clearly the most superior, easily handling the required load with absolutely no quality of service (QoS) or scalability issues. We're already using Abacast for our live Internet radio broadcasts and, after this live video broadcast, we feel even more confident in Abacast's solutions."
FutureStream Networks, Abacast's exclusive South Korean value-added reseller, provided SBSi with the Abacast Live service, as well as hands-on installation and technical support.
Included in the overall solution was Abacast's full suite of services including peer-assisted delivery based on Abacast's Distributed Streaming Technology, real-time and historical usage analytics, and an SBS-customized player. "We have been representing Abacast in Korea for over a year now with tremendous success," said Jeong Won Lee, VP of Technology at FutureStream Networks. "When SBSi turned to us to help them with their live online Olympic broadcasts, we were confident in the Abacast solution due to its scalability and proven reliability."
"The 2008 Olympics has been an extremely important milestone in online streaming. I'm pleased that Abacast Live enabled FutureStream Networks and SBSi to provide their users with high-resolution streams of the largest online sporting event ever," added Michael King, President of Abacast.
Lost Satellite TV Signal - P2PTV to the Rescue
Excerpted from TMCnet Report by Tom Keating
I was watching the Republican National Convention (RNC) speeches, toggling between CNN and FOX News, when a major rain storm hit Connecticut causing a lengthy loss of satellite signal. It was the middle of Rudy Giuliani's hard-hitting speech when I lost all of my TV channels. The highly-anticipated speech from Governor Sarah Palin was still to come and it looked like I wasn't going to be able to watch it live.
Sometimes CNN offers live streaming coverage, so I headed over to CNN.com and sure enough they were offering a live streaming video feed. But alas, it didn't work. Only the audio worked and I got a green box for the video feed. Next, I headed over to FOXNews.com but couldn't find the live feed link.
Then I remembered I recently installed TVUPlayer from TVU Networks, a peer-to-peer television (P2PTV) streaming application.
I fired up TVUPlayer, and clicked on FOX News, but it gave me a warning that the channel was experiencing technical difficulties. I gave up and went to the channel list in TVUPlayer to look for another news channel. Interestingly, only FOX News and a local ABC News channel were listed in the channel line-up. No MSNBC or CNN or Headline News.
Cable news networks that don't permit live streaming are missing out on a huge audience and shooting themselves in the foot. You can sell commercials/ads in live streaming feeds or simply use the same TV commercials. Regardless, you can monetize and more easily track the number of Internet users streaming your video feed than using the antiquated Nielsen Ratings system, which is based on "sampling" data.
Anyway, then I saw C-SPAN and C-SPAN-2 in the TVUPlayer channel line-up. I launched C-SPAN and the video quality was superb. I was able to catch the second half of Rudy's speech and the beginning of Sara Palin's speech live on my computer. Phew! After about 30 minutes, the storm died down and I got my satellite signal back and I switched back to my TV.
I suppose I could have watched the speeches on Youtube when they get posted, but it's just not the same thing as watching an event live. I for one cannot wait for the day when I can stream live any TV channel. I might even be willing to pay a few cents for the privilege.
Joost to Launch Browser-Based Player
Excerpted from CNET News Report by Greg Sandoval
Finally, Joost is going to correct an error that has hobbled the peer-to-peer television (P2PTV) service many have considered to be a serious YouTube competitor.
Currently available for Windows and Mac, Joost is planning to launch a test version of a browser-based plug-in later this month and will no longer require users to watch via the company's desktop client. In a not-so-surprising move, users will be able to embed Joost's videos.
CEO Mike Volpi said that the new browser-based player will provide ease-of-use, a high-quality video experience, and more content. The new site, according to Volpi, will even be less taxing on laptop batteries. News of Joost's new site was first reported by The Industry Standard.
But the big question Joost must answer is whether the site overhaul comes too late to catch Hulu or Google's YouTube.
Joost pounced onto the online-video scene with seemingly the right combination of founders, investors, and technology. The media instantly christened it a legitimate YouTube killer.
The start-up was the brainchild of Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, the founders of Skype and Kazaa. Among the backers were media conglomerates Viacom and CBS.
Joost was powered by the same P2P technology that turned Skype and Kazaa into the most disruptive forces in the telephone and music sectors, respectively.
The public wasn't impressed. The content offering was thin. The player often stalled or stuttered, and it relied on a desktop client - meaning that you couldn't just log on to the web from any computer to access your Joost account.
Volpi came on a year ago, and not much changed until January, when the company's CTO left and Volpi initiated a house cleaning. Volpi says it's still too early in the game to crown any site a winner.
"There is still ample opportunity to create a portal or aggregation site," Volpi said in an interview last week. "People will go where they can find the content they want."
Yes, but are web video fans already used to getting what they want at Hulu, the company created by NBC Universal and News Corp? The competitor launched last spring to glowing press reviews, and traffic has continued to mushroom. A report issued this week by LiveRail reported that Hulu is probably already generating as much revenue as YouTube, which launched in 2005.
When it comes to YouTube, the Google property is still far and away the Internet's most popular video site. More than a third of every video viewed online is at YouTube. But YouTube is a user-generated site, with most of its content 10 minutes or shorter. Joost is much more like Hulu, a distribution platform for mostly professionally made content.
Volpi said Joost has greatly enhanced the content selection. The site will feature shows from Warner Bros., CBS, and Comedy Central, as well as other Viacom properties. Volpi said Joost will eventually offer a greater selection than Hulu. Volpi said Hulu offered little outside of the shows from NBC and Fox.
He called the selection "tired."
Joost's videos will follow a five-second advertisement or "pre-roll." Despite enabling users to embed video, the site will not concentrate on syndicating content.
"Our plan is to be a destination site where people go to watch their favorite shows," Volpi said.
A Browser-Based Joost? Welcome to the Club
Excerpted from NewTeeVee Report by Janko Roettgers
GigaOM reported this week that Joost is getting ready to launch a web-based product that's powered by a P2P plug-in. This step certainly makes sense for Joost. The idea of web-based solution has been floating around for what seems like forever.
There have been plenty of attempts to merge the world of Web 2.0 with distributed data delivery in recent months, and there are other promising efforts on the horizon. To this crowd, Joost is like the new kid that shows up in school weeks after summer break. So please, be nice, give it a place at the table, and let's start with a quick round of introductions.
Here are a few companies that have been trying browser-based P2P longer than Joost:
Octoshape started with P2P audio streaming, but has been offering browser-based video streaming since 2006. It recently streamed the Olympic games live for a Korean broadcaster. Octoshape is using a hybrid approach that combines P2P with CDN solutions from CDNetworks. Unlike Joost, its browser plug-in is also available for PowerPC Macs and PCs running Linux.
PPLive, the Chinese P2P TV service that keeps impressing us with its huge user base, launched a browser plug-in just in time for the Beijing Olympics.
RedSwoosh, which was recently acquired by Akamai, not only has its own browser-based BitTorrent client in place, but also a streaming/progressive downloading solution for web-hosted videos.
Mediamelon is another plug-in based P2P video offering that actually launched at NewTeeVee Live last year.
UK-based RawFlow is not only offering its P2P plug-in to major broadcasters, it's also running a Ustream-like site at Selfcast.com. Oddly enough, it looks like RawFlow stopped using its own P2P technology for Selfcast a while back. The site just streams Flash without requiring any plug-in installations. RawFlow's P2P technology is now marketed by Velocix.
Neokast also offers a Ustream-like site with P2P-powered live streams. Neokast is Windows-only. The company recently started to offer a commercial stream server application for P2P-loving lifecasters.
BitTorrent is using its DNA plug-in to offer P2P streaming in the browser. The company is collaborating with Brightcove to make the technology available for broadcasters. DNA is only available for Windows so far, and it's not yet compatible with the existing BitTorrent/uTorrent installed base.
Online TV Viewing Doubles
Excerpted from MediaPost Report
Viewership of television broadcasts on the web has grown about 100% since 2006, to nearly one-fifth of Internet families, per TNS and the Conference Board.
Of those viewers, 72% relax by watching TV programs online every day. Users cite portability, time flexibility, and the ability to evade commercials as their main reasons for migrating to the web.
News, drama, comedy, reality shows, and sports are their favorite programming categories.
"For consumers, PCs enhance content consumption from simply time-shifting to place-shifting," said TNS executive Michael Saxon. Please click here for the full Daily Variety report.
Video File Sharing is Hard Habit to Break
Excerpted from Wired News Report by Betsy Schiffman
Less than 24 hours after the season premiere of "Prison Break" aired on Fox on Monday, it was downloaded close to one million times, according to TorrentFreak.
"Prison Break" fans didn't have to download unauthorized copies of the show. Licensed versions are readily available to stream on both Hulu and Fox.com, where viewers have to sit through a few commercial breaks, but can still watch the entire episode with permission of its rights holders.
Hulu won't disclose how many people viewed "Prison Break" on the site on Monday, but the show is one of the top 5 most-popular shows on Hulu today, and it was the most-popular show yesterday. There's no way of knowing, though, whether the program was watched more on Hulu than it was downloaded without authorization.
The fact that one million people downloaded the show within 24 hours - one-sixth of the people who watched "Prison Break" on TV on Monday night - proves, though, that open P2P isn't going away just because there are licensed alternatives now.
"This is a group of people who define themselves in part by the technology they use and the application of that technology," says Robert Rosenberg, President of Insight Research. "Chances are that this is only happening in a defined age group. You'd be hard-pressed to find 60 year-old guys passing this stuff off to their buddies."
Even if file sharers make up a small slice of the population, the impact is not insignificant. Could networks win these viewers back? The most common complaint about big media companies over the last decade is that they've been slow to provide licensed alternatives. In this case, however, Fox has gone to great lengths to give viewers an option to watch programs online, but file sharers still aren't biting.
"I think a lot of the problem is that the content providers have typically been using business models that extend backwards in time. They have not been able to adapt their intellectual property and business processes to the new reality - essentially that all types of information and media are going to find their way onto a network and will be widely distributed," says Rosenberg. "Look at the music industry. They simply didn't have a formula for preventing file sharing."
Authorized alternatives could be improved, too, says Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne, an online media measurement company. Content providers have been slow to offer licensed streaming options in many international markets, and there still aren't many networks that let users actually download files, which is a bummer for collectors, says Garland.
Also, the networks haven't necessarily improved upon the experience provided by infringing sites, so users don't have much incentive to leave those sites.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," says Garland. "Sites like MiniNova or The Pirate Bay have been around long before there was Hulu, and why should they stop using a familiar option that works well?"
Share and Share Alike
Excerpted from What PC Report by David Banes
Over the past five years, file-sharing technologies have become synonymous in the public mind with copyright infringement. Movies, music, and software have all grabbed the headlines, as their associated industry leaders have made the case against the use of P2P technologies.
From Napster to Kazaa and LimeWire to BitTorrent, the argument has been well defended in both the media and the courts with an expectation that individuals involved in P2P activities should be warned before losing service.
Some experts have also suggested that ISPs should be made responsible for monitoring such "illegal" interests.
However, it is important to recognize that this threat is based on the myth that file sharing and copyright infringement are indistinguishable.
Over the past 12 months, there has been steady growth in the use of file sharing to support global users with low-bandwidth connections and limited access to public domain materials.
P2P networks were built on the premise of collaboration and community, and the question of how ISPs will distinguish between infringers and individuals to support those on the wrong side of the digital divide remains unanswered.
UK charity AbilityNet has long been at the forefront of innovations that promote accessible technologies. The organization's desktop broadcasting and virtual learning environments support hundreds of learners, delivering on-demand support at low cost.
Many more disabled people have been able to access advice through the use of voice over IP (VoIP), videoconferencing, and screen-sharing.
AbilityNet recently established a database of free and open-source assistive technologies, available at www.abilitynet.org.uk/athome_shareware.
Developed with the support of voluntary partnership the ICT Hub and funded by support specialist Capacity Builders, the database allows individuals and organizations to find software that can help disabled people use computers including tools for people with dyslexia, physical difficulties, and vision impairments.
Most tools are easy to download and AbilityNet has received interest from across Eastern Europe and as far as Uganda.
When it comes to distributing the tools, the idea that software can be legally disseminated through file sharing is well established. Linux distributions or applications have been easily available via torrent trackers, such as www.legittorrents.info and linuxtracker.org.
However, such trackers must be carefully moderated to ensure license criteria are met. AbilityNet developed a password-protected BitTorrent tracker, where approved users could access and download a list of free shareware and trial software titles that have been made available by the authors.
The first products to become available for voluntary sector organizations were ISO images, archive files supported by many suppliers of AbilityNet's own successful computing, and office sense compact discs.
More recently, assistive applications specialist FX Software has agreed to offer popular freeware applications on its own network.
The BitTorrent tracker connects to a series of volunteers who seed the network with copies of the programs, ensuring that any user who needs a copy can have one, regardless of the speed or consistency of their Internet connection.
There are great advantages to such a method of application distribution. First, tools can be distributed through a number of volunteers who ensure the torrents are always available. Second, AbilityNet does not have to maintain high bandwidth connections to allow multiple downloads of solutions.
However, the opportunity to share useful tools will be under threat if court action to prevent file sharing becomes more widespread.
The potential to help people in the UK and across the world will remain untapped, as vested interests conspire to ban a technology on the grounds that some users behave in a socially irresponsible fashion.
Such issues surface as each generation of new technology evolves: chat-rooms, websites, forums, video-sharing and social networks have all been subject to debate.
This has sometimes led to the closure of many platforms, while still more have had their Internet protocol address blocked by public organizations or Internet service providers (ISPs).
Experts need to be aware that the use of a whole form of technology could potentially be limited because of commercial pressures.
Not only could the distribution of independent music and films be affected, but also access to legally available software, books, and media.
At a tie when the need to bridge the digital divide is being recognized as a global issue, limiting the use of technologies that can build bridges seems at best contrary and at worst deliberately doctrinaire and arbitrary.
CloudShield Supports IBM Open Development Platform
CloudShield Technologies, a leading provider of services management and infrastructure security solutions, this week announced support for its DNS Defender and Subscriber Services Manager (SSM) applications on the new IBM BladeCenter PN41 blade. The combination gives service providers and national governments a comprehensive platform to protect networks from attacks, launch new services, manage network bandwidth, and mitigate traffic congestion with a single blade.
"We have seen some of the most aggressive DNS attacks occur during the past few months and expect this behavior to continue. Service providers continually strive to improve security and subscriber services by effectively managing the increased demands on network bandwidth," said Matt Jones, President & CEO at CloudShield.
"Protecting networks, retaining customers, and deploying new services are crucial to the success of the industry. Our applications can be flexibly deployed to meet the needs of any carrier infrastructure and help enable today's converged IP networks."
CloudShield's software provides protection against DNS attacks and can reduce the number of DNS servers while improving the overall performance of the network. By eliminating the need for firewalls, load balancers, and additional servers, DNS Defender provides carriers with a significant CAPEX and OPEX cost savings.
CloudShield's SSM is an enhanced solution for properly managing network traffic. Service provider networks need to have the ability to deliver latency sensitive applications such as VoIP and P2PTV, without interruption. SSM gives carriers a better understanding of network traffic congestion, helping to deliver higher standards of customer satisfaction.
Comcast Appeals FCC Sanction
Excerpted from NY Times Report by Saul Hansell
Comcast made no secret of its interest in challenging the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) order in August sanctioning the cable company for how it impeded the Internet connections of some customers as they were trying to share files over the Internet.
Comcast filed suit Thursday in the United States Court of Appeals in Washington mainly to challenge the authority of the commission to rule on such matters. The FCC did not fine Comcast. The regulatory body mainly ordered the Philadelphia, PA company to make changes in how it would handle periods when its Internet network was nearing full capacity - changes Comcast had already agreed to make.
The central issue is whether the sanction was appropriate, given that the commission had not previously published a rule about the issue in question: Whether Internet providers can choose to block one website or program while allowing traffic to others.
Comcast, in an attempt to crack down on its heaviest users, slowed down connections from the BitTorrent program, used to share movies and other files.
In a statement, Comcast said this procedure was legal and asserted that it was denied the chance to argue this view, which it would have been afforded if the commission had proposed a formal rule that would be subject to the normal review and comment process:
"We filed this appeal in order to protect our legal rights and to challenge the basis on which the Commission found that Comcast violated federal policy in the absence of pre-existing legally enforceable standards or rules. We continue to recognize that the Commission has jurisdiction over Internet service providers (ISPs) and may regulate them in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with appropriate procedures. However, we are compelled to appeal because we strongly believe that, in this particular case, the Commission's action was legally inappropriate and its findings were not justified by the record."
Kevin Martin, the Commission's Chairman, has argued that making rules in advance is not a good method to regulate fast-moving markets like Internet service.
Under his stewardship, the Commission has published broad principles and has taken action only when it found that objectionable practices have occurred.
French ISP Openly Refuses to Filter P2P
Excerpted from ZeroPaid Report by Drew Wilson
Some Internet service providers (ISPs) like certain of the ones located in Britain have ended up being bullied into or willfully accepting content filtering of the Internet.
Other ISPs like ones located in Australia will openly disagree with content filtering.
One ISP in France, called "Free," appears to be saying that it would openly defy French law when it comes to content filtering. All this according to a report from 01Net. France has developed a reputation internationally to be the country with politicians that are hoping to get ISPs all across Europe to implement filtering technology by law.
While an attempt to dramatically change the laws across Europe, it seems that the drama can be matched by opposition as well. From the report (translated by Charles Eddy):
Questioned about the Innovation and Internet bill, which has already been brought up in the Capital, Xavier Niel, founder and majority shareholder in Free, a French ISP, again launched his criticism following the release of the company's first quarter results.
"This law is wrong," he emphasized, because it undermines "individual freedoms" and "was written on behalf of certain artists who make a lot of money."
Even while recognizing that "piracy is a problem," Xavier Niel clearly showed his preference for a "global licensing" system.
He also warned that Free would not participate, "neither today nor tomorrow" in the content filtering specified in the Elysée agreement, which was issued by the Olivennes group - a group who played a part in the creation of the bill. A surprising reluctance, considering it is Xavier Niel who says he, in fact, "signed a blank sheet."
It's probably no surprise to see ISPs within the same country that pushed for mandatory content filtering for all ISPs across Europe to be under a lot of political pressure to filter the Internet.
As mentioned in the report, the French ISP founder and largest shareholder are demanding that laws be put in place to merely have a blank license for Internet use instead.
As noted before, there have been at least two studies done on ISP-level filtering for file sharing. The more recent one out of Australia said that content filtering that tells the difference between unauthorized content and authorized content on P2P protocols do not work. It backs up an earlier study by Internet Evolution, which also suggested that deep-packet inspection (DPI) had a very difficult time to even be partially accurate without encryption (results with encryption were far worse).
It just seems to be the same story though - the copyright industry wants mandatory filtering and many ISPs know that the system is not only flawed, but would increase bandwidth overhead as well. Still, this particular case may be the first.
While some ISPs around the world are willing to publicly disagree with what needs to be done with the copyright industry, there hasn't been a known case where an ISP is willing to openly defy any laws, to be implemented or already implemented, just to protect their customers. Clearly, this is a case worth following.
ISP P2P Letter Writing Pact Questioned by eMusic
Excerpted from Ars Technica Report by Nate Anderson
The UK detente between ISPs and the music industry hasn't attracted the same vociferous criticism that has followed other recent music industry actions; who could be opposed to ISPs merely sending out friendly letters to alleged file swappers?
But indie music store eMusic has some olfactory concerns about the deal. It "smells very funny to us," CEO David Pakman said.
eMusic has made a name for itself in the US as one of the largest music download stores, a hub for inexpensive indie music. The company expanded into Europe in 2006, and European sales now count for 15% of its total revenues. Pakman sees the UK, in particular, as one of the largest underserved music markets outside the US; that's why he's concerned about the new arrangement between ISPs and the British music business.
The fear is that Britain's BPI, which represents major labels, may have offered a "quid pro quo" to encourage ISP cooperation in its scheme. US ISPs have been exceptionally reluctant to get involved in fingering subscribers for the content industries without a court order, but several major British ISPs have agreed to do so, and two (Sky and BT) have gone on to announce licensing agreements with the music business. Those agreements could give ISPs the right to launch their own music stores.
And that's the issue. Should ISPs choose to launch their own music services, would independent companies like eMusic still receive a fair shake?
It's not a new worry, and we've seen it in Canada when Bell Canada started throttling P2P traffic (too much bandwidth!) and then opened a bandwidth-intensive movie download store of its own.
Similar concerns were voiced in the US when Comcast began interrupting some P2P uploads even as it had a huge financial interest in having people watch video through its cable system, not an Internet connection.
BPI boss Geoff Taylor made the ISP music strategy explicit in a column for the BBC this summer. "We believe that ISPs, far from being a simple pipe, can become significant distributors of digital media," he wrote, "and share in the tremendous value that would be unleashed if more music were accessed legally online." He then made a brief reference to "ISP partnerships," which are the "next logical step in our maturing digital music business."
Pakman's concern isn't so much about crude practices like throttling traffic to eMusic or cutting off access to the site. That's not going to happen.
But what worries him is the possibility of other arrangements - an ISP's own music offering being exempt from bandwidth caps, for instance.
While Pakman's not a fan of bandwidth caps in general, it's the link between caps and music licenses that makes him uneasy. ISPs suddenly have an "economic interest to favor their own services," a fear that ISPs will have to address in ever case in which they attempt to enter a content-delivery market.
Instead of sending letters to file-swappers, which Pakman doesn't think "is going to do anything," he wants to see "hundreds of legitimate, well-priced alternatives." Instead, he says, there are two or three, in part because music labels are stingy in handing out licenses to startups.
He admits that the concerns about UK ISPs are hypothetical at the moment and that he's thinking "three steps ahead of where we are today."
Still, he's adamant that the scenarios he sketches aren't "some fairy-tale situation that could never happen."
Pakman's worries, floated in media interviews over the last few days (see his similar comments in the Financial Times), are themselves a form of action, even though Pakman says that the company has nothing to announce in the way of legal complaints at the moment.
But even as he rightfully looks ahead to competitive threats to his business, there's also the possibility that this will all work out well for music download services.
Previous UK surveys have shown that sending out simple "I see you've been file sharing" notices strip away the feeling of anonymity that pervades such activity, and has the potential to lead to significant reductions in illicit downloading.
As that happens, music-loving consumers may turn increasingly to legitimate sources, and that's an opportunity that eMusic and the six people working out of its London UK headquarters would do well to capitalize on.
IsoHunt Sues the CRIA to Legalize BitTorrent Sites
Excerpted from TorrentFreak Report
Following Demonoid and QuebecTorrent, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) recently threatened IsoHunt with legal action. However, IsoHunt has now decided to launch a preemptive strike by suing the CRIA.
The CRIA is known for taking on BitTorrent sites. In the past year it has threatened Demonoid and other BitTorrent sites, and taken legal action against QuebecTorrent.
In May 2008, IsoHunt received a cease-and-desist letter from the CRIA, in which the CRIA demanded that IsoHunt founder Gary Fung take the site offline. If Fung didn't comply, the CRIA said it would pursue legal action, and demand $20,000 for each sound recording the site has allegedly infringed.
A similar tactic worked against Demonoid, but IsoHunt's founder didn't back down. "We have since tried to come to an understanding, but just as with the MPAA in the US, the CRIA has ignored our offers to take down .torrent links to content files for which they provide sufficient identification," Gary Fung said.
Fung has pointed out that, like most other BitTorrent sites, IsoHunt has a Copyright Policy, and takes down .torrent files when it receives an appropriate request.
The CRIA has ignored this of late (even though it had sent correct takedown notices to IsoHunt previously - with which isoHunt complied) and instead has continued to threaten legal action.
As an act of self-defense, IsoHunt therefore decided to sue the CRIA, and this week Fung filed a petition to ask the Court of British Columbia to confirm that IsoHunt - and sister sites Torrentbox and Podtropolis - do not infringe copyright.
"This is a preemptive strike within a narrowly defined petition for declaratory relief that we do not infringe, in anticipation that the CRIA is going to file its own lawsuit alleging that we do infringe," Fung said.
"Our petition summarizes BitTorrent technology, its open nature and the whole ecosystem of websites and operators that have developed around it, the fact that the CRIA does not own copyright to all files distributed over BitTorrent or on IsoHunt websites, and that we seek legal validation that we can continue to innovate within this emerging BitTorrent ecosystem on the Internet."
"Think of this as a follow-up to the QuebecTorrent case," Fung said. "We intend to take this all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court unless the CRIA settles with us in a reasonable way. This is going to make an interesting case and become the most important copyright case in Canada."
This is the first case worldwide where a court will be asked to decide whether .torrent files, and BitTorrent search engines in particular, are infringing copyright or not. Among other things, IsoHunt argues that it is just a search engine, like Google, and that it has no control over the files its users find elsewhere on the web. The site is indexing other BitTorrent trackers and indexers, without human intervention, and allows its users to find content that is scattered across the web.
So, should BitTorrent search engines be held liable for the .torrent files that might point to copyrighted data? If so, what does this mean for other search engines, and sites such as YouTube? This landmark case might be the one to define how files can be distributed online.
File-Sharing Lawsuit Crossroads: 5 Years of Litigation
Excerpted from Wired News Report by David Kravets
It was five years ago Monday the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) began its massive litigation campaign that now includes more than 30,000 lawsuits targeting alleged copyright scofflaws on P2P networks.
The targets include the elderly, students, children, and even the dead. No one in the US who uses Kazaa, LimeWire, or other file-sharing networks is immune from the RIAA's investigators, and fines under the Copyright Act go up to $150,000 per purloined music track.
But despite the crackdown, billions of copies of copyrighted songs are now changing hands each year on file-sharing services. All the while, some of the most fundamental legal questions surrounding the legality of file sharing have gone unanswered. Even the future of the RIAA's only jury trial victory - against Minnesota mother Jammie Thomas - is in doubt. Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure.
"We're just barely scratching the surface of the legal issues," said Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer and one of the nation's few who have taken an RIAA defendant's case. "They're extorting people - and for what purpose?"
When the first round of lawsuits was filed on September 8, 2003 - targeting 261 defendants around the country - it was a hairpin turn from the RIAA's previous strategy of going after services like Napster, RIAA president Cary Sherman said at the time. "It is simply to get P2P users to stop offering music that does not belong to them." The goal in targeting music fans instead of businesses was "not to be vindictive or punitive," said Sherman.
Today, the RIAA - the lobbying group for the world's big four music companies, Sony BMG, Universal Music, EMI, and Warner Music - admits that the lawsuits are largely a public relations effort, aimed at striking fear into the hearts of would-be downloaders. Spokeswoman Cara Duckworth of the RIAA said the lawsuits have spawned a "general sense of awareness" that file sharing copyrighted music without authorization is "illegal."
"Think about what the legal marketplace and industry would look like today had we sat on our hands and done nothing," Duckworth said.
Casey Lentz, a 21-year-old former San Francisco State student, is among those caught in the RIAA's PR campaign.
"They're harassing me nonstop," said Lentz, who's been trying to settle her RIAA case, but can't afford a lawyer. "I wasn't the one who downloaded the music. It was a shared computer with my roommates and my friends. They want $7,500 for 10 songs."
"I told them I only had $500 in my bank account. And they said 'no way,'" she said.
Despite a fallow legal landscape, most defendants cannot afford attorneys and settle for a few thousand dollars rather than risk losing even more, Beckerman said. "There are still very few people fighting back as far as the litigation goes and they settle."
"It costs more to hire a lawyer to defend these cases than take the settlement," agreed Lory Lybeck, a Washington State attorney, who is leading a prospective class-action against the RIAA for engaging in what he says is "sham" litigation tactics.
"That's an important part of what's going on. The recording industry is setting a price where you know they cannot hire lawyers. It's a well-designed system whereby people are not allowed any effective participation in one of the three prongs in the federal government."
Settlement payments can be made on a website, where the funds are used to sue more defendants. None of the money is paid to artists.
The quick settlements have left largely unexamined some basic legal questions, such as the legality of the RIAA's investigative tactics, and the question of what proof should be required to hold a defendant liable for P2P copyright infringement
In two cases, judges have ruled that making songs available on a P2P network does not constitute copyright infringement - the RIAA has to show that someone actually downloaded the material from a defendant's open shared folder. One of those cases is still mired in pretrial litigation. In the other, an Arizona judge issued a $40,000 judgment last week in favor of the recording industry, after learning the defendant tampered with his hard drive to conceal his downloading.
The so-called "making available" issue also emerged, belatedly, in the only RIAA file sharing lawsuit to go to trial: the case against Thomas, a Minnesota mother of three, who was slammed with a $222,000 judgment last year for sharing 24 tracks in her Kazaa folder.
Months after the Duluth, MN jury's October verdict, US District Judge Michael Davis called the lawyers back to his courtroom. He said he likely committed a "manifest error" in the case by instructing the jury that merely offering music was infringement.
Judge Davis is expected any day to declare a mistrial in the case, and rule that the Copyright Act demands a showing of an actual "transfer" of files from Thomas' shared folder.
If that line of reasoning is followed elsewhere, it endangers a key prong of the RIAA's litigation strategy. The association believes it is technically impossible to prove that files offered in a P2P user's shared folders were actually downloaded by anyone besides its own investigators. "It's all done behind a veil," RIAA attorney Donald Verrilli Jr. argued in the Thomas case last month.
That doesn't mean the RIAA would be dead in the water. The recording industry could try to prove, through forensic examination, that the shared files were infringing to begin with, i.e., that the defendant infringed copyright law by downloading the music, before sharing it again. It's also possible the courts will find that - as the RIAA has argued - downloads by the RIAA's investigators can be considered infringement by the file sharer; digital rights advocates counter the recording industry should not be able to pay investigators to make downloads of its own music, and then declare them unauthorized copies.
The RIAA's investigative tactics have come under attack as well. In a few states - Michigan, Texas, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Arizona - state governments and RIAA defendants have challenged the qualifications of the private company that develops the music industry's cases.
MediaSentry - aka SafeNet - specializes in logging into P2P networks, where it downloads some music, takes screenshots of open shared folders and documents the offending IP address. The RIAA's position is that the online sleuthing isn't covered by state laws regulating private investigators. But Michigan recently disagreed, and told MediaSentry it needed a private investigator's license to continue practicing in that state.
Against that shifting legal backdrop, a handful of universities, including the University of Oregon, have begun refusing to divulge students' names in file sharing lawsuits, on privacy grounds.
Nobody can credibly dispute that file sharing systems are a superhighway for infringing music. "There is no doubt that the volume of files on P2P is overwhelmingly infringing," said Eric Garland, President of Los Angeles research firm BigChampagne.
But critics of the RIAA say it's time for the music industry to stop attacking fans, and start looking for alternatives. Fred von Lohmann, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said the lawsuits are simply not reducing the number of people trading music online.
"If the goal is to reduce file sharing," he says, "it's a failure."
Coming Events of Interest
International Broadcasting Convention - September 11th-16th in Amsterdam, Holland. IBC is committed to providing the world's best event for everyone involved in the creation, management, and delivery of content for the entertainment industry. Uniquely, the key executives and committees who control the convention are drawn from the industry, bringing with them experience and expertise in all aspects. DCIA Member companies are exhibiting.
Streaming Media West - September 23rd-25th in San Jose, CA. The only show that covers both the business of online video and the technology of P2PTV, streaming, downloading, webcasting, Internet TV, IPTV, and mobile video. Covering both corporate and consumer business, technology, and content issues in the enterprise, advertising, media and entertainment, broadcast, and education markets. The DCIA will conduct a P2P session.
PopKomm - October 8th-10th in Berlin, Germany. The international music and entertainment business trade show, conference, and festival. Decisive developments within the business. Think forward: for three days, experts will be appraising and voicing their opinions on creation, communication, and commerce. Over 400 showcase performances.
P2P & MUSIC CONFERENCE - October 10th in Berlin, Germany. The DCIA proudly presents an all-new day-long conference within PopKomm, focused totally on P2P solutions for the music industry. How to protect and monetize musical content in the steadily growing P2P marketplace.
Spirit of Life Award Dinner - October 15th in Santa Monica, CA. The City of Hope Music and Entertainment Industry Group will award the 2008 Spirit of Life Award to Doug Morris. Dinner packages and advertising information can be obtained through Mary Carlzen and 213-241-7328.
P2P & VIDEO CONFERENCE - October 27th in Santa Monica, CA. The DCIA proudly presents an all-new day-long conference in conjunction with Digital Hollywood, focused totally on P2P solutions for the television and enterprise A/V industries. How to protect and monetize video content in the steadily growing P2P marketplace.
Digital Hollywood Fall - October 27th-30th in Santa Monica, CA. With many new sessions and feature events, DHF has become the premiere digital entertainment conference and exposition. DCIA Member companies will exhibit and speak on a number of panels.
P2P MEDIA SUMMIT LV - January 7th in Las Vegas, NV. This is the DCIA's must-attend event for everyone interested in monetizing content using P2P and related technologies. Keynotes, panels, and workshops on the latest breakthroughs. This DCIA flagship event is a Conference within CES - the Consumer Electronics Show.