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Europe’s net neutrality guidelines seen as a victory for the open web

The Verge reports “Europe’s telecommunications regulator has published final guidelines on how the EU will implement net neutrality rules that were adopted last year, in what digital rights groups are hailing as a victory for the free and open internet. The guidelines, published Tuesday, clarify vaguely worded provisions that experts say could have been exploited by telecoms to favor certain internet services over others.”

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Twitter Opens Video Ads to All U.S. Users, Touting Better Revenue-Sharing Terms Than YouTube or Facebook

Variety reports “Twitter has opened its Amplify program to all video creators in the United States, allowing them to generate content from pre-roll ads sold by the company.

Under the standard terms of the program, Twitter will pay video creators 70% of ad revenue, keeping 30% for itself. That’s better than YouTube and Facebook, both of which share 55% of ad revenue with video-content partners.”

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China Advances Film Industry Law, Cracks Down on “Western Values”

The Hollywood Reporter reports “China’s top legislature on Monday reviewed a draft of the country’s long-awaited first film law. Once passed, the new legal framework will have wide-ranging implications for China’s domestic film industry and the Hollywood studios that do business in the country.

China’s box office is expected to surpass North America’s within the next three years. This week’s review process at the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which runs from Monday to Saturday, provides a sneak peek of the new rulebook likely to govern the world’s soon-to-be-largest movie market. The topics addressed range from censorship policy to market access for foreign films to how to handle artists “tainted” by drug and prostitution scandals.”

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Intel launches its 7th-generation Core processors for the 4K and VR era

VentureBeat reports “Intel has launched its 7th Generation Core processor family today as the next big push forward for the PC market. The new chips are built with Intel’s most-advanced manufacturing technology and will be its flagship microprocessors for the newest generation of consumer PCs, which should start arriving at the end of September for the newest laptops. Games are likely to be the earliest adopters.”

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The future of mobile video is virtual reality

TechCrunch reports “in a world where no moment is too small to record with a mobile sensor, and one in which time spent in virtual reality keeps going up, interesting parallels start to emerge with our smartphones and headsets.

Let’s look at how the future could play out in the real world by observing three key drivers: VR video adoption, mobile-video user needs and the smartphone camera rising tide.”

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Apple Owes Ireland $14.5 Billion Tax Bill, European Union Finds

Billboard reports “Apple faces a multi-billion dollar tax bill after a ruling Tuesday by the European Commission that the tech company’s tax dealings with the Irish government violated European law.

In a press conference Tuesday, Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, said the Commission has ruled after its antitrust investigation that the iPhone maker got undue tax benefits in Ireland, in breach of EU state aid laws. The Commission said Apple should pay back taxes amounting to up to $14.5 billion (€13 billion), the highest fine ever issued by the EU.”

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ESL signs deal with Yahoo Esports

GamesIndustry reports “ESL and Yahoo Esports have signed a new two-year deal to join forces on streaming, tournaments and the associated sponsorship opportunities. Fans of the ESL One and IEM events can expect to see more coverage on Yahoo as a result.

‘ESL in a unique position to be able to offer access to some of the world’s best esports competition, and having a partner like Yahoo Esports means we won’t only reach a broader audience with a supreme quality broadcast, but also deliver exclusive editorial content for esports fans worldwide,’ said ESL’s Nik Adams.”

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Can foreign tech companies win in China?

TechCrunch reports “People have often referred to Google, Facebook and Twitter as cases where foreign tech companies are blocked in China. In reality, while Facebook and Twitter were indeed blocked, Google chose to withdraw because they didn’t want to comply with Chinese censorship regulations.

It’s important to note that most foreign tech companies were not blocked, and companies like eBay, Amazon, Viadeo and, of course, Apple and Samsung all entered and competed in China.”

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CtrlMovie – A film format for interactive storytelling

GamesIndustry reports “Whilst games have adopted many of the things which made cinema great, there hasn’t been much reciprocation.

CtrlMovie is attempting to redress that balance. A new platform for creating live-action film with deviating plotlines, CtrlMovie offers the audience the chance to make significant plot-changing decisions in real time, under the same pressure as the characters, with indecision having its own consequences. The company’s first proof-of-concept title, Late Shift, is available now on iOS and Android but has also been touring the film festivals of the world and appearing in selected cinemas, giving audiences the chance to exercise democratic power over the big screen. Associate producer Demetri Jagger says it’s a delicate proposition.”

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Ubisoft Retreats from Free-to-Play Business Model

Motherboard reports “It wasn’t that long ago that pundits championed the “free-to-play” business model as the future of gaming, and publishers who stuck to old methods of revenue generation like full sales or subscriptions were often dismissed as outdated. Why not let players start playing games for free, optimists asserted, and let funding comes from items bought in-game like boosts or cosmetics? And that optimism wasn’t unwarranted. Free-to-play games like Candy Crush Saga, Hearthstone, and World of Tanks built fabulous fortunes with it and continue to do so.

But these days it’s difficult to confidently label free-to-play the best choice. One of the biggest signs of change appeared just yesterday, when massive game publisher Ubisoft announced it’d be closing four of its free-to-play games by the end of the year.”

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European Commission Seeks Solutions for YouTube Value Gap

Billboard reports “Plans for user-generated platforms like YouTube and DailyMotion to require licenses or sign-up to revenue sharing deals with rights holders are reportedly being considered by the European Commission (EC).

Reuters says it’s seen a draft paper by the EC that proposes the idea of forcing platforms hosting user-generated content to sign agreements with rights holders “reflecting the economic value of the use made of the protected content.”

The agreements could take the form of a copyright license or a monetization agreement such as sharing of revenue, the news agency reports. The proposed draft reforms are part of the EC’s ongoing Digital Single Market strategy, which is expected to include regulatory reform to copyright legislation in the EU.”

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Genvid Technologies raises $1.5 million for more compelling esports broadcasts

VentureBeat reports “Genvid Technologies has raised $1.5 million to enable a new kind of esports livestream broadcast.

Investors in New York-based Genvid include Los Angeles-based March Capital Partners, with Chicago’s OCA Ventures participating. Founded by former tech and business leaders of Square Enix’s now-defunct Shinra Technologies division, Genvid is building tools that developers can use to create more compelling and interactive esports broadcasts.”