Echo Nest to Power Music Discovery for Thumbplay Music


– The Echo Nest, a "music
intelligence" platform, announced on Wednesday that it will power advanced
music discovery on entertainment distributor Thumbplay’s new music subscription
service. The deal will see Echo Nest features like AutoPlaylist, an automatic
playlist creation feature for mobile devices. Thumbplay Music, currently in
invitation-only beta, offers over 8 million tracks for unlimited, on-demand


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Music Choice Debuts SWRV Interactive Music Video Network


New York – Music Choice, a multi-platform video and music
network found mainly on cable TV services, on Wednesday announced the launch of
SWRV, an interactive music video network that will let viewers submit
user-generated content, vote for and rate videos.

Users will be able to
interact with SWRV by sending text, photos or videos via mobile phone or the
Web, and even take over one of the 10 channels for their own 15-minute
programming block.

The service initially launches with Cox Communications
customers in the company’s New England and Virginia operations.

Music Choice said SWRV
will continue to roll out to millions of homes nationwide through tiered
roll-outs by multiple providers.


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European Court of Justice to Hear File-Sharing Filtering Case


– A Belgian court has referred a case set to determine whether ISPs can be
compelled to filter file-sharing traffic on their networks to the European
Court of Justice, TorrentFreak reported.

Belgian copyright society SABAM sued
Internet service provider Tiscali (now Belgacom’s Scarlet) several years ago,
asking a court to force Tiscali to use a filter from Audible Magic to screen
out file-sharing traffic.

However, a judge later reversed this ruling, after
confusion over the purported effectives of Audible Magic.

The Brussels Court of
Appeal last week took up the case, but instead referred the matter to the
European Court of Justice.


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(DMW previous coverage)

File-swapper Headed for Third Trial on Copyright Charges


Los Angeles – The Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) has rejected a judge’s order reducing the damages convicted file-swapper
Jammie Thomas-Rasset from $1.92 million to $54,000, meaning that the Minnesota
woman will now face a third trial on the issue of damages, Ars Technica

In her first trial, a jury found Thomas-Rasset guilty and ordered her
to pay $222,000 in copyright infringement damages to the major record labels.

However, the judge later said he had erred in jury instructions, and ordered a
new trial.

The jury in the second trial also found Thomas-Rasset guilty, but
this time awarded $1.92 million in damages.

Last month, the judge from the
second trial sided with Thomas-Rasset’s attorneys and reduced that amount to

That figure equates to $2,250 for each song that Thomas-Rasset was
found guilty of sharing — triple the statutory minimum of $750, but far less
than the $150,000 maximum.

The RIAA then offered Thomas-Rasset an even lower
settlement, provided she ask the judge to vacate his ruling that lowered the
damages; she refused the offer.

"Plaintiffs find it impossible to accept a
remittitur that could be read to set a new standard for statutory damages — essentially
capping those damages at three times the minimum statutory amount of $750,"
the RIAA wrote to Judge Michael Davis.

"This far-reaching determination is
contrary to the law and creates a statutory scheme that Congress did not intend
or enact."


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(Ars Technica)
(DMW previous coverage)

Norwegian Court Rules ISP Need Not Block The Pirate Bay


Oslo, Norway – A Norwegian court has
ruled that Internet service provider Telenor does not have to block access to
file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay, according to published reports.

record label trade group IFPI and several Hollywood movie studios lost their
case at the Court of Appeal in Norway,
which upheld a lower court’s ruling from November.

The Court of Appeal ruled
that it is not possible under current Norwegian law to compel the ISP to block
The Pirate Bay.

"The Court of Appeal wrote in its ruling that the limits
for contributory responsibility are unclear and that the Culture Ministry must
clarify this when they go through the copyright law again," IFPI
spokesperson Marte Thorsby told the local FVN.

Norway’s Ministry of Culture has
already indicated that it will embark on a review of the country’s Copyright Act.

Meanwhile, the IFPI and other plaintiffs are expected to appeal the case to Norway’s
Supreme Court.


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YouTube Introduces 'Safety Mode' Parental Control Setting


San Bruno,
– Google’s (NASD: GOOG) YouTube on Wednesday
introduced a new parental control feature called Safety Mode, which will help
parents and others screen out potentially objectionable content.

The opt-in
setting will use a filtering system to screen out content such as a newsworthy
video that contains graphic violence.

"While no filter is 100% perfect,
Safety Mode is another step in our ongoing desire to give you greater control
over the content you see on the site," YouTube assistant product manager
Jamie Davidson wrote on the company’s blog.


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(YouTube blog)



Video Game Rental Firm GameFly Files for $50 Million IPO


Los Angeles
– GameFly, the operator of an online video game rental service, on Wednesday
filed with the SEC for an initial public offering of shares that aims to raise
up to $50 million. Underwriters include BofA Merrill Lynch, Piper Jaffray,
Cowen and Company, and William Blair & Company.

Investors in the company
have included Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital.

Founded in 2002, Los
Angeles-based GameFly offers an online service that lets subscribers rent video
games through the mail.

The company counted 334,000 as of Sept. 30.

GameFly will use proceeds from the IPO for general corporate purposes, including
working capital and sales and marketing activities.


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Brazilian Mobile Games Publisher MusiGames Nabs $1.5 Million


Recife, Brazil – MusiGames, a publisher of music-based
mobile games in Brazil,
has raised $1.5 million in funding and grants, MocoNews reported.

included Criatec Fund, FINEP/Facepe and CNPq. Founded in 2007, MusiGames is a
unit of music software developer D’Accord Music Software, which grew out of the
computer music research group at the Federal University of Pernambuco.

company, whose titles include "Drums Challenge," plans to release
eight new games this year.


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(MocoNews) Gets $1.25 Million for Cloud-based Video Services


San Francisco, a provider of online video encoding services, announced on Wednesday
that it has closed a $1.25 million first round of financing, led by Metamorphic

Angel investors Patrick Condon, Fred Hamilton, Zelkova Ventures, Dave
Morgan, and Allen Morgan also participated.

Launched in 2008, San
Francisco-based offers a cloud-based video encoding service for
website operators hosting user-generated and premium video.

To date, the
company has encoded more than 4 million videos, and encodes an average of
30,000 videos per day for customers including MTV Networks, Nokia, MySpace and
Giant Realm.

The company will use the funds to expand marketing, sales and
brand building initiatives.


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