Survey: 82% of Parents With Kid Gamers Aware of ESRB Ratings


Santa Monica,
Calif. –
A large majority (82%) of
the parents of children who play video games, and 75% of children themselves,
are familiar with the Entertainment Software Ratings Board’s (ESRB) voluntary
video game ratings system, according to a survey conducted by The Harrison
Group on behalf of game publisher Activision (NASD: ATVI).

The survey was hatched as part of
Activision’s "Ratings Are Not A Game" initiative, which "focuses
on educating consumers about the ESRB’s rating system and helping parents make
informed decisions about the video games their families play."

The survey
also found that 63% of parents with children who play games consider themselves
gamers, with that number increasing to 83% for parents ages 35 and younger.

Seventy per cent of parents said they "pay close attention to the ratings
when purchasing a game for themselves or their families," while 62% said
they conduct research before purchasing a game their child wants.


Related Links:



Kodak Sues Apple, RIM Over Camera Phone Patents


– Eastman Kodak (NYSE:  EK) has filed
patent infringement claims with the U.S. International Trade Commission against
Apple (NASD:  AAPL) and Research in Motion (NASD:  RIMM), related to the cameras in the companies’
respective smartphones. Kodak claims that the iPhone and BlackBerry are
infringing a Kodak patent that covers technology related to a method for
previewing images.

The complaints ask the agency to bar imports of the devices
from their overseas manufacturers.

Separately, Kodak said it filed two lawsuits
against Apple in federal court in New
York, which allege infringement of Kodak patents
related to "digital cameras and certain computer processes."

In these
suits, Kodak seeks a court order to stop Apple’s alleged infringements, and
unspecified monetary damages.

Kodak, which holds more than 1,000 digital
imaging-related patents, has so far licensed its technology to around 30
companies, including Motorola, Nokia, LG and Sony Ericsson, the Associated
Press noted.


Related Links:

China Says Web Firms Must Respect its Laws


Beijing – China has indicated that companies
doing business in the country must abide by its laws, in response to Google’s (NASD:  GOOG)
announcement that it would no longer censor search results in the country and
is contemplating a full retreat from the company. Google’s move comes after the
company suffered a cyberattack on its Gmail service in which the accounts of
Chinese human rights activists were breached. "China
welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China according
to law," was the response from Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for the country’s
Foreign Ministry.

Google, Yahoo and other companies have set up shop in China, but have
to this point allows their search results to be censored by the Chinese

Google now says it may opt to withdraw its business from the
company in its entirety.

"Google leaving China
makes people sad, but accepting censorship to stay in China and abandoning its ‘Don’t Be
Evil’ principles is more than just sad," Teng Biao, a law professor and
human rights lawyer who says his Gmail account was hacked, wrote on his blog,
The New York Times reported.

"The recent cyberintrusion that Google
attributes to China
is troubling, and the federal government is looking into it," Nicholas
Shapiro, a White House spokesman, told The Times.


Related Links:

Blockbuster Eliminates Credit Agreement With Viacom


– Video rental giant Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) announced on Thursday that it has eliminated
the final $24 million of certain letters of credit it maintained on behalf of
Viacom (NYSE: VIA), its former parent company.

The letters of credit were maintained by
Blockbuster to cover Viacom’s potential liability under certain Blockbuster
store leases.

The video rental chain said it plans to close nearly 1,000 of its
stores — about 20% — in 2010.

"Eliminating this final $24 million of
credit exposure frees up cash and helps our liquidity," said Blockbuster
CFO Tom Casey.

"Not only were we able to eliminate the previous $51
million of letter of credit exposure with Viacom in 2009, we also raised $675
million on our bond offering to extend our debt maturities into 2014.

2009 was a challenging year in the overall macroeconomic environment, what we
were able to accomplish in such a credit strapped market last year was truly


Related Links:

eMusic Parent Sweetens Bid for Control of The Orchard


New York – Dimensional Associates, the private equity arm of
JDS Capital that owns digital music service eMusic, has sweetened its bid to
acquire the rest of independent music distributor The Orchard (NASD: ORCD) it does not
already own, PaidContent reported, citing a regulatory filing.

The initial
offer of $1.68 per share was first raised to $1.84 and now stands at $2 per
share — an offer now under review by The Orchard.

Dimensional Associates
already owns a majority stake in The Orchard, and actually owned the company outright
before The Orchard merged with Digital Music Group Inc. in 2007.


Related Links:


AOL's Ad Products Head Resigns for Role at Yahoo


New York
– Just three months after being hired to build the company’s ad platform,
Shashi Seth has left AOL (NYSE: AOL) for a similar position at Yahoo (NASD: YHOO).

"It is with a
heavy heart that I must tell you that I am resigning from my role at AOL,"
Seth wrote in an email to staff, published by All Things D.

"Very recent
developments in my personal life have made it impossible for me to maintain an
executive role that requires extensive travel."

Seth was named AOL’s
senior vice president of global advertising products in early October, working
for the company’s Silicon Valley offices.

position required extensive travel to and from AOL’s headquarters in New York.

"This new
role will enable me to remain local," he wrote.

He previously served as
the head of monetization for Google’s YouTube, and also worked as the product
lead for web search at Google.

AOL has named Jamie Fellows to head its Global
Advertising Products organization on an interim basis.


Related Links:

(All Things D) Sells Off Unit for $3.1 Million


New York
– Financial news website has sold its business for
$3.1 million to an investor group made up of managers at the unit, PaidContent
reported, citing a regulatory filing.

The filing also stated that
acquires an unnamed subscription marketing services company in an all-stock

The company also recently acquired mobile marketing firm Kikucall
for $1.75 million.


Related Links:


Mobile Ad Firm Amobee to Acquire RingRing Media


Redwood City,
– Amobee Media Systems, a developer
of advertising technology for mobile operators, said on Wednesday that it will
acquire U.K.-based mobile ad agency RingRing Media.

Financial terms of the
deal, expected to be completed in the first quarter, were not disclosed.

City, Calif.-based Amobee said that the acquisition brings it a step closer to
creating "the industry’s largest" mobile advertising exchange,
connecting publishers, ad agencies and brands to inventory in real-time.

also gives the company a London
hub, allowing it to gain a stronger foothold internationally.

Amobee’s current
customers include Telefonica SA and Vodafone Group.


Related Links:

Netflix to Stream Standard-Definition Video to Nintendo Wii


Los Gatos,
– Online DVD rental
service Netflix (NASD: NFLX) announced on Wednesday that it has signed a deal with Nintendo
that will bring the company’s instant video streaming service to the Wii
console. Streaming to the Wii is expected to become available to Netflix
subscribers at the $8.99 per month level this spring in the U.S.; users
will have to request a special software disc from Netflix to load onto their
Wii consoles. Unlike the rival PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, however, Nintendo’s
Wii supports only standard-definition video; Netflix’s service offers HD
streaming to compatible devices.


Related Links: