Italian Court Reinstates ISP Block on The Pirate Bay


Los Angeles – An Italian
court has ruled that ISPs in the country must block access to file-sharing hub
The Pirate Bay, reinstating a ban that had been previously overruled, then
reaffirmed by Italy’s
Supreme Court, TorrentFreak reported.

The Court of Bergamo ruled in 2008 that
ISPs must block The Pirate Bay, but this ruling was later overturned at the
Supreme Court.

Last month, the Supreme Court reviewed the case, and reversed
itself — finding that sites that offer torrent files which link to copyrighted
content are illegal.

A recent hearing at the Court of Bergamo reiterated that
The Pirate Bay must be blocked by Italian ISPs.

TorrentFreak quoted Pirate Bay
attorneys as saying they were considering an appeal both to the Italian Supreme
Court, and to the European Court of Justice.


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(DMW previous coverage)
(DMW previous coverage)

Google to Add 'Status Updates', Other Social Features to Gmail


Mountain View,
– Google (NASD:  GOOG) plans to add new
social features to its Gmail service that include the ability to share
"status updates" and recent activity on third-party services with
contacts, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the

Expected to be introduced as soon as this week, Google hopes to bring
Gmail’s 176 million users some of the same features they are accustomed to
seeing on sites like Facebook, which recently passed 400 million users.

might look like a minor feature advance, but this is another blow in the war
against Facebook," Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at technology consultancy Altimeter
Group, told The New York Times.


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Google to Appeal French Court Ruling on Digital Book Index


– Google (NASD: GOOG) has appealed a French court ruling that prohibited the company from
digitizing French authors’ works for inclusion in its massive book index
without publishers’ permission, Agence France-Presse reported.

In December, a
French court found Google liable for copyright infringement for including
French works in its book index without prior permission.

Google was also
ordered to pay the publisher that brought the suit, Les Editions du Seuil,
$430,000 in damages.

Since the case began playing out, the French government
has embarked upon creating its own national digital book index, and also
proposed a tax on Google’s ad revenues — which would be used to fund the
creative arts in the country.


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(DMW previous coverage)
(DMW previous coverage)

Video Caption Transcriber 3Play Media Raises Funding


– 3Play Media, a developer
of video caption transcription technology, announced that it has raised
$450,000 in funding from angel investors.

Massachusetts-based 3Play specializes
in time synchronization, video captioning, archive indexing, and search.

customers include universities, film production companies and major

The company was founded in 2007 by four MIT graduate students.


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Report: EMI Plans 'Radical' Cost Cuts, More Layoffs


– Major record label EMI is planning "radical cost cuts, including a
further reduction in its 3,500-strong workforce," in a bid to make the
company more attractive to investors, the Telegraph reported. Terra Firma, the
private equity firm that acquired EMI for $4.7 billion before the recession hit,
is seeking an additional more than $160 million from investors, in order to
meet loan repayment deadlines and prevent a possible takeover by lender Citigroup.

cost-cutting initiative expects to shave "tens of millions of pounds"
in costs, and include another round of layoffs — following on the 3,000 staff
laid off in 2008.

The Telegraph reports that EMI’s plan envisions growing
digital from 25% of total revenues to 75% within five years, and that the
company plans to bolster its EMI Music Services licensing and merchandising

"[The five-year business plan] will involve both an acceleration in
revenues coming from product innovation at EMI Music Services and some cost
reductions from the introduction of new systems and technology and the elimination
of some duplication," EMI chief executive Elio Leoni-Sceti told the

"This will confirm our vision to evolve into a digitally-led
music company.


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(DMW previous coverage)

Report: AOL Working with Four Bidders on Sale of ICQ


New York
– AOL (NYSE: AOL) is in serious negotiations with four bidders to sell its ICQ instant
messaging service, All Things D reported on Monday.

Citing sources close to the
situation, the blog said the company is discussing a price around $200 million
for the service, which is most popular with Internet users in Germany and Russia.

The Wall Street Journal
reported in December that AOL was in talks with Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies
about a potential sale.

AOL originally paid $287 million, plus another $120
million in earn-outs, to purchase the service from Israel’s Mirabilis in 1998.


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(All Things D)

Swedish Web Movie Service Voddler Gets $3.5 Million



Voddler, a provider of streaming video services, has raised $3.5 million in new
funding from Eqvitec Partners.

Founded in 2005, Stockholm, Sweden-based Voddler
is still beta testing its service, which distributes films from more than 15
studios, including Disney, Paramount,
Sony and Dreamworks, in part using peer-to-peer technology.

The company offers
some films for free with pre-roll advertisements, while others are available via
a rental model.

Voddler has now raised a total of $20.2 million in funding to
date, a spokesperson told PaidContent.


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Canadian News Site The Mark Closes First Round of Funding


– The Mark, a Canada-based online daily news magazine, announced on Monday that
it has closed its first round of funding, led by Innovation Grade Capital.

Thunder Road Capital and Venture Communications CEO Arlene Dickinson also
participated in the round; the total sum raised was not disclosed.

Launched in
May 2009, Toronto-based The Mark has assembled more than 600 Canadian
contributors across politics, business, science, technology, sports and the

"We plan to add hundreds of new contributors, expand our multimedia
offering, launch a French version, and sign revenue and content distribution
partnerships," said Jeff Anders, The Mark’s founder and CEO.

news media landscape in Canada
is being redrawn. The opportunities for growth are unlimited."


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Motorola Leads Investment in Social Music Player TuneWiki


– Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Ventures
announced on Monday that it has led a new investment round in TuneWiki, a
provider of social media music players and related applications.

participants in the round, financial details of which were not disclosed,
included Benchmark Israel,
Intellect Capital Ventures, HillsVen Capital and Novel TMT.

Founded in 2007, TuneWiki’s
social media music player integrates licensed song lyrics, combining subtitled
lyrics translated into over 45 languages with music and music videos.

It also
offers real-time mapping, geographical charting and social networking features.

The company will use the investment to expand and enhance its product offerings
for mobile and Web platforms.


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Hachette Joins Macmillan in Seeking Variable E-book Pricing


New York
A second large publishing house has joined Macmillan in seeking a variable
pricing model for e-books, challenging’s bid to set an industry
standard price of $9.99 for e-books, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Lagardere’s Hachette Book Group said in a letter to book agents that it would
seek a pricing formula from all retailers like the one that Apple has proposed,
where publishers could set prices ranging up to $14.99 for some titles.


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