Studios Appeal Swedish Court Ruling on OpenBitTorrent Host


Stockholm, Sweden – A group of 13 Hollywood
movie studios has appealed a decision by a Swedish court not to force ISP
Portlane to bring down OpenBitTorrent, a file-sharing network, TorrentFreak

The studios had filed a motion in Stockholm District Court in November,
demanding that Portlane cease providing bandwidth to OpenBitTorrent and accusing
the ISP of contributing to copyright infringement.

The court disagreed, saying
that Portlane must do more than merely host the site in order to be held liable
for any infringement by OpenBitTorrent users.

The studios have appealed that
decision to Sweden’s
Court of Appeal.

They have alleged that OpenBitTorrent is simply
"the Pirate Bay tracker with a new name," and
in the new filing liken Portlane to a property owner who knows prostitution
occurs on the premises but fails to take any action.


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(DMW previous coverage)

Amazon Introduces $489 Kindle DX with Global Wireless


– (NASD: AMZN) on Wednesday introduced a new version of its larger-screen Kindle
e-book reader, the Kindle DX with Global Wireless, which features wireless
Internet connectivity in 100 countries.

The company has said that the 9.7-inch
display on the Kindle DX, first released last May, is more suited to reading
newspapers, magazines and textbooks.

The move will also make AT&T (NYSE: T) the
company’s global partner for 3G Kindle connectivity, replacing previous partner
Sprint (NYSE: S) in the U.S.

The $489 global Kindle DX is available for pre-order today, and will begin
shipping on Jan. 19.


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Napster CEO Gorog Steps Down; President Also Dismissed


Los Angeles
Chris Gorog said on Wednesday that he has stepped down as CEO of Napster, the
digital music service now owned by consumer electronics and media retail store
chain Best Buy (NYSE:  BBY). The company’s president, Brad Duea, has
also been dismissed, and both positions have been eliminated by Best Buy.
Instead, Napster chief operating officer Christopher Allen will become the general
manager of Napster within Best Buy.

"I wanted to touch base to let you know that after ten
years of building Napster and Roxio as Chairman and CEO — I am stepping aside to
let Best Buy continue to develop Napster after acquiring the company in October
2008," Gorog wrote in a blog post.

Gorog said he has formed a new personal
company,, for "exploring new opportunities, building new
ventures and assisting others in doing the same in — entertainment, media and

Meanwhile, Napster separately announced on Wednesday the
release of Napster Access, a public API that lets consumer electronics and Web
developers integrate Napster content and services into their own products and
Web pages.

The API includes a la carte music purchasing, on-demand streaming of
9 million songs, radio stations, user-created playlists and Billboard charts.


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Baidu Confirms Plan to Launch Hulu-like Video Portal in China


Beijing – Baidu (NASD: BIDU),
China’s largest
search engine, plans to form a new independent company to launch a licensed
video portal for Chinese Internet users.

The news confirms speculation in
reports on the service from yesterday, when Providence Equity Partners — also
an investor in the Hulu video portal joint venture — invested $60 million and
Baidu a reported $10 million more into a joint venture.

Baidu said it has named
Yu Gong as CEO of the new venture; Gong was formerly president and COO of China
Mobile’s 12580 business, and before that was COO of

"As China’s
Internet industry evolves, we have seen increasing demand for high-quality
video content on our search platform. By establishing this new company, we will
be able to better serve our users and customers with superior content and
focused resources," said Xuyang Ren, Baidu’s vice president of marketing
and business development.


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(DMW previous coverage)

DISH Network Debuts "TV Everywhere" Product Suite


Las Vegas – Satellite TV service provider DISH Network (NASD: DISH) on Wednesday
announced the launch of its "TV Everywhere" services — not to be
confused with the online access services of the same name planned by cable
operators — which will allow customers to remotely access live TV and recorded
programs via the Internet and home networks.

DISH partnered with sister company
EchoStar’s (NASD: SATS) Sling Media unit to develop the TV Everywhere Adapter, which attaches
to existing DISH set-tops to provide remote access to home TV channels.

company said it also now plans to release its 1 terabyte ViP 922 HD DVR, which
features built-in Slingbox technology, in the second quarter of 2010.

Other new
products include the Sling-developed DISH Network WiFi Monitor, which can
wirelessly transmit an HD video signal from a set-top to anywhere in the home
via Wi-Fi, and a remote DVR scheduling application for the iPhone, the DISH
Remote Access App.

While DISH filed to trademark the term "TV
Everywhere" last September, cable operators are in the midst of developing
services — casually referred to as "TV Everywhere" — that let
subscribers access cable channels online at no extra charge.


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Conflicting Reports Emerge on Ticketmaster-Live Nation Deal


– Shares of Ticketmaster (NASD:  TKTM) and Live Nation (NYSE:  LYV) rose Wednesday after a report by cited unnamed sources as saying the Justice Department would
approve the proposed merger — although "antitrust sources" told
Reuters that the report was "inaccurate," and that the Justice Dept.
has been preparing to challenge the deal in court.’s report
indicated that the Justice Dept. would approve the deal "with conditions,"
and that lawyers in the antitrust division "were ‘unenthused’ about
pursuing the potential vertical combination threats" posed by the merger
of the ticketing and concert promotion giants.

Shares of both companies were up as much as 8% on Wednesday on the news.

Meanwhile, sources told Reuters
that "the DOJ has had a litigation team preparing the case for litigation
for months," adding, "we have the impression that efforts to settle
have fallen through."

British antitrust regulators approved the proposed
merger last month.


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Report: Mobile Music Firm Melodeo in Acquisition Talks


– Melodeo, a provider of mobile music delivery technology, , is in acquisition
talks with at least two companies "that lost out on the bidding war for
Lala," Billboard reported, citing unnamed sources.

The story did not
mention who the potential suitors might be.

Seattle-based Melodeo’s
applications include the recently-released Effin Genius streaming music
application for the iPhone, which creates playlists based on the songs on
already on a user’s iPhone.

The company also operates nuTsie, which streams a
user’s iTunes library to a mobile phone or other Web-connected device, and
offers genre- and artist-based recommendations.

Sources told Billboard the
company is also planning in coming weeks to launch a new major product, and announce
new partnerships.


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Aggregate Knowledge Raises $9 Million for Recommendations


San Mateo,
– Aggregate Knowledge, a
provider of content recommendation services, announced on Wednesday that it has
raised $9 million in its third round of financing, led by OVP Venture Partners.

Also participating in the round were Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, DAG
Ventures, and existing angel investors.

San Mateo,
Calif.-based Aggregate Knowledge powers recommendations for major retailers and
publishers, and is now expanding its services to help advertisers manage,
personalize and monetize their desired audiences.

The company will use the
funds to hire additional staff as it expands its business into new markets.  


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DataSphere Gets $10.8 Million to Build Hyperlocal News Sites


– DataSphere, a provider of
hyperlocal news sites for news companies, has raised $10.8 million in a new
round of venture capital financing, led by Ignition Partners with participation
from two unnamed investors, PaidContent reported.

Wash.-based DataSphere helps publishers further monetize their content by
repackaging their existing content to create hyperlocal news sites.

include TV station owners Fisher Communications and Cowles California Media, as
well as Reader’s Digest and


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Stealth Social Gaming Start-up DNA Games Nabs $2 Million


San Francisco
– DNA Games, a stealth-mode developer of social games, has raised $2 million in
new funding, PaidContent reported, citing a regulatory filing.

The company was founded in 2009
by a team of former executives from Bazaar Advertising.

San Francisco-based DNA
Games has yet to launch a formal website for the company.


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