Chinese Sites Ku6, Sohu Establish Anti-Piracy Fund


– Chinese content sites and on Monday jointly announced the
creation of a new International Movie & TV Copyright Joint Procurement
Fund, into which they will each invest $5 million.

The fund — the first of its
kind in China — is also
supported by China’s State
Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the National Copyright
Administration of China, the Beijing
International Copyright
Trade Center
and CCTV International.

"The hearts of editors at are bleeding.
Pioneering the fight against piracy requires more than just courage," said
CEO Li Shanyou. said that it started deleting foreign films and TV
series uploaded to its site by users late last year, with Li sating that
"the website will see a decline in traffic as a result of the move… but is
confident that traffic will surge in several months, when Internet users can
only choose to watch [licensed] copyrighted content because other websites will
be deleting [unlicensed] copyrighted videos too."


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LivingSocial Lands $5 Million for Social Media Apps


– LivingSocial, a developer of social networking applications, has raised $5
million in new funding, PaidContent reported.

Investors included Grotech
Ventures, AOL founder Steve Case and his wife Jean, and LivingSocial CEO Tim

Washington-based LivingSocial was launched in 2008 as a site
that let users share reviews of their favorite movies, books, games, music,
restaurants and beers.

The company also now counts 3.7 million monthly active
users on Facebook, and is responsible for the "Top 5…" list


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MySpace Swaps Imeem Web Playlists for Advertisements


San Francisco
– News Corp.’s (NYSE: NWS) MySpace has replaced all of the songs and playlists embedded
around the Web using its recently acquired imeem streaming service with
advertisements for ringtones or the MySpace Music service, reported.

MySpace acquired only "certain assets" of imeem, which was struggling
to pay licensing fees and facing imminent shutdown.

The company has stated that
it is working to recreate imeem users’ playlists. In the meantime, however, it
has replaced all songs and playlists embedded on music blogs and other sites
with advertisements.


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Qtrax Cancels Dec. 24 Press Event; Promises January Launch


New York
– Qtrax, an ad-supported music download service in the works for years that has
been plagued with launch delays, canceled a press event on Dec. 24 due to a
hospitalization of its CEO with kidney stones, according to a post on the
company’s blog.

The company, which made headlines in 2008 for announcing its
launch before it had secured licenses from the major labels, now says it will
launch in January without any press event.

"What were we going to say [at
the Dec. 24 press conference]? Pretty simple really. That we were finally
launching in January. Are we? Yes. Have we been wrong before? Humiliatingly, yes.
Will be wrong this time? No," the company wrote.

"Given the turn of
events, we’ve also decided, no need for another conference- we’ll just launch.
Let the fanfare follow rather than precede."

The company also recently stumbled out of the gate with a planned launch in Australia.

"Music ingestion Down Under is taking a little longer than expected. We will be up & running in the coming days," reads a note on the company’s website.


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Imeem to Pay The Orchard $1.77M in Copyright Judgment


Los Angeles
– Streaming music service imeem, which recently sold certain assets to News
Corp.’s (NYSE: NWS) MySpace, has been hit with a $1.77 million copyright infringement
judgment, GigaOM reported.

The suit was originally filed by digital music
distributor The Orchard (NASD: ORCD) in October, and the default judgment was issued by U.S.
District Judge Denny Chin on Dec. 17 after imeem failed to appear in court.

spokesperson for MySpace, which is rumored to have paid less than $1 million
for imeem, told GigaOM that the company was not involved in the lawsuit.

MySpace’s acquisition included only "certain assets" of imeem, which apparently
did not include thousands in royalty payments owed to independent artists.

GigaOM speculated that the deal could also have been structured by MySpace to
include only assets that "were not being sued."


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(DMW previous coverage)

Scvngr Nabs $4 Million for Location-based Mobile Games


– Scvngr, a Boston-based developer of mobile software technology, has raised $4
million in its second round of venture capital, according to a new filing with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investors in the deal include Google (NASD: GOOG)
and Highland Capital Partners.

Scvngr was founded in 2008. Its technology was
originally developed at Princeton
University, and is
designed to help users develop, manage and deploy interactive location-based
mobile games and tours and experiences.


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Audio Ad Technology Firm Jingle Networks Raises $6.8 Million


– Jingle Networks, a provider
of voice advertisement serving technology for telephone directory assistance
providers, has raised about $6.8 million in a round of venture capital,
according to a new filing by the company with the Securities and Exchange

Billerica, Mass.-based JingleConnect allows advertisers to feed
targeted offers to directory assistance callers during hold times or transfers
on its publisher network.

Investors in the company include Goldman Sachs, First
Round Capital, Hearst, and Liberty Associated Partners.


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Report: eMusic Mulls Sale; Best Buy, Rhapsody Among Suitors


New York
– The investment firm that owns digital music service eMusic is exploring a
possible sale of the company, and has spoken with potential suitors including
Best Buy and RealNetworks’ Rhapsody, The New York Post reported.

The company is
owned by Dimensional Associates, a unit of investment firm JDS Capital

"We’re opportunistic stewards of capital," eMusic CEO
Daniel Stein told the Post. "If an offer was made that created value for
our shareholders, we’d listen to it."

In addition to a sale, the company
is reportedly considering recapitalization, as well as adding a streaming
component to its core subscription-based download service offering.

A rash of
acquisitions has recently hit the streaming music service market, as News
Corp.’s MySpace acquired iLike and imeem, and Apple purchased Lala.

The Post
cited sources who said that eMusic is generating $65-$70 million in annual
revenues from some 400,000 subscribers, and is not in dire financial straits.

The company had long catered mainly to fans of independent music and genres
like classical and jazz, but recently signed a deal to include major label Sony
Music’s catalog.

The Post reports that eMusic is close to signing similar back
catalog deals with two of the remaining three major labels.


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(New York Post)

Report: Jan. 27 Apple Media Event Sparks Tablet Speculation


San Francisco – Adding fuel
to the rumor mill surrounding the expected introduction of a tablet PC from
Apple (NASD:  AAPL), the company has scheduled a media event for Wednesday, Jan. 27 in San Francisco, sources
told All Things Digital. While the sources did not provide details on what
Apple planned to launch at the event, the Financial Times and other outlets
have published reports corroborating that Apple will hold a media event later
this month.

However, the rumor mill had also previously speculated that Apple’s
tablet device would likely not be introduced until March.


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(All Things D)

News Corp.'s IGN Sells Rotten Tomatoes to Flixster


San Francisco
– News Corp.’s (NYSE: NWS) IGN Entertainment unit announced on Monday that it has sold its
movie review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes to rival Flixster.

terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although IGN will receive a
minority equity stake in Flixter as part of the deal.

The companies had
recently partnered to syndicate Rotten Tomatoes’ aggregated reviews on
Flixster’s website and mobile applications.

Founded in 2006, Flixster counts
more than 20 million monthly users, and boasts the most popular movie-related
application for Apple’s iPhone.

The companies said that they will command a
combined audience of around 30 million monthly visitors, and offer a database
of half a million reviews from critics alongside 2.3 billion user-generated
ratings and reviews.

News Corp. also recently sold off its Photobucket
photo-sharing service tol Ontela.


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