A federal judge threw out Viacom’s hotly contested $1 billion copyright infringement suit against Google’s YouTube.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said the YouTube could not be held responsible when people post clips from productions such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report without the Viacom’s approval.
The judge said that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) includes a “safe harbor” provision. It was designed to relieve websites from the burden of checking user-generated material before it’s posted.
Viacom said it would appeal the ruling.
In the meantime, a Google executive said on YouTube’s blog: “This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other.”
In my view, beyond YouTube’s victory, the biggest winner is the DMCA, the 1998 law that has been at the core of Google’s defense.
See the promotion Amazon is doing using Twitter to market its Video on Demand service.
Amazon offers $10 discounts to users who start following its @AmazonVideo account and purchase TV shows like House, The Office, 30 Rock, Royal Pains and Battlestar Galactica. Those users will be sent a direct message with a unique discount code.
(Codes are good through the end of the month, and are only for use within the U.S.).
Ray Kurzweil will launch within two months a free software e-reader called Blio, than can run on everything from PCs to hand-held devices.
It displays colorful images and varying fonts with formating similar to what people find in physical texts. It competes to Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Reader, Barnes and Noble's Nook and Apple's iPad.
PC makers and retailers like Wal-Mart will offer it on their own devices.
Preserving the original formatting, Blio is particularly attractive to publisher of things like cookbooks, how-to guides, schoolbooks, travel guides and children's books, according to The New York Times. For example, Winnie-the-Pooh ibook on Apple's iPad (on ePub format) has to be crafted by hand.
This is according social media management company Vitrue,
For the valuation breakdown, Vitrue examines how many impressions a single wall post receives and other kind of maths. (See here its report).
Whatever is the value, it is clear that brands need to have a strong Facebook presence. The value that companies can get from Facebook Fans is huge, especially if you consider the potential of matching location data with fans.
While some people see the iPad's lack of Adobe Flash as a barrier to advertising on the device, the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau)has issue a report suggesting to marketers to start by creating HTML5-ready ads as well as iPad-ready websites.
Those sites can be found in search engines -while apps currently cannot be.
This is what the IAB says:
“The lack of Flash on the iPad has been called the tablet’s Achilles heel. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Flash is incredibly intensive on any computer to run, burning through batteries faster. The programming language HTML5 used by most new browsers, can do almost as much as Flash without the power drain. Advertisers simply need to start creating ads in HTML5, rather than Flash. Many brands have already done this successfully on the iPad with fantastic results.”
The iPad has been selling like hotcakes so far, with 500,000 units sold in the U.S. in the first week and more than two million units sold in the first two months it was available.
The IAB says also that iAds could help to standardize advertising on the iPad.
Facebook (with 500 million users worldwide) is increasingly becoming a hub for online video viewing, with more than 20 million videos being uploaded each month (415,000 uploads a day), and more than 2 billion videos being watched, according to NewTeeVee.com. 40 percent of that video came directly from webcams.
As more mobile devices enter the market (this moth the new iPhone 4 with HD video) we can expect the number of mobile videos to increase.
iPhone users have already a Facebook app that allows to upload video.
This automatic and cheap video-creation service has taken my attention. Sunday Sky new startup takes existing web assets, such as photos and texts of product descriptions, and transforms them dynamically into web videos. If a product's price changes, the video automatically adjusts to the new information, which comes from XML feeds.
Once the template and player for the first video is created, the second video and the next ones can all be dynamically built without any need for additional input.
This is interesting for e-commerce sites, real state, travel and finance. And despite those videos lack the personal touch of being produced by human, their information is always up-to-date, which is a plus for giant e-commerce sites.
Watch demos of the Sunday Sky videoshere. Among their clients, you see Overstock.com and B&H Photo.
Overall, videos have shown to create higher engagement rates, tend to reduce product returns and generate a better understanding of products.
Soccer fans, ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which started June 11, can follow all game online and on various mobile phones.
In my view, the options are limited and confusing, unless you want just simple scores and stats.
Here is a quick list of all the sites, streams and apps:
ESPN3.com will stream 54 of 64 games in real time on its site, with Facebook and Twitter integration and live commentary in English, Arabic, German, Japanese and Korean. Users have to be customer of AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Comcast, RCN and others.
ESPN mobile will offer 56 games live on FLO TV, MobiTV, Sprint TV and Verizon V-Cast.
There is also an ESPN's app for the iPhone and iPod touch for $4.99, which offers live audio feed. The free version offers only live game scoring. Another free app is Goal.com.
UnivisionFutbol.com will offer free live streams of all 64 games and doesn't care about your ISP provider. Everything is in Spanish.
Univision Movil will also stream all of its game live to Verizon V-Cast subscribers.
An stylish and easy-to-use news aggregator called Pulse News Reader is now the top paid application (it is a $3.99 app) in the iPad App Store.
The application has been developed by Akshay Kothari, 23, and Ankit Gupta, 22, a pair of Indian-born graduate students at Stanford University's Institute of Design. The two developed the app in the Launch Pad class, which asks budding entrepreneurs to develop and introduce a product in just 10 week.
Kothari said the project was inspired by "a personal frustration at the whole news reading experience" on mobile devices.
The app, downloaded by 15,000 people ($40,000 in revenue after Apple's 30% cut), allow users select which news sources to follow and the latests articles are presented in a grid of texts and photos.
The company these folks have created, Alphonso Labs, is now working on versions of the app for other devices, as well as talking to potential investors.
In addition to the early entrepreneurs success story, there is something else. Let me quote a business teacher in The New York Times.
“You absolutely do not have to give away something great for free,” says Michael Dearing, a former eBay executive who is a teacher of the Launch Pad class. “If you build something great, people will pay you for it.”
Steve Jobs has unveiled the iPhone 4 at a conference in San Francisco.
It is thinner than the current iPhone 3GS; it has a sharper screen, HD moviemaking (well, in the reality, 720p high definition) and video-chatting capability (though it will work only on WiFi this year.)
It will be on sale June 24 at $199 for a model with 16 GB of storage, $299 for a 32 GB model.
In terms of photo & video, it features a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash on the back, plus a second camera on the front. With Apple's $4.99 iMovie for iPhone program, users can edit videos right on the device.
The iPhone 4 runs "iOS 4", which has the ability to multi-task third-party applications. The iPhone 3GS, 3G and iPod Touch will be able to upgrade to it, too.
In my view, this smart phone is simply mind blowing. And, once again, it sets Apple miles away from their competitors.
The One Laptop Per Child, Nicholas Negroponte's non-profit organization, is trying to produce a $100 tablet, intended for education and health care in the U.S..
The computer will be based on Moby, an existing platform built by Marvell, and it will measure a height of 10.8 millimeter (the iPad is 12.7 millimeters).
It will include a full high-definition video encoder, 3-D graphics chip (which will enable to interact with Adobe's Flash) built-in video and still camera, a multitouch display and a soft keyboard similar to that of the Apple iPad. It is not clear yet if will run Android, Windows Mobile or Ubuntu.
The company plans to show the first version of the tablet at the CES in Las Vegas in January 2011.