Last week we reported that large music studio Warner wanted higher royalties for use of their music in games such as Rock Band or Guitar Hero.
In a statement today, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick has struck back at Warner, calling the company disrespectful.
Kotick added that Warner Music’s comments were not “respectful of how much we’ve done to bring new audiences into the market”. Kotick also added that his company and others had to invest heavily to make the games “fun to play.”
“I think his view was…that [Warner Music] should be compensated the way they might for a performance on iTunes. But this is an entirely different business that is very technically complex. We’re going to favour those publishers that recognise and appreciate how much we can add value to their artists,” added Kotick.
“We’re introducing a whole new group of artists to new audiences that is resulting in their iTunes downloads being exponentially higher than they would otherwise be, [as well as] new album sales and new merchandising opportunities.”
Kotick obviously has a logical point, but will Warner see it that way?
Sony has confirmed that the upcoming PlayTV device will not be as great as it has been hyped to be, and will not be compatible with HD signals nor will it allow users to copy saved video over to the PSP, a PC, or any type of memory card or flash drive.
The PlayTV will allow users to stream live or recorded content to the PSP using Remote Play but that is the only way to move the content.
“With regards to PlayTV, you can not transfer content to your PSP, PC, or memory sticks. You can stream live or recorded TV content on your PSP via Remote Play only,” said a Sony spokeswoman.
In regards to the device’s incompatibility with HD signals, the Sony spokesperson said they are working on making it possible via a future firmware upgrade.
The PlayTV hits the UK in mid-September for £70.
Citing thousands of file-sharing violation investigations that will take too much of its time, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia has said they will no longer prosecute misdemeanor file-sharing and will instead only prosecute “commercial-scale” file-sharing.
In an interview with Jetzt.de, Axel Steel of the office says a “commercial file-sharer is someone who shares over €3,000 of material”. He feels that songs are worth one euro a piece and movies are worth €15. That is exactly the way it should be, not $10,000 USD a song, or whatever the RIAA feels like charging per song.
Of course you are steal breaking the law if you pirate music but the Prosecutor’s office does not have the man power to prosecute the expected 50,000 violations for 2008.
The official then went on to compare marijuana to file sharing saying “both are very popular among youths…it is illegal to consume it, but people do it anyway, and the authorities can’t be bothered in frying smaller fish as it’s a waste of time and resources. Going after the big distributors is the way to go.”
Microsoft has announced that it is the first operating system developer to more completely incorporate Blu-ray support into its platform, with the addition of the Microsoft Feature Pack for Storage which will allow Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 users to burn Blu-ray discs directly from the OS without the need for usually expensive third party applications.
The software giant says the upgraded storage patch will add the ability to “lock down removable storage with a certificate or password to prevent the theft of secure material and will also add new forms of Smart Card support for government workers and others that depend on the standard to access networks and data.”
Although the update is still a test beta, it is expected the full release will be within 3 months.
This new approach from Microsoft should help to speed up the rate of adoption for Blu-ray hardware, especially as prices continue to lower for drives.
According to the latest DisplaySearch report, overall TV shipments for North America are up 28 percent year-on-year for the Q2, to 9.33 million units.
For the quarter, sales were up 26 percent, with LCDs seeing the highest growth at 52 percent. LCDs accounted for 7.5 million of the 9.3 million TV sales for the quarter and is the clear market share leader over PDP and CRT.
Samsung remained the market leader for LCD, with Sony close behind. LG Electronics, Sharp and Vizio rounded out the top 5, just as they had last quarter.
Panasonic was the leader in PDP (plasma) sales with Vizio close behind after seeing double digit growth in sales year on year. Samsung, LG and Sanyo rounded out the rest of the top 5.
Nintendo has announced aggressive marketing plans in Spanish in an effort to grab Latin America’s fast growing games market.
“The long-term economic potential of Latin America makes this an extremely important market for video games,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime.
Nintendo did not give an exact date but said the campaign would aim at non-core gamers and would begin in time for the Christmas season.
The Latin American market has been growing steadily and has been gaining the eye of companies hoping to offset economic slow downs in the US and Europe.
Bill van Zyll, head of Nintendo’s operations in Latin America, noted that getting in on the market now would be a primary objective for the company. Currently, the region’s video game market is only worth $2 billion USD, compared to $57 billion USD globally but has been growing rapidly.
“Nintendo has experienced phenomenal growth in the region over the past few years growth that has even surpassed what we have seen in the United States,” Fils-Aime added.
Mygazines.com, which launched only last month, and is still currently in beta, has drawn the ire of at least one media company, Time Warner which says it is already looking into ways to get the site shut down.
The site, whose tag line is “upload. share. archive.” is a place where users can upload and share digital copies of magazines while others can read, comment and even create their own “custom” magazines using their favorite parts of other magazines.
The site is entirely free and does not even include advertisements meaning the owners are not making a profit on the sharing of copyrighted content.
Time Warner, owner of Time and many other high profile magazines, does not like seeing their magazines posted for free, especially with the ad pages stripped out. Because the site actively encourages its users to share copyrighted materials, it can be held liable in the US but therein lies Time’s problem.
Mygazines is registered in Anguilla and hosted by the infamous host PRQ of Sweden. PRQ is owned by the founders of the The Pirate Bay, the public torrent tracker that remains in full strength despite years of American companies trying to get it shut down.
Has Mygazines found its way around the jurisdiction of U.S. copyright law? For the most part it seems it has and even if the company is sued in the US, there is no way that anyone would show up to court.
The only way the magazine publishers can get the site shut down is to get Sweden to intervene of have VeriSign, which maintains the master .com database to get the site shut down.
According to Digg.com admin Kevin Rose, the upcoming iTunes 8 will be the first of the platform to allow for HD TV show purchases.
The upgrade notes say users will have the option of downloading TV shows in “HD quality,” marking the first time shows will be available in such a form outside of Apple TV.
The leaked excerpt also confirms rumors that have been swirling around for weeks, that a second-generation iPod touch, a 4G iPod Nano and a second-generation iPod classic will be coming soon and will be fully syncable with iTunes 8.
Another notable update would be a “recommendation system” called Genius which will “automatically create playlists based on songs the software believes ‘go great together’.” The platform would also recommend purchases from the iTunes Store based on your played songs.
Sony has announced more details for the UK launch of the updated PSP-3000 handheld console.
According to Sony Europe boss David Reeves the handheld will hit the region on October 17th and cost GBP 149.99. The new model will only cost about GBP 10 more than the current Slim and Lite hardware SKU giving consumers options when they go out to buy the PSP.
The PSP-3000 has a silver finish and a brighter screen as well as a built-in microphone. Europe has the option to buy the PSP-3000 bundle with Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters for EUR 199.
For the same price you can purchase an “entertainment” bundle which includes a 4GB memory card but no game for the same price.
The Slim and Lite PSP will be phased out added David Reeves who said there might be a limited time price cut on the model to help clear the shelves.
We have published a new guide today that we hope will teach our users how to upgrade their Sony PlayStation 3 hard drive to a higher capacity drive.
The guide will lead you from purchasing a new drive, to backing up your current drive and finally installing the new drive and all post-installation processes such as formatting the drive and restoring all your game save data.
If you are a PS3 owner and want to upgrade your hard drive, please check the guide out here at AfterDawn at: How to upgrade your PlayStation 3 Hard Drive
Also in store is a guide on how to use a partition on your drive to install an alternate OS, YDL or Ubuntu.