Compiled list of the latest buzz and happenings, do check them out !
this year, Paramount Pictures got into the business of selling digital
movies directly to consumers on its website — originally, those movies
(sold with the UltraViolet DRM scheme) were mostly tied to your
computer, but now Paramount has just opened up a major new distribution
Semiconductor Europe (FSEU) today announced that its HDTV multi-decoder
processor MB86H611 with advanced security architecture has been
successfully certified by CONAX, one of the world”s leading providers of
advanced content protection across broadcast, broadband and OTT
has become the latest ISP to block The Pirate Bay, following a High
Court ruling that UK Internet companies much stop customers from
accessing the notorious file-sharing site. TalkTalk confirmed it had
joined the blockade in a statement with CNET UK’s sister site ZDNet UK,
saying, "TalkTalk can confirm that it is blocking access to The Pirate
Bay (TPB) following a court order to do so."
response to a court order handed down at the end of April, today
TalkTalk became the latest UK ISP to block subscriber access to The
Pirate Bay. But even with this action the Europe-wide wave of blocking
orders isn’t letting up.
cost the German film industry nearly $200 million (€196 million) last
year and resulted in $660 million (€524 million) in lost revenue for the
country’s music industry, according to a recent study backed by the
Berlin-Brandenburg Medienboard, which backs media companies in the
region with state subsidies, and the German video game association
potential use is more secure digital rights management for streaming
content. The computing firm previously teamed up with Google to help the
search engine giant launch its Google TV platform, though the venture
failed to take off.
said that the RIAA should abandon litigation and hobbling music with
Digital Rights Management software. According to Sherman, the RIAA has
done all of that and more. He said Spotify and Rhapsody offer unlimited
Recording Industry of America has asked the number one search engine in
the world; Google to automatically disown all links with online piracy
site; Pirate Bay.
changes to the Copyright Act protect the disabled – but are restrictive
about cover versions and web freedom. When the Copyright (Amendment)
Act, 2012, was passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha on May 22, it meant
that there was little reason for celebration, some not-so-great news,
and a lot of pretty bad news.
is easily the biggest streaming music platform – by far – and it’s
completely DRM-protected, just like Spotify, Pandora, and Grooveshark.
The question is, do enough people want to circumvent these limitations,
or are they happy with a self-contained, streaming-only experience?
Attorney-General’s Department may be holding discussions with copyright
holders and ISPs on online piracy issues today, but iiNet expects the
talks to be a waste of time. Government and consumer representative will
also be involved in the discussions which will focus on finding a way
to curb the rise of content theft online.
Pirate Bay has seen another broadband provider slam down the shutters,
with BeBroadband confirming it has blocked UK access to the
controversial torrent search site. The move follows rival ISP Virgin
Media preventing its subscribers from accessing The Pirate Bay in early
May, following an April court ruling that five of the largest providers
must block the site after complaints that it enabled and promoted
content piracy. Unsurprisingly, BE’s decision has been met with no small
amount of dismay.
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has called upon Google
and other leading search engines to take more action against online
viewers in central and southern NSW and the ACT have joined the digital
signal network after the longstanding analog frequencies were turned
off. The analog signals for these areas were turned off "forever" at 9am
(AEST) on Tuesday.
Ministry of Communication and Information will provide free converter
sets to low income people so they can receive digital television
broadcasts on their analog sets. It is a step in the government’s
transition to a full digital signal by 2018. “We are now proposing
budget of Rp 300 billion ($31.8 million) to provide a free set top box,”
Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said on Monday
at the Broadcast and Multimedia Show 2012.
research shows that 21 per cent of Australia’s illegal downloaders most
often use Swedish website The Pirate Bay to get their film and
television content. They list 19 other online sources but none are
mentioned by more than 10 per cent of the research respondents: Youtube,
Google, Limewire, Isohunt, iTunes, Megavideo,Torrentz, Demonoid,
Btjunkie, megaupload, kickasstorrents, eztv, movie2K, Kat, Vuze,
Mediafire, utorrent, projectfreetv, sidereel.
research shows that 21 per cent of Australia’s illegal downloaders most
often use Swedish website The Pirate Bay to get their film and
television content. They list 19 other online sources but none are
mentioned by more than 10 per cent of the research respondents.
57 percent of computers users across the world have admitted to using
pirated software, which has resulted in a loss of 63.4 billion dollars
in the software industry annually, according to a survey.
the 3D front it focused on standardization for delivering video in both
720 and 1080 line formats, digital interfaces used for studio
production and methods to evaluate quality based on picture quality,
depth and comfort levels.
Systems sued TiVo, seeking a court order declaring it hasn’t infringed
patents relating to digital video recorders. TiVo, an Alviso maker of
set-top boxes that can record and play back television programs, has
sued companies that purchase DVRs made by Cisco alleging they infringe
TiVo patents, Cisco said in a complaint filed in federal court in San
the embedded virtualization company, today announced that it had
launched the first open source implementation for ARM TrustZone. Open
Virtualization, an open source project sponsored and maintained by
Sierraware, allows ARM-based microprocessor designers, device
manufacturers, and software companies to support ARM TrustZone
can’t just be solved by technology. It requires lawyers. At the D
conference, a pair of top Google execs rebutted the contention made the
night before by Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel that Google should be doing
much more to combat piracy.
for popular file-sharing company Megaupload, accused of copyright theft
and internet piracy, have moved to have the case thrown out in the
United States and tens of millions of dollars of assets unfrozen, a U.S.
counsel said on Thursday.
Parker transformed the music industry once with Napster, now he’s doing
it again with Spotify, where he’s now a director. He and Spotify CEO
Daniel Ek took the stage at the D conference to talk about Spotify’s new
music model. They’re not going after Apple’s business, they’re
competing with piracy. And in the process they’re redefining how people
find music — now through their friends — and how they buy it — in play
lists, instead of singles and albums.
Download the full brochure to view our exciting upcoming events!
FUNDAMENTALS OF CONTENT PROTECTION: Technology and Monetization
Asia Media Summit, AIBD 2011
23rd May, 9.00am – 5.00pm
Melia Hanoi Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam
Join us at Hanoi for a full day of presentations, updates, and interactive discussions with some of the leading companies involved with secure delivery and distribution of content over broadcast, cinemas, and on the internet. Topics of discussion will explore the various technologies, applications (current and future), implementations and challenges related to content distribution and content protection today. Meet some of the world’s most innovative and relevant industry representatives and learn more about monetizing from your content business.
Every year 600-700 broadcasters and government officials from Asia Pacific attend this AIBD event. Last year our panel discussion in the main hall opened much discussion on the subject and attracted 500+ attendees. This session is meant to be a follow up.
TOWARDS FREEDOM FROM PIRACY
Digital Matters 2011
25th May, 11.10am – 11.50am
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
- John Medeiros – Deputy CEO and Director of Regulatory Affairs, CASBAA
- Isa Seow – Managing Director, Centre for Content Promotion
- May-Seey Leong – Asia Director, International Federation of The Phonographic Industry (IFPI)
- Aroon Tan – President, Games Exchange Alliance and CEO, Magma Studios
CCP Members enjoy a discounted Member of Association rate of USD 1099! CCP is proud to be a Supporting Partner of Digital Matters 2011. For more information, please visit www.digitalmatters.asia. Click here to download the brochure for this event.
23rd June, 1.30pm – 2.15pm
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
The business models of TV and movies depend on distribution modes and
Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies that enable them. Pay TV
especially depends on the availability of such technologies that allow
one to watch their favourite movies and TV, where they want, when they
want and on whichever device. While content owners are keen to protect
and monetise from their works, consumers today demand the flexibility to
legally copy the movies that they own, or to store them until later on.
Consumers may even need to copy or move their content to second homes,
cars, mobile and different devices.
This panel discussion session will focus on home networking technologies
and will present the state-of-the-art developments in this field
HOME NETWORKING – THE (USAGE) STATE OF PLAY
23rd June, 1.30pm – 2.15pm
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
The business models of TV and movies depend on distribution modes and Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies that enable them. Pay TV especially depends on the availability of such technologies that allow one to watch their favourite movies and TV, where they want, when they want and on whichever device. While content owners are keen to protect and monetise from their works, consumers today demand the flexibility to legally copy the movies that they own, or to store them until later on. Consumers may even need to copy or move their content to second homes, cars, mobile and different devices.
This panel discussion session will focus on home networking technologies and will present the state-of-the-art developments in this field.
MARLIN DRM DEMONSTRATION
By appointment only
21st – 23rd June
Venue: Orchid Suite, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
The Centre for Content Promotion is very happy to invite you to a customized Marlin demonstration. This special demonstration is by invitation-only and we are scheduling appointments now.
The demonstration will show Marlin at work within a home networking context. It will also have technical folks on standby to explain the technology, policy issues and solution packages. It is a great session to have 1-to-1 discussion with Marlin experts and for you to clarify any questions you might have. Typical demonstration time is 45 minutes with further flexible time for discussion and questions.
Please pre-arrange an appointment with us to have a customised demonstration of Marlin at work.
YOUR INVITATION TO CCP PAC MEMBERS MEETING
Friday, 24th June
Myra’s Beach Club
1390 East Coast Parkway Singapore (468961)
(Near PA Water Venture, carpark F3)
Tel: 6443 3005
CCP would like to cordially invite you to our PAC Members Meeting!
5:00 – 6:30 PM – CCP PAC Meeting
6:30 PM onwards – Drinks
The agenda: (5 PM – 6.30)
- CCP Future
- Recommended Activities
- Possibility of transforming CCP into a Non-profit or a Foundation
- Networking Drinks! (6.30 PM onwards)
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to shape CCP and network with CCP members!
It seems that for years, TV programming in the islands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been illegally obtained from free-to-air regional sources. No action was taken about the issue until recently when some local providers in PNG weretaken to court for using broadcast signals from places such as Australia and New Zealand, and re-importing them into the Pacific islands. This development was reported at a recent AIBD conference in Beijing.
According to sources, FijiTV filed a case in PNG regarding the illegal redistribution of its broadcast signals. FijiTV held the exclusive rights for Channel Nine yet found other operators illicitly acquiring the same material for rebroadcast on their pay TV services. There is a case ongoing.
Channels such as ABC Australia and SBS Australia that should be legitimately broadcasting these regions are “stolen” by operators who do not have the distribution rights. It is alleged that up to 7 or 8 out of 15 channels provided by Pay TV operators in Vanuatu and Samoa are pirated. It is unclear if these rebroadcasts have official approvals or have been purchased.
Legitimate rights owners sometimes choose not to prosecute or take any action on the problem, even when the piracy is brought to their attention. The reasoning is because the damage caused is considered small, while the costs involved inpursuing the infringements themselves are high.
Mydrmspace is touted as the first online platform that enables anyone from general consumers to media specialists to embed rights information into their digital files for the purpose of copyright protection. According to its website, these digital watermarks are irremovable and inconspicuous when signed onto multimedia content such as music, audio book and video files. Registered users to Mydrmspace can also access an online community that allows users to upload and develop personalized watermark coders and decoders.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) applied for a waiver in the courts to adopt a new content protection solution. The USA’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has accepted the MPAA’s proposal on "Selectable OutputControl" (SOC). SOC will allow studios or content owners to remotely disable analog outputs on cable and satellite broadcasts of video-on-demand movies to home televisions.
The reasoning behind this scheme is that content owners will offer more high-definition (HD) titles for direct home viewing since their copyright protection is guaranteed. SOC will block consumers from utilizing an analog connection to pirate a copy for illegal redistribution over the Internet.
Content owners want SOC in place before they implement HD movies piped into the home, and possibly even for films that are still showing in theaters.
SAMSUNG ADOPTS PLAYREADY
Currently, DTH subscribers are not allowed to move from one service provider to another without having to reinvest in a new set-top box (STB) and a dish. This is in breach of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) guidelines that states STBs must be able to read the feeds of more than one service provider.
LOCATION BASED CONTENT PROTECTION
USD$51 MILLION DOLLAR JUDGEMENT FOR TPM CASE
GUY BERGER ON PROTECTING BROADCAST SIGNALS AND THE BROADCAST TREATY
He said: "Hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world will be watching the Soccer World Cup kick-off on a pirate basis, and there’s not much that Fifa or the broadcasters can do about it. Global copyright authorities are still debating ways to combat broadcast piracy.
SONIC SOLUTIONS JOINS FORCES WITH DIVX
CANALPLUS LAUNCHES VIETNAM DTH PLATFORM
MYTV DEBUTS NEW TV
MALAYSIA REVIEWING DTT BOX DESIGN
With this review, Malaysia is close to completing its DTT transformation and takes a leap in the digitization efforts of the ASEAN region. In meetings with various important industry players, the Malaysian Digital Terrestrial Initiative will soon reveal a new DTT box design. At present, only the Astro B.yond box serves HD subscribers in Malaysia.
PIRATE ETHERNET BOXES FOR SALE
FAKE IPADS MADE IN CHINA
CHINESE MANUFACTURER TO SUE APPLE FOR iPAD DESIGN
CCP June industry Updates
ILLEGAL REDISTRIBUTION OF FREE-TO-AIR SIGNALS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
It seems thatfor years, TV programming in the islands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have beenillegally obtained from free-to-air regional sources.
No actionwas taken about the issue until recently when some local providers in PNG weretaken to court for using broadcast signals from places such as Australia andNew Zealand, and re-importing them into the Pacific islands. This developmentwas reported at a recent AIBD conference in Beijing.
Accordingto sources, FijiTV filed a case in PNG regarding the illegal redistribution ofits broadcast signals. FijiTV held the exclusive rights for Channel Nine yetfound other operators illicitly acquiring the same material for rebroadcast ontheir pay TV services. There is a case ongoing.
Channelssuch as ABC Australia and SBS Australia that should be legitimately broadcastin these regions are “stolen” by operators who do not have the distributionrights. It is alleged that up to 7 or 8 out of 15 channels provided by Pay TVoperators in Vanuatu and Samoa are pirated. It is unclear if these rebroadcastshave official approvals or have been purchased.
Legitimaterights owners sometimes choose not to prosecute or take any action on theproblem, even when the piracy is brought to their attention. The reasoning isbecause the damage caused is considered small, while the costs involved inpursuing the infringements themselves are high.
Mydrmspaceis touted as the first online platform that enables anyone from generalconsumers to media specialists to embed rights information into their digitalfiles for the purpose of copyright protection. According to its website, thesedigital watermarks are irremovable and inconspicuous when signed ontomultimedia content such as music, audio book and video files. Registered usersto Mydrmspace can also access an online community that allows users to uploadand develop personalized watermark coders and decoders.
SELECTABLE OUTPUT CONTROL
TheMotion Picture Association of America (MPAA) applied for a waiver in the courtsto adopt a new content protection solution. The USA’s Federal CommunicationsCommission (FCC) has accepted the MPAA’s proposal on "Selectable OutputControl" (SOC). SOC will allow studios or content owners to remotely disableanalog outputs on cable and satellite broadcasts of video-on-demand movies tohome televisions.
Thereasoning behind this scheme is that content owners will offer morehigh-definition (HD) titles for direct home viewing since their copyrightprotection is guaranteed. SOC will block consumers from utilizing an analogconnection to pirate a copy for illegal redistribution over the Internet.
Contentowners want SOC in place before they implement HD movies piped into the home,and possibly even for films that are still showing in theaters.
SAMSUNG ADOPTS PLAYREADY
SamsungElectronics Co. Ltd. announced plans to include Microsoft PlayReady technologyinto its consumer products by 2012.
WithPlayReady compatibility in mobile phones, digital video players, and televisions,Samsung will make it easier for consumers to access and transfer protecteddigital content across a wide range of mobile devices.
Microsoft’sPlayReady is an open DRM system that supports a broad range of media formats.It can be applied to almost any type of digital content, including video,games, and photographic images.
COMPETITIONCOMMISSION BREAKS UP DTH CARTEL IN INDIA
TheCompetition Commission of India found major direct-to-home (DTH) operators TataSky, Dish TV and Reliance’s Big TV guilty of unfair competition for notallowing “technical interoperability”.
Currently,DTH subscribers are not allowed to move from one service provider to anotherwithout having to reinvest in a new set-top box (STB) and a dish. This is inbreach of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) guidelines that statesSTBs must be able to read the feeds of more than one service provider.
INFOCOMMDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (IDA) OF SINGAPORE SEEKS CONSULTATION
TheInfocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is seeking a second round ofreviews regarding its IPTV set-top box design dubbed "Project NIMS."
As partof Project NIMS Phase 2, IDA is proceeding with building a box that allowsmultiple content providers to operate through one standardized platform. Theset-top box also aims to work on multiple networks such as DTT or IPTVnetworks.
Theset-top box initiative takes place amidst the review of competition andcross-carriage rules that have been on the forefront of news media attention inSingapore. 7-8 groups have presented their working demos to the IDA and the ITUin Singapore recently, and in the hopes of establishing their particularsolution.
DIGITAL BRITAIN ANTI-PIRACY LEVY TO EASE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENTS
TheBritish Government is seeking to set up a government Rights Agency to tracksuspected online copyright infringers and report their activities to copyrightowners. The government would impose on the ISPs a £20 (US $29) per subscriberannual levy for this service.
However,there is some question on the effectiveness of the proposed Rights Agency asISPs could then push the cost of the levy down to consumers. ISP subscribers could be paying anadditional tax of £1.67 (US$2.40) per month, a move that could be seen aspunishing the consumer for fellow users’ alleged misconduct.
LOCATION BASED CONTENT PROTECTION
A newpatent has been filed for an invention that can encode multimedia content withlocation-based authenticating data for secure distribution.
Theinvention applies to any content-creating device that allows a user to recordvisual or audio images, such as digital cameras, and digital audio recorders.The invention will automatically encode the content with verification data fromits point of origin.
Thisinvention addresses the increasing need for secure data protection by enablingconsumers and providers to effectively authenticate its source. There are similar patents in this area.
USD$51 MILLION DOLLAR JUDGEMENT FOR TPM CASE
A federalcourt in Florida has slapped Robert Ward with a US$51 million summary judgmentfor distributing software that aided in the theft of Dish Network signals.
Accordingto Dish, the court held that posting software on the Internet that allowspeople to receive its signals for free violates the Communications Act and theDigital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The court also ruled that damagescould be calculated based on the number of people who downloaded the software,rather than on how many people actually used it to steal the broadcast signals.
GUY BERGER ON PROTECTING BROADCAST SIGNALS AND THE BROADCAST TREATY
On anAIBD Panel discussion in Beijing recently, Professor Guy Berger used a casestudy of the Soccer World Cup to discuss the acute issues regarding theprotection of broadcast signals.
He said:"Hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world will be watching theSoccer World Cup kick-off on a pirate basis, and there’s not much that Fifa orthe broadcasters can do about it. Global copyright authorities are stilldebating ways to combat broadcast piracy. The issue is whether to extendprotection of property in the content itself, to the ownership of theelectronic signal that carries the content. The issue is ongoing at the WorldIntellectual Property Organization (Wipo), and driven by vested interests whoare specially affected by unauthorized re-streaming of live sportsevents."
ProfessorBerger is a pre-eminent lecturer and academic in the field of broadcast andcontent protection.
SONIC SOLUTIONS JOINS FORCES WITH DIVX
SonicSolutions and DivX became prominent brands in digital media as the Internettransformed that business. Now they are trying a more radical step: joiningforces.
Sonic,based in the Northern California city of Novato, announced early Wednesday thatit will buy DivX for cash valued at about US$320 million.
Sonicwants to be the market leader in providing Internet movie distribution for majorfilm studios, a position it hopes to cement in its merger with DivX.
CANALPLUS LAUNCHES VIETNAM DTH PLATFORM
System isprotected by NAGRAVISION. See Media Research Asia.com
MYTV DEBUTS NEW TV
A newUkrainian DTH platform, MYtv, has begun trial test broadcasts on the recentlylaunched Thor 6 satellite at one degree West. MYtv is an Israeli-backed service,employing XTV technology, MediaHighway middleware and VideoGuard conditionalaccess supplied by NDS. It was previously undertaking trial broadcasts on twotransponders on Thor 3. MYtv plans to offer over 80 channels plus additional servicesas push VOD, PPV and interactive channels through DVB-S2, MPEG-4 HD PVRs.
MALAYSIA REVIEWING DTT BOX DESIGN
Malaysia is conducting a major review on its program to implement a newDTT box for nation-wide use.
With thisreview, Malaysia is close to completing its DTT transformation and takes a leapin the digitization efforts of the ASEAN region. In meetings with variousimportant industry players, the Malaysian Digital Terrestrial Initiative willsoon reveal a new DTT box design. At present, only the Astro B.yond box servesHD subscribers in Malaysia.
PIRATEETHERNET BOXES FOR SALE
(REPORTFORM CCP REGARDING PIRATE BOXES) On a recent visit to Sim Lim Square, CCP’s IsaSeow discovered for sale electronic box-shaped machines that allow consumers tostream illegally obtained film content into their television sets. Thesedevices are small, usually cost less than US$150 and when activated, direct theconsumer towards web streaming sources for the latest TV shows and movies. One modelencountered featured a dynamic menu system that allowed the consumer to have anythe pirated content desired streamed directly into their televisions. The menusystem was user-friendly and efficient. It updated itself constantly for anynew releases, displayed the featured movie’s cover-artwork, and includedoptions to stream in HD. To demonstrate the device’s capabilities, the shopdownloaded the blockbuster “Avatar” in HD.
Theimplications are staggering. Imagine this: a consumer can purchase this boxfrom the local electronics store, and receive free and unlimited Pay TV and illegalcontent from China-based websites forever. As a bonus, the streaming videocomes with picture stills and cover artwork of selected movies, complete withhelpful write-ups. In the long run, could this mean goodbye for localbroadcasters and Pay TV providers?
FAKE IPADS MADE IN CHINA
According toShanzai.com, there are no less than 9 Chinese versions of the iPad to date,with probably more to come. In one posting, the website compared a Chineseproduct, the Cynovo C7, with the Apple iPad. It stresses that for a similarprice to the iPad, the Cynovo C7 included many more applications.
Shanzai.comspecializes on tracking the products, trends and reach of China’s technologicalculture. Interestingly, the website seems to be dedicated to highlighting themany electronics imitations and fakes made in China.
CHINESE MANUFACTURER TO SUE APPLE FOR iPAD DESIGN
According toShanzai.com, a Chinese manufacturer may sue Apple for the iPad design.
In October lastyear, Chinese manufacturer, Shenzhen Great Long Brother, launched a tabletcomputer designed to look like an enlarged iPhone. Six months later, Applereleased its iPad, also based on its iPhone design.
The two designsare similar, prompting anger from Great Long’s CEO, Wu Xiaolong. "I wasvery angry and flabbergasted,” he said. “It is certainly our design.”
According to Wu,Great Long applied for a patent on their tablet back in May 2009, presumably inChina. Wu added, "If the iPad enters the Chinese market, we will sue themthis spring."
CCP April industry Updates
IPTV Multi-Service Provider Set-Top Boxes
Singapore- The country is deploying high speed fiber-to-the-home
network and expecting TV to drive the interest of consumers. The high
speed network will provide e-government services, IPTV and Internet
services to homes in Singapore. The Government of Singapore (Infocomm
Development Authority and Media Development Authority) are reviewing
and studying the implementation of a single box for multiple IPTV
service providers to accompany this. For more information see www.ida.gov.sg
The TV service will combine both traditional channels and also
UGC-related channels of TV (such as online streaming sites) into TVs
within the home. At the same time the Government is studying the
availability of content to be provided by several service providers. It
may be implementing a system which will end the bidding between service
providers for high-value content.
On 18 December 2009, IDA and
MDA released the draft Functional Requirements for Common-Featured
Set-Top Boxes as part of Project NIMS (hereafter referred to as “Draft
Version 0.1”). The NIMS Panel1, which is co-chaired by IDA and MDA, and
comprising key industry players, would use the final functional
requirements document as a basis for recommending a set of standards
for IPTV deployments in Singapore. A detailed set of technical
specifications for NIMS common featured STB would be subsequently
developed based on the set of IPTV standards selected. A follow up
informational session will be held on 21st May in Singapore.
DRM could become legally enforceable
May 5, 2010
The European Commission has revealed details of the Anti-Counterfeiting
Trade Agreement (ACTA), which is designed to help combat piracy.
The act has been shrouded in secrecy for years, but finally the
European Commission has revealed a draft following threats of court
action from the European Parliament.
ACTA features several measures
to prevent the sale of pirated games, but also suggests laws to help
protect IP rights in the digital space.
Most significantly for the
games industry, is that ACTA would make digital rights management (DRM)
enforceable by law, with each country having to impose legal
restrictions on people that try and circumvent DRM.
agreement also allows rights holders to get injunctions with the court
if they feel copyright infringement will be imminent, rather than
Seagate ships portable drive with movies
April 12, 2010
maker of the FreeAgent Go portable hard drive and the FreeAgent
Theater+ player, announced Monday its agreement with Paramount Pictures
to preload some of its 500GB FreeAgent Go Portable drives with a
library of 21 feature films. This appears to be the first time a
storage company has teamed up with a studio to distribute movies in a
digital format this way. The movies include "Star Trek," "The Curious
Case of Benjamin Button," "G.I. Joe," "Shooter," "The Hunt for Red
October," "Nacho Libre," and "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius." You’ll need a
code to activate a movie before it can be played back.
these titles are encrypted with digital rights management (DRM) and
need an activation code before they can be played. The cost for the
activation varies from $10 to $15 each movie. However, Seagate offers a
free code for "Star Trek" together with the registration of the new
Once activated, the movies can be played back on
your computer via Windows Media Player or any other digital content
playback device that supports the DRM technology used by Paramount
According to Seagate, its FreeAgent Theater+ is
among these devices; it must be upgraded with the latest firmware,
which will be released later this month.
Latens Unveils Dual CAS at ANGA
May 3, 2010
a provider of conditional access for pay TV, has announced the launch
of the latest feature of its content protection software Dual CAS at
the ANGA Cable Show, May 4-6 in Cologne, Germany. Dual CAS allows the
operator to move set-top boxes from one CAS solution to another.
Latens Dual CAS enables operators to provision a single set-top on one
of multiple CAS systems even after the box has been deployed in the
Dual CAS is released on the heels of CAS5, which protects
content across multiple networks – cable, IP, DTH, DTT – whether one
way, two way or hybrid from a single headend.
solution ensures content on multiple devices is protected, be it PC,
mobile device or multiple set-tops within the home.
Ubisoft DRM Gets Hacked
April 25, 2010
a week after Ubisoft mentioned that DRM is ‘vital to their business‘,
they were hacked. Ubisoft’s notorious “Online Services Network”
requires gamers be always online in order to play games like Assassin’s
Creed 2. This obviously has led to much frustration as flaws and errors
make legitimate customers wish they’d pirated the game – and turn some
into doing it. A new hack has now been unleashed to the internet – and
it reportedly removes the DRM entirely.
The hack is credited
to a group named Skid Row, who warned other hacking groups that their
exploited files have been ‘reverse-safegaurded’ so that others won’t be
able to steal their work. Users download a modified game executable
that is able to bypass the strenuous Digital Rights Management steps
that most have to go through.
Skid Row also left a little note in the readme for Ubisoft themselves:
“Thank you Ubisoft, this was quiete [sic] a challenge for us, but
nothing stops the leading force from doing what we do. Next time focus
on the game and not on the DRM. It was probably horrible for all legit
users. We just make their lifes [sic] easier.”
DRM follies: Capcom explains unnannounced DRM, while hackers claim victory over Ubisoft’s
April 23, 2010
3 owners who downloaded Capcom’s recent download-only brawler Final
Fight: Double Impact found the game’s offline capabilities to be
less-than-stellar. Particularly, the game cannot be played on PS3s
unless the player is connected to the PlayStation Network. Previous
titles released by Capcom for the PS3’s online store have had no such
restrictions, and the company recently explained itself to Kotaku,
stating that store descriptions will soon carry notice of the new
Indian Copyright Act may be amended soon, DRM may become legally breakable
April 25, 2010
recent bill introduced by the Union Government seeks to amend the
Copyright Act of 1957, attempting to bring Indian copyright laws at par
with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s treaties,
and give creative contributors to copyrighted material more rights. The
Copyright Amendment Bill 2010, if ratified, will greatly affect the
music, film, and photography industries of India.
the amendment also proposes that private & personal copying will be
treated as ‘fair dealing’. This interestingly allows users to break DRM
(digital rights management) on their legally purchased content, as long
as they are not violating copyright terms. This will allow them to move
and use the content on various devices. Amazingly, this provision will
also allow developers to make and sell tools to break DRM protection.
As expected, the changes proposed have been met by strong opposition
and disgruntlement, mainly from music companies, who claim that the
Indian film and music industry cannot be compared to any other in the
world, and will have to have different laws.
iPad Sparks Debate at London Book Fair
May 1, 2010
The iPad was the favorite attraction at the London Book Fair Digital Zone last week.
"This is a really good eReader," said James Macfarlane from EasyPress. "It has got five fonts."
His general point was that publishers will have to forget about complex
typography when offering titles on e-readers. They will be able to show
text in a continuous flow with limited display options. Apple products
offer video and animation in other formats but the standardization
requirements for electronically published material limits apple to
similar page design as on other devices.
claimed that Digital Rights Management (DRM) would eventually be seen
as impossible in a cloud publishing world. He claimed that any
undergraduate from a modest university would be able to break the
current security. Hazel Woodward from Cranfield University reported on
a survey of student opinions on e-books by JISC, a UK academic
organization. The summary point on the slide was "Get Rid of Digital
Because of ash from a volcano in Iceland
many flights were cancelled and the London Book Fair seemed less active
than usual. The UK booktrade is only part of the event, many publishers
just discuss rights with each other. Michael Smith from IDPF, the
organization for digital publishers, was unable to attend this year so
his presentation was cancelled.
However Macfarlane showed a slide of sales based on IDPF research and he did the year before.
The Digital Zone has expanded in space to allow more conversation.
There was more seating and much more space for the presentations
although the audience still took up some space in the passageways. The
Digital Zone is sponsored by Sony and Omar Gurnah, UK Marketing Manager
for the Sony Reader, took some of the time that Michael Smith would
have used to comment on the eReader scene in the UK. He claimed that
Sony is not worried about competition and would welcome the Amazon
Kindle in the UK within the next twelve months.
Made-in-Ottawa Cloakware technology to protect Netflix content
April 16, 2010
video rental company Netflix Inc. has chosen Irdeto’s Ottawa-developed
Cloakware security technology to protect the former’s streamed content.
Irdeto – which is co-headquartered in Beijing and Amsterdam but
acquired a number of local R&D employees following its
US$72.5-million purchase of Cloakware – said Netflix has licensed its
Cloakware Embedded Security product as part of a suite of content
protection tools for the tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies
its streams instantly to members.
“With more and more
consumers turning to the Internet to watch high-value content, it is
critical for content delivery services to embrace secure
video-on-demand and streaming platforms,” said David Canellos, Irdeto’s
senior vice-president of sales and marketing, in a statement. “Irdeto
has extensive experience in software and consumer device protection,
which will help companies make these new business models viable for
years to come.”
Terms of the Netflix deal were not disclosed.
Widevine to Provide Video Optimization and DRM for DISH Network’s TV EverywhereTM Service
a provider of digital entertainment solutions, today announced it has
been selected by DISH Network L.L.C. to provide adaptive streaming,
virtual DVD-like "trick play" and digital rights management (DRM) for
the pay-TV provider’s TV Everywhere™ service.
optimization and DRM platform will ensure that DISH Network customers
viewing their live and on demand shows throughout the home with TV
Everywhere™ receive the highest-quality entertainment, while at the
same time ensuring that DISH Network programming is securely delivered
wirelessly to any device anywhere in the home.
"We are excited
to partner with Widevine to bring TV Everywhere™ to our customers,"
said Bruce Eisen, vice president of Online Content Development and
Strategy at DISH Network. "With Widevine’s Hollywood studio-approved
DRM and video optimization technologies, DISH Network customers will
have the freedom to watch their favorite programming throughout their
home and on the go via a multitude of devices."
continues to launch cutting edge services to remain at the forefront of
multi-channel video programming and Widevine is pleased to be part of
this endeavor," said Brian Baker, CEO, Widevine. "Widevine’s video
optimization and DRM will ensure that DISH Network customers enjoy the
high-quality experience that they have come to expect from DISH
Haihaisoft Providing DRM-X Business Server Edition
April 26, 2010
order to further facilitate the content providers’ management
application on DRM-X platform, and provide a higher degree of
protection for content providers’ content, Haihaisoft released DRM-X
Business Server Edition.
DRM-X Business Server Edition including:
Haihaisoft Universal Player, Haihaisoft PDF Reader, DRM-X Packager,
License Server, and online Management System.
The new released
DRM-X Business Server Edition running on content provider’s own server.
It means content owner’s can totally control DRM-X Business Server
running status, and there is no license deliver limitation in this
Business Server Edition.
This sale model enables content
providers easily publish their contents, you can securely deliver your
content by anyway, and starting maximize the value of your content
without additional license cost.
Now Haihaisoft DRM-X has three editions: Premier Account, Business Account and DRM-X Business Server Edition.
Irdeto to support content distribution via Adobe Flash Access 2.0
April, 15 2010
security provider Irdeto yesterday announced an agreement with Adobe
Systems Incorporated to support Adobe Flash Access 2.0 content
protection technology for the
secure delivery of premium content worldwide.
The company said that its Adobe Flash Access 2.0 license service will
be available as a hosted service leveraging Irdeto’s existing
international data centres and infrastructure and deploying Irdeto’s
patented technology that speeds and scales the delivery of licenses to
mass market audiences. Adobe Flash Access 2.0 has already been endorsed
Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).
No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.
Samsung To Use Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM In Its Devices
April 15, 2010
(digital rights management) generally doesn’t get a warm response from
consumers, but tech companies often have to include DRM to safeguard
digital property, and Samsung has announced that it will partner with
Microsoft to apply Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM technology to a broad
range of its consumer products, which will include phones, digital
video players, TVs and other devices. Samsung expects to migrate from
its current Windows Media Digital Rights Management to PlayReady by
2012. According to Samsung, the technology would be used to protect
content, allowing it to be accessed on a range of devices, most likely
storing it in the cloud.
Samsung to Use Microsoft DRM in Phones, TVs
April 13, 2010
Electronics said Tuesday that it has partnered with Microsoft to apply
Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM technology across a "broad range of its
consumer products," including mobile phones, digital video players,
televisions and other device offerings.
Samsung said it
expects to migrate from Windows Media Digital Rights Management to
PlayReady across its communications and entertainment products
worldwide by 2012.
PlayReady is Microsoft’s
digital-rights-management solution, that Microsoft has bundled with
Windows 7. SilverLight 2-based online content can be protected by
PlayReady, which can be licensed for servers, applications, or client
Samsung said that it would use the technology to protect
content, and allow it to be accessed on a range of devices, most likely
storing it in the cloud.
The Future Of Content: Protection Is In The Business Model — Not In Technology
April 13th 2010
I received a dollar every time I get a question along the lines of "how
can the content industries compete with FREE?" — I would be traveling
first class everywhere I go. Underneath this question I often find my
favorite toxic assumption: "less control over distribution means less
This belief is as tired as it is poisonous: enforcing
control (when trust is really what’s needed) will yield instant
disengagement, which swiftly and surely will translate into dwindling
revenues — as the music industry keeps proving again and again. If you
believe in control rather than value and trust, the content business of
the future is not a good hunting ground for you.
despite clear and present proof that DRM has proven disastrous in
selling digital music (and now is pretty much history), technical
protection measures are still being looked at to ‘secure distribution’.
When will they ever learn?
The thinking that the digital
distribution of content must be controlled to achieve any kind of
reasonable payment is fundamentally flawed because of this
not-so-futuristic realization: in our open, mobile, social and
digitally networked economy, content publishers need to offer their
goods in a way that no longer centers on the distribution of units
(digital or physical) as the key revenue factor. The idea of just
selling copies is toast – selling (i.e. offering) access is where the
money is. Kevin Kelly said it years ago: we must sell what can’t be
copied, what’s scarce, not what is ubiquitous.
trend is that the window of opportunity of ‘selling copies’ (be it
iTunes, eMusic, the Kindle or the iPad) is rapidly closing. The real
opportunity, the TeleMedia Future, is in selling access and presenting
a constant stream of up-sells (i.e. added values and offering
content-related experiences). Remember, as Mark McLaughlin so righly
pointed out in the HuffingtonPost recently, consumers have never really
paid for content – they paid for distribution! And now, distribution
means Attention and Access.
Imagine when buying access to
eBooks, you wouldn’t just pay for the authorized enjoyment of the
authors’ words, but you would also gain instant access to highly
curated and socially-networked commentary, a fire-hose of meta-content
provided by your most important peers and friends that may also be
reading these books, and their ratings, explanations, slide-shows,
images, links, videos, cross-references — and maybe even some direct
connections with the author or the publisher. In an access-based,
bundled and cloud-centric content ecology, being a legitimate and
authorized user enables engagement, conversation, relevance,
personalization, meaning… i.e. it unlocks really valuable benefits
for the user. Connect with Fans + Reasons to Buy (as has been mentioned
on this blog a few times, before, I believe) – that’s where the money
Nagravision, SkyLife Form Comprehensive 3-D Technology Partnership
April 13, 2010
Nagravision and SkyLife Partner to Create State-of-the Art 3D Experience for Home Viewer
Seoul, Korea; Cheseaux, Switzerland, and Las Vegas, Nevada –
Nagravision, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company and the world’s
leading independent provider of value-added content protection
solutions, and SkyLife, the sole DTH pay-TV service provider in Korea
with 2.5 million subscribers, announced today that the companies are
expanding their relationship to collaborate on 3D television.
Nagravision and SkyLife will create a state-of-the art 3D experience
for home viewers.
In January of 2010, SkyLife launched “Sky
3D” the world’s first 24 hour 3D channel on its satellite pay TV
platform. SkyLife recently announced an investment of 5 billion Won
($4.4 million) to extend its 3D activities. Equipped with high-end 3D
production systems by this coming May, SkyLife will produce a variety
of 3D content, focusing on live sporting events and concerts. SkyLife
is planning to add two more 3D only channels to its 3D offerings by
2012. Nagravision’s own extensive 3D initiative aims at enabling its
customers to launch seamlessly 3D services. As part of its 3D
initiative, Nagravision has developed a comprehensive 3D content
sourcing and distribution operation. Nagravision is licensing original
3D content including full features, sponsored and short form
programming to SkyLife.
Nagravision will provide SkyLife with a
full pushVOD solution, enabling SkyLife to offer a new service called
3D MRS (Movie Rental Service). 3D MRS is expected to be available in
2010. The new service will allow SkyLife subscribers to watch the 3D
content of their choice at their own convenience.
“We are more
than aware that our only path to continued success lies in providing
customer satisfaction through quality content and quality service. To
that end, we continue to partner with companies like Nagravision, that
can enhance our services and help us remain competitive in the digital
media industry," said Lee Mongryong, CEO of SkyLife.
"Nagravision has proven to be an exceptional partner. With their a
unique expertise in the 3D end-to-end production chain as well as on
the 3D technology made available to us, our subscribers will benefit
from the expanded relationship of our two companies."
is the most innovative pay TV operator in the field of 3D services.
They’ve become a trendsetter in the market by providing their
subscribers with new content choices and exceptional service quality,"
said André Kudelski, Chairman and CEO of the Kudelski Group.
"Nagravision and the Kudelski Group are very proud to support SkyLife
as they expand their offerings into 3D and we want to ensure their
subscribers have the most exciting and highest quality state-of-the art
As part of the new agreement, Nagravision will
provide SkyLife with consulting services in the field of 3D Production.
Those services range from management of live event productions, to post
production and extensive training through the Nagravision "3D Academy"
program. Additionally, Nagravision is also developing high quality
real-time 2D to 3D conversion technology.
SkyLife will jointly demonstrate a 3D user experience at the 2010 NAB
Show in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 12-15, in the Nagravision booth
ACTA Process to Go Public
April 19, 2010
(ARTICLE BY BILL ROSENBLATT)
negotiators of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) are
expected to publish the first official draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting
Trade Agreement on Wednesday April 21, after various previous versions
of the secretive document have been leaked. This development follows
the negotiations which took place in Wellington, New Zealand last week.
Strangely, after such lengthy discussions, the negotiators say that
this session led to improved understanding of the respective national
regimes and how they worked in practice.
They also worked to
narrow existing differences in the areas of Civil Enforcement, Border
Measures, Criminal Enforcement and Special Measures for the Digital
It’s a tad disappointing that the supranational
and national agencies apparently remain in ignorance of worldwide
national laws and practices after the money that’s been spent, the
reports produced, inter-governmental cooperation and information
exchanges and, the conferences organised. What have they been doing
with citizens’ taxes?
The negotiators now appear of a mind to
open the consultation to people and organizations possessing a wide
range of specialist and professional skill and expertise, who have so
far been excluded – that’s gracious of them! Yet they still wish to
maintain confidentiality regarding the negotiating positions of the
participants, who supposedly are representative democracies where their
governments are accountable to their electorates. So in whose name is
this being done?
It appears that a “graduated response” or
“three strikes” provision for terminating the Internet accounts of
those who repeatedly share unauthorized content will not be in the
text, although a number of other provisions and new criminal offences
will be. Apparently ACTA’s negotiators do not wish to interfere with a
country’s ability to respect its citizen’s fundamental rights and
DIGITAL MEDIA DIGEST – MARCH 2010
A. DIGITAL TELEVISION
1. ATSC Hosts Mobile DTV Seminar – Press Release
Advanced Television Systems Committee – 3 February
Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) hosted an informative
Mobile DTV technology conference to help key stakeholders prepare for
the era of digital television (DTV) broadcasting to mobile and handheld
The event provided attendees with information about Mobile
DTV technology and related industry activities, underscoring the
momentum behind the new ATSC Mobile DTV Standard. The morning session’s
tutorials focused on details of the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, while the
afternoon panels centered on strategies for broadcast facility
implementation and operation. The event, held at Hogan & Hartson’s
Fulbright Conference Center, was followed by an informal networking
2. UK Open Broadband TV Standard Project Canvas Scalded by Digital TV Group
ISP Review – 5 February
Canvas, an open standard that aims to deliver UK broadband TV services
directly into homes via ISPs and special IPTV set-top-boxes, now faces
a new set of problems after the Digital TV Group (DTG) suddenly
expressed "widespread concern" at the last moment.
is currently awaiting approval from the BBC Trust, which is expected to
come soon; the Trust closed its final consultation earlier this week.
If the proposals are approved then partners would form a new joint
venture to develop technical specifications for devices with the
Digital Television Group (DTG).
Unfortunately that now looks
less likely after DTG, which represents everybody from set-top-box
manufacturers (Sony, Pace etc.) to media companies like Sky and Virgin
Media, accused Project Canvas of developing its own standard away from
the wider industry.
3. CXO Mobility Summit 2010
CASBAA – 11 February
Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) has
announced details of the annual CASBAA CXO Mobility Summit 2010 in Hong
Kong on May 19th at the Pacific Place Conference Centre, Admiralty.
Mobility Summit 2010 is a one-day by invitation-only interactive
roundtable that brings together leading carriers, advertising agencies,
broadcasters and technology solutions providers for a 360-degree review
of the mobile TV sector in Asia.
Summit will focus on key issues including the fast-evolving eco-system
for mobile TV services and the impact of new business models. Covering
items such as the value of content in the mobile world and access to
customers, the day will kick-off with a breakfast session followed by
an intense panel discussion.
will feature a special session on content consumption analyzing the
behavior of the youth sector in specific Asian markets, while
participants will experience the latest mobile TV applications through
a series of tailored demos. There will also be discussions on
“Generating Advertising from the Consumer Perspective” and “New Tools
for Mobile and Up-selling Applications”.
4. Ukraine: Assessment of digital transition
Broadband TV News – 15 February
DTT may become available in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk as soon as this September, funding permitting.
reports that the Ukrainian government tried to implement trial DTT
services in nine regional centres on February 4, though they were
suspended after four days. A different situation exists in the capital,
Kiev, where a DTT service has been up and running for around a year.
government plans to allocate around UAH363 million (€33.2 million) on
digitization, though to date the amount spent is only around UAH7
Set-top boxes are being produced by a Ukrainian company named Meridian, with the first devices being made available this month.
A further 2,500 will be produced in March, followed by 2,000 a month afterwards.
is hoped the political situation in Ukraine will not affect the
transition to digital broadcasting, due to be completed by 2015.
5. New Zealand: EyeTV device streams digital TV around the home
PC World – 26 February
Elgato announced a new device EyeTV Netstream DTT for streaming digital television around the home in New Zealand.
device enables two people to watch and record different TV programmes
at the same time and promises easy set-up thanks to built-in support
for Bonjour and UPnP. Tune EyeTV Netstream DTT once, and it stores
channel list and serves it out to any Mac or PC on the network.
Netstream DTT comes with EyeTV 3, Elgato’s award-winning Mac TV
software. EyeTV 3 lets users watch, record, edit television, search two
weeks of Program Guide listings, and export recordings automatically to
iTunes to sync with Apple devices including iPhones and iPods.
device also works with Windows 7 Media Center and ships with TerraTec
Home Cinema (THC) software. THC software offers many of the same
features as EyeTV 3.
6. Botswana: Btv could adopt Japanese, Brazil ISDB
Mmegionline – 16 February
Television (Btv) looks set to adopt the latest broadcast digital
technology, known as the ISDB, popularized by Japan and Brazil.
Department of Broadcasting Services director, Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo
said in a release that they hope Japan and Brazil would share their
experiences with Botswana and other African countries on the
introduction of the broadcast technology.
said he hoped that in future the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) region will also adopt the system to meet the demands of the
technology he describes as a revolution. Both Brazil and Japan ISDB
delegations are scheduled to make a combined presentation at Btv about
the benefits of the technology.
7. New campaign for ATAC
CASBAA – 18 February
the launch of the CASBAA-led Asia TV Advertising Coalition, the ATAC
networks are promoting a new trade marketing campaign.
ATAC networks cover the majority of adspend on subscription TV across
Asia, including Discovery Networks Asia, CNN, Fox One Stop Media, SPE
Networks – Asia, Bloomberg Television, CNBC Asia and NBC Universal.
centerpiece of the new campaign is a pair of high-value TV commercials
targeted at regional advertisers and media agencies to be played out by
the ATAC networks over a one-month period as of February 22nd.
ATAC TVCs – Illumination, demonstrating the media efficiency of pay-TV,
and Fishing, signaling its media reach – have been designed to convey
the benefits of subscription TV as the heart of a sophisticated media
Japan: OKI Networks and Kyushu University Successfully Stream Live
High-Definition Video of Surgical Procedures to Overseas Recipients
Yourstory.com – 22 February
Networks Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of OKI Electric Industry Co., Ltd.
that designs and manufactures telecommunication products, announced it
has partnered with Kyushu University to successfully stream live
HD-resolution(*1) surgical procedure videos to overseas recipients.
The experimental system compresses HD-resolution surgical videos by the H.264/AVC(*5) method using an HVE9100
hardware encoder from NTT Electronics located at Kyushu University
hospital, thereby enabling concurrent streaming through the “OKI
MediaServer” to multiple domestic and international sites.
on a standard PC, “OKI Player” software allows the recipient to view
and review video data based on advanced video technologies. The
software permits the viewing of high-definition surgical procedure
videos streamed from the server. The high resolution of the video data
allows ready identification of various details. The video data
delivered is encrypted in real-time on the sending server, then decoded
by “OKI Player”. This allows systems concerned about patient privacy to
use the system without cryptographic communication devices.
9. Canada: CRTC approves CKVU Digital TV station in Vancouver
Digital Home – 23 February
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has
approved an application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to operate a
transitional digital television station associated with CKVU-TV
In its application, Rogers has
proposed to simulcast the programming aired on CKVU-TV on the new
digital station. The Commission did not receive any interventions in
connection with this application.
Vancouver is part of the City-TV network which was purchased by Rogers,
along with four other City-TV stations, from CTVglobemedia in 2007. The
station has been struggling recently and last month laid off six
employees and cancelled several loca productions including Lunch
Television and The CityNews List.
transmitter will operate on channel 47 with an average effective
radiated power (ERP) of 4,300 watts (maximum ERP of 8,300 watts with an
effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 670 metres).
Through the Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP), digital
television receivers will display CKVU-TV’s virtual channel as 10.1.
10. Singapore Satellite Forum on launch pad
CASBAA – 25 February
Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) will
stage the 10th CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum on June 14th in
Singapore at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Themed “More than
Bandwidth”, the one day high-powered event will bring together global
and regional satellite operators, content providers, satellite
manufacturers and government officials to exchange key information on
the development of the communications sector and related services
across the Asia Pacific.
During the Forum,
the highly interactive panel sessions will investigate hot industry
issues, including the investment challenges for satellite operators and
broadcasters in an uncertain world; DTH demand drivers for the Asia
Pacific and an examination of GSM backhaul via satellite and the impact
of cloud computing.
11. Brazil Leans on South America to Adopt Its Digital TV Standard
Insidecostarica.com – 1 March
is lobbying hard to get the rest of Latin America to adopt the
Brazilian version of the Japanese digital television standard, as
Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela have already done.
offered Uruguay 40 million dollars in aid if the incoming government
backs out of its agreement with the European Union to adopt the DVB
standard used in Europe and other parts of the world.
a brief visit to Montevideo, the capital of this country of 3.4 million
people wedged between South American giants Brazil and Argentina,
Brazilian Communications Minister Helio Costa pressed the advantages
offered by the ISDB-Tb (Japanese standard – Brazilian version) in
meetings with representatives of the incumbent government of Tabaré
Vázquez and the incoming administration of José Mujica, both of whom
belong to the left-wing Broad Front coalition.
Brazilian government’s aim is to persuade Mujica, who takes office Mar.
1, to reconsider the 2007 agreement reached by the Vázquez
administration with the EU and adopt the ISDB-Tb standard, Costa said
in this interview with IPS at the end of his meeting with Uruguayan
12. Australia: TVS a welcome arrival to digital television
Australia.to News – 1 March
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator
Stephen Conroy, welcomed the launch of digital broadcasting by TVS,
Sydney’s Community Television station.
which began broadcasting in analog in February 2006, is the first
Australian Community Television station to commence digital simulcast,
after the Government announced funding support and spectrum allocation
13. HTTV deploys interactive TV services in Middle East
Business Intelligence – 2 March
a leading solution provider for interactive digital TV and Selevision,
a leading EMEA broadcast and IPTV system integrator, have been selected
by Etisalat to deploy a set of advanced interactive services on
E-Vision, the cable TV arm of Etisalat and the leading cable TV
provider in the region: EPG (electronic program guide), messaging
service and an innovative digital audience measurement solution. HTTV
will also be providing several data casting solutions “Primestream” to
broadcast the applications on the network.
on OpenTV middleware technology, the services provided by HTTV will
allow the E-Vision subscribers to accesses program information and
services from their set top Box with their remote control.
B. ONLINE PIRACY
14. France: Unprecedented Internet Regulation
Spiegel – 17 February
lower house of the French parliament, the National Assembly, passed the
first draft of the bill, known as "Loppsi 2.” It will now go on for a
second reading in the Senate. If approved by the Senate, the
legislation could have far-reaching consequences: Loppsi 2 contains
rules that would make France the European country where the Internet is
subject to the most censorship, regulation, control and surveillance.
new legislation could in the future force Internet service providers
(ISPs) to shut off access to criminal sites, should they be officially
instructed to do so. According to the draft legislation, the law "makes
it the responsibility of each Internet service provider to ensure that
users don’t have access to unsuitable content."
the new French legislation, police and security forces would be able to
use clandestinely installed software, known in the jargon as a "Trojan
horse," to spy on private computers. Remote access to private computers
would be made possible under the supervision of a judge.
15. India: Ranked 4th worldwide in Illegal Downloads!
Trak in – 17 February
to a survey conducted by Motion Picture Distributors Association in
conjunction with Envisional and DtecNet, India is ranked fourth in the
world when it comes to Illegal downloads.
report mentioned that online piracy of film and television content in
India is mainly through file-sharing networks like BitTorrent and
cyberlockers, or web-based file hosts such as RapidShare and
Mediafire. Another interesting finding was that – India had the
highest level of film piracy in any English-speaking country.
16. Copyright Reform Act tries fixing fair use with seven words
Ars Technica – 18 February
new Copyright Reform Act (CRA), proposed by Public Knowledge, attempts
to add seven words to the nonexclusive list of fair uses: "criticism,
comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for
classroom use), scholarship, or research” currently allowed under the
The CRA proposes the addition of the following:
Incidental uses would involve capturing copyrighted works, where the
copyrighted work is not the primary focus of the use—for example,
capturing music playing over radio when filming a family moment.
non-consumptive uses would not directly trade on the underlying
creative and expressive purpose of the work being used. In
other words, a non-consumptive use might take the complete text of
the novel, make a copy of it, but use it only as the input for a
lexicographical analysis of style, not to produce a free e-book.
Personal and noncommercial uses which would have little chance of
harming copyright holders. For example, time shifting
television shows via TiVo, creating mix CDs for the car and iPod
playlists to the gym, backup up for computer hard drives. The proposal
also cautions that simply placing "personal and non-commercial" in the
preamble to fair use law isn’t the end of the story.
four factors would still apply, and any non-commercial personal use
that "sufficiently harms the copyright holder’s market would not be
fair." Instead, personal and noncommercial copying would gain the
presumption of legality—but if copyright holders could show "either
actual market harm or a likelihood of market harm," those uses would
not be allowed.
17. India: Two websites banned alleging online piracy
Malyalam Galatta – 22 February
Thiruvananthapuram based Crime Branch has banned two popular websites (mallu.com and olangal.com) allegedly online distribution of two recently released Malayalam movies: Bhramaram and Happy Husbands.
films were alleged to be circulated through the websites and visitors
could download the movies freely from the sites, which thrive on
advertisements. She said the online videos of the films were of high
The websites were hosted on
foreign domains based in the Gulf and the U.S. The police are
investigating how the website administrators, who were yet to be
identified, got the film content.
the police conducted 2,500 anti-piracy raids between January 4 and
February 3 in Kerala and seized 18,000 pirated CDs and DVDs, registered
160 cases and arrested 149 persons.
18. Blackberry Manufacturers in Violations of Patent Law
Lawyersandsettlement.com – 22 February
Canadian Press (CP) reported on 2/19/10 that there are probably about
four or five different lawsuits against Blackberry manufacturer
Research in Motion (RIM) RIM at any given time.
of the latest involves a claim by Kodak that the Blackberry maker—based
in Waterloo, Ontario—has infringed on Kodak’s intellectual property as
it relates to digital camera technology used in the Blackberry Storm.
CP reports that Kodak accuses Apple of similar infringement in its
A Nebraska company has also filed a complaint against RIM alleging infringement on a patent related to authentication systems.
19. UK: Government rules out file-sharer disconnections
ZDNet – 22 February
the Digital Economy Bill has many aspects, there are potential
sanctions such as bandwidth throttling and account suspension to
crackdown on unlawful file-sharing .
a petition to the prime minister to "abandon the plans to ban
individuals from the internet based on their use of ‘peer to peer’ file
sharing,” the prime minister’s office said the government will not
terminate the accounts of infringers as it is very hard to see how this
could be deemed proportionate except in the most extreme — and
therefore probably criminal — cases.
20. Spain: Indies to sue government over piracy
CMUwebsite.com – 24 February
consortium of independent labels and music distributors in Spain are
planning on suing the country’s government for negligence for failing
to respond to the growth of online piracy, which, they say, has
desecrated the country’s record industry.
to Billboard, the consortium of indies, which includes Blanco y Negro
Music, Discmedi, PIAS Records Spain, Popstock, K-Industrial Cultural
and Picap, has presented a document outlining the government’s failures
in the copyright domain to ministers, and has given them until
mid-March to respond, otherwise they will sue.
21. Australia: Australian Federation against Copyright Theft to appeal iiNet ISP Liability Decision
Torrent Freak – 25 February
ISP iiNet successfully defended a Hollywood movie studio legal
onslaught directed by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft
Village Roadshow, Universal
Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures
Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney
Enterprises, Inc. and the Seven Network took iiNet to court, claiming
that the ISP did nothing to stop its customers from sharing copyright
media via BitTorrent and was therefore liable for their infringements.
Justice Dennis Cowdroy disagreed, and handed a huge victory to iiNet.
AFACT has filed an appeal against the decision. The appeal hearing for
the original case is likely to be held this year and according to
iiNet’s Michael Malone, it should take up significantly fewer days than
first time around.
22. UK: Piracy problems overshadow rising digital music sales
dw-world.de – 27 February 2010
recently released IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic
Industry) digital music report 2010 indicated that trade revenues are
up 12 percent to an estimated US$4.2 billion in 2009. However, this
figure masks a 10 percent overall decrease in music sales across the
board. “The elephant in the room here is piracy,” remarked Alex Jacob
of the IFPI.
“People are changing their
habits but instead of going from buying a CD on the high street to
buying a CD from a legal online store like Amazon or iTunes, they’re
actually going to the illegal file-sharing networks and downloading
music there”, he continued.
Illicit sharing accounts for around 95
percent of all worldwide music downloads. In the UK alone it is
estimated that the music industry lost 250 million pounds to illegal
downloads in 2009.
23. Cyprus: Days to digital television
Cyprus Mail – 26 February
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, CyBC is set to launch its digital
platform in the first week of march, alongside the present analog
system, allowing any viewers with the correct television to watch
clearer digital pictures, access interactive services and view extra
channels. The move is part of a pan-European campaign to digitalise
television by 2012, which will bring such extra services to customers
as High Definition television (HDTV), Personal Video Recorders (PVRs)
and video on demand (VOD).
with older televisions, however, the move could mean forking out as
much as €120 to access all services, when the analog network is closed
next year. CyBC Director-General, Themis Themistocleous, however said
consumers will not need to buy a new antenna. If their set contains an
MPEG 4 Compression box, then it is ready for digital.
If they have
an MPEG 2 then they will need to buy a new MPEG 4 Decoder, or "Set top
box" as it is known, and which cost from €50 for a basic box to €120
for offers additional features. Set top boxes do not enable analogue
televisions to display High Definition programmes, however.
24. India: Airtel digital TV acquires PPV rights of Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince
Business of Cinema – 28 February
digital TV- the DTH service from Bharti Airtel has acquired the
pay-per-view (PPV) rights of Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince. The
movie will be aired for the first time on Indian television and will be
available from 27 February at Rs. 70.
Bharti Airtel chief marketing
officer – DTH Sugato Banerji said, “It has been our endeavour to bring
the biggest hits through Airtel digital TV on Indian television. We
have received great response from our viewers in the past and hope to
replicate the success with Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince.”
25. UAE: Copyright Battle Goes Digital
Khaleej Times – 1 March
Spruijt, president of International Publishers Association, stressed
that the future of publishing depends on copyright and the biggest
challenge now is the e-books at the seventh IPA symposium where 270
delegates participated from 53 countries. Internet is now the fastest
and easiest means of publishing and reading books, but can copyright
policies be adapted to protect authors and publishers in this new
environment? Spruijt believes that the Middle East holds great promise
in the publishing market.
Speaking among the participants, Marybeth
Peters, register of Copyrights at the Library of Congress of the United
States warned “If you don’t engage in finding solutions, solutions will
find you in courts and law disputes, and these are not the solutions
26. Apple Sues Smartphone Maker HTC For Infringement
The Wall Street Journal – 2 March
Inc has accused HTC of violating 10 patents in a lawsuit with a federal
court in Delaware, and 10 patents with the U.S. International Trade
Commission. The complaint covers the touch-screen control, hardware and
software, and seeks to ban the sale of phones such as the Nexus One,
sold directly by Google, as well as phones using Microsoft (MSFT)
Windows Mobile devices.
The lawsuit underscores the competitive environment facing smartphone makers, both in the courtroom and in the marketplace.
white-hot market has drawn a number of different players, and patent
lawsuits have followed. While Apple’s iPhone remains the most
high-profile device, many rivals are nipping at its heels.
meanwhile, said it was still reviewing the case. "HTC values patent
rights and their enforcement but is also committed to defending its own
technology innovations," said spokesman Keith Novak.
C. OTHER NEWS
27. Africa: Microsoft launches Office 2007
The Nation Reporter – 15 February
Corporation has launched Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student for
Africa, which is expected to significantly reduce the rate of software
piracy in the continent.
According to Microsoft East and
Southern Africa General Manager, Louis Otieno, the software has
features that improve security and protects computers from viruses and
other malicious software as well as an improved automatic document
recovery tool in cases of system failure.
28. In-flight style entertainment soon on buses
Trade Arabia – 21 February
passengers across the Middle East could soon enjoy in-flight style
entertainment in coaches and buses thanks to a wireless technology
designed by Taiwanese company Funtoro, which will also make journeys
The Media On Demand (MOD) system, to be launched in the UAE
next month, is a patented multimedia technology which can support up to
54 monitors simultaneously in any vehicle using a single server,
offering each passenger the chance to enjoy their own selection of
movies, music, digital TV, video games and internet access, said a
1. Spain: InOutTV and Electra announce Interactive TV Platform Service availability
Business Wire – 4 January
InOutTV and Electra have entered into a long term partnership to offer broadcast and connected interactive television services to consumers in Spain over DVB-T (DTT).
Nationwide service availability will commence from first quarter 2010 over InOutTV’s digital terrestrial TDT (DVB-T) network. Launch will commence on zapper and PVR STB silicon free-to-air and Premium TDT solutions, following shortly afterwards in digital TVs.
2. Large Screen Mobile Digital TV Becomes Reality with MyvuTV(R)
PRNewswire – 5 January
Myvu announced a new platform for its award winning Personal Media Viewers, MyvuTV.
The MyvuTV platform will include a built in digital TV receiver and a built in Flash player. The first products will offer DVBT, ISDBT and CMMB TV for TV and support AVI, FLV, RMVB (30 Frame/Sec) formats for the flash player. The initial products will ship in Q1 2010 in time for Football World Cup 2010.
MyvuTV was developed in partnership with EGOMAN of Shenzhen, China. The product will be available in retail from Myvu as well as in OEM configurations from Myvu’s partner, EGOMAN. The platform can easily be customized to suit large volume opportunities. Myvu selected EGOMAN because of their leading position in portable Digital TV and Personal Media Players.
3. Granada digital TV switchover complete
Cable.co.uk – 5 January
Homeowners in the Granada region have been informed that the area’s digital TV switchover has been completed.
Jo Waters, regional manager of Digital UK, has outlined in a statement to the North West Evening Mail that the end of the work means Freeview coverage has been extended to around 500,000 viewers. People affected by the changes may have to retune set-top boxes for changes to take effect, including those with BT Vision equipment.
4. United States: Mobile Digital TV finally ready for its close-up
Sfgate – 5 January
A few months after the Advanced Television Systems Committee approved a mobile digital TV standard, a whole range of products are being lined up for consumers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas now. It won’t be long before mobile DTV will be able to make its way into a variety of portable products such as laptops, mobile phones, mp3 players etc.
Over 20 channels are slated to be run over Mobile DTV. 8 stations in the Washington DC area run these 20 channels.
5. China: VisionChina Media Completes of Digital Media Group Acquisition
PRNewswire – 6 January
6. MIPS Technologies Leverages Yahoo! TV Widgets for MIPS-Based(TM) DTV Platforms
CNNMoney – 7 January
MIPS Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer, home networking, wireless, communications and business applications, announced integration of an optimized Yahoo! Widget Engine for MIPS-Based(TM) digital home devices.
MIPS will develop an optimized reference platform running the Yahoo! Widget Engine for digital TV and set-top box applications. Leveraging this reference implementation, MIPS(R) licensees will be able to quickly develop devices incorporating Yahoo! TV Widgets. Yahoo! TV Widgets enable popular Internet services and online media to reach viewers through applications specifically tailored to the needs of the television watcher.
7. Mobile DTV Beta Launch Scheduled
Television Broadcast – 8 January
Samsung has equipped its Moment handset with an ATSC M/H chip for mobile DTV reception. The device will be used in mobile DTV beta trials this spring in Washington D.C. and Baltimore. The service will entail 20, free local broadcast channels.
The Open Mobile Video Coalition has worked on launching mobile DTV for nearly two years. Samsung participated in developing the technology standard, which was adopted last fall. The company developed a receiver chip compatible with the standard. Other participating manufacturers include Harris, Rohde & Schwarz and LG, which also developed a receiver chipset and unveiled a ruggedized, battery-powered mobile DTV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the Moment’s DTV reception was announced.
8. Japan: Broadcom’s new SoC for digital terrestrial converter for Japan’s Digital TV
EE Herald – 11 January
Broadcom has announced high integrated digital terrestrial converter box system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions designed for Japan’s upcoming transition to digital TV broadcast transmission. Featuring an ISDB-T tuner, Broadcom’s single-chip solutions address Japan’s analog broadcast shut-off program and also meets the requirements for ISDB-T digital programming worldwide.
The Japanese government plans to convert 50 million households to ISDB-T (according to In-Stat market research), and is targeting July 24, 2011 for complete digital conversion of all homes in Japan. This cost effective device is targeted for this market.
9. Vietnam’s satellite television services launched
Vovnews.com – 12 January
The Vietnam Satellite Digital Television Company, a joint venture between the Vietnam Television and the French Canal+ Group launched K+ services in Hanoi on January 12.
The K+ service is Vietnam’s most wide-range satellite digital service. It can broadcast nearly 60 entertainment channels including, films, and sports as well as offer other monopoly TV channels such as the Champions League, the Europa Cup and the French and Spanish Championships.
Most of these channels have subtitles or are dubbed into Vietnamese to give the largest access possible to the Vietnamese public.
10. Ghana: Targets 2012 for Digital Broadcasting Migration
myjoyonline.com – 13 January
Ghana has set herself a 2012 deadline to complete the switch from analogue broadcasting services in favour of digital broadcasting ahead of an international deadline of June 17, 2015.
A 24-man National Migration Technical Committee to ensure that Ghana achieves the target was inaugurated in Accra with a mandate to make policy recommendations to situate the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting networks within the broader context of strengthening and developing Ghana’s Information Infrastructure, and to determine how the transition of existing broadcasting services to digital broadcasting transmission networks and the introduction of new services will facilitate national government priorities, among others.
11. World standards body maps out 3D TV generations
reghardware – 14 January 2010
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has established a far-reaching roadmap for 3D TV technology, though it admits it will take at least 20 years for its more advanced notions to be realised.
The ITU’s roadmap defines the next three generations of 3D TV, kicking off with stereoscopic technology and taking us to holographic images.
The focus of the ITU Radiocommunications Study Group 6 is stereoscopic 3D in which separate left- and right-eye HD images are transmitted alternately and special glasses ensure the correct eye sees the correct picture.
The Group will work to define a series of "globally agreed" standards to which equipment manufacturers, film makers and broadcasters can adhere. But the organisation said the technology will be just as applicable to other areas where visual content can be enhanced into a third dimension, Air traffic control, for example.
12. India: Reliance BigTV, Indiagames to introduce DTH Games
The Economic Times – 15 January
Reliance Big TV, the Direct-To-Home (DTH) arm of Reliance Communications, and UTV subsidiary Indiagames have tied up to introduce DTH Gaming services in India.
Called iGames, the gaming services will be offered by Indiagames on Reliance Big TV’s DTH platform in the country.
"Our strategic tie-up with Indiagames is an extension of our business relationship with the UTV Group. iGames also signifies our focus to further enhance and monetise our VAS (Value Added Services) capabilities towards a profitable growth in the DTH business" Reliance Big TV chief executive officer Sanjay Behl said in a statement.
13. Kenya begins march to digital broadcasting
Bizcommunity.com – 18 January
Kenya has begun migrating to digital broadcasting technology ahead of the June 2012 deadline. In December 2009, Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki launched the Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial (DVB-T) technology.
14. Azerbaijan to complete transfer to digital television in 2012
News.az – 19 January
Azerbaijan will switch to digital television three years ahead of time, in 2012, the Communications Minister, Ali Abbasov said.
Ali Abbasov was speaking at an expanded session of the Cabinet of Ministers, which looked at Azerbaijan’s socioeconomic development in 2009. Sixty-two new radio and television transmitters were installed and satellite and cable television, radio and Internet broadcast services were expanded in Azerbaijan in 2009, Abbasov said.
The minister said that the quality of broadcasts had been improved in the border regions. Broadcasting in these areas is supervised by a commission of specialists from different ministries and departments, which this year will be joined by the State Border Service.
15. India: SC asks TRAI to fix DTH tariff by June 30
Business Standard – 19 January
The Supreme Court asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to fix the tariffs for direct-to-home (DTH) services by June 30 and place the plan before it.
The court also asked TRAI to hear all parties concerned, including the broadcasters, before fixing the tariffs. These have to be considered in the light of the entire distribution market.
There are six DTH providers in the country, which cater to more than 10 million subscribers, compared with around 80 million subscribers of cable television. So far, there has been no proper regulation on tariffs for DTH by TRAI. In this situation, the broadcasters are providing content to DTH operators at 50 per cent of the tariffs at which these bouquets are being offered to the non-CAS cable TV platform. Therefore, a comprehensive regulation regime was thought necessary.
16. Harris demos ATSC Mobile DTV at CES 2010
Broadcast Engineering – 21 January
Harris Corporation supported several live ATSC Mobile DTV demonstrations during the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show last month in Las Vegas.
At the show, Harris supported over-the-air broadcasts for Las Vegas-market digital TV stations KLAS-DT, a CBS affiliate owned by Landmark Communications, and KVMY-DT, a MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Harris integrated its MPH ATSC Mobile DTV platform with each broadcaster’s main transmitter to deliver the ATSC Mobile DTV streams.
Harris also transmitted eight ATSC Mobile DTV program streams of local and national content on local Channel 56. The DISH Network, which owns Channel 56 in the Las Vegas market, volunteered its frequency for the demonstration. Harris provided one Maxiva UAX air-cooled UHF transmitters and its MPH platform.
The MPH platform includes Harris’ NetVX video networking system, Synchrony mobile networking adapter and Apex M2X exciter, as well as signal generation and Electronic Service Guide (ESG) components from Roundbox.
17. Romania: SES Sirius supports TV digitalization
Financiarul.ro – 22 January
SES Sirius, the Swedish state company which operates transmission satellites in the Sirius 3 and 4 digital system, will support Romania in implementing the digitalization strategy approved in mid-December 2009 by a Government resolution.
The announcement was made on Thursday, during a press conference, by Hakan Sjiodin, executive general manager of SES Sirius, the Swedish official mentioning that at the end of 2011, the company under his management would launch Sirius 5, a satellite equipped with 36 transponders (one transponder can make it possible to receive the transmission of 25 TV channels).
18. Latvia: Grass Valley supports DTV transition
Broadcast Engineering – 25 January 2010
Working closely with equipment distributor and system integrator Hannu-Pro, Grass Valley engineers have competed installation of numerous signal processing and distribution products and systems at the Latvia State Radio and Television Center (LVRTC) in Riga to facilitate Latvia’s nationwide switch from analog to digital transmission via a DVB-T single frequency network (SFN).
Hannu-Pro started the first phase of project in August 2009 and completed system testing in December. As of last month, the first national DVB-T multiplex (and additional two multiplexes from Lattelecom) is available over the air to 95 percent of the Latvian population.
Now that the first phase is complete, a second phase will see the deployment of four additional DVB-T multiplexes. Thus by 2012‚ when the country’s DVB-T service introduction will be finished, there will be seven DVB-T multiplexes available in Latvia, all based on headend technology from Grass Valley. All essential systems are designed to support full redundancy (1+1 or n+1), ensuring on-air reliability.
19. Taiwan: Ericsson ties up with Taiwan makers to explore TV solution business
Digitimes Systems – 27 January
Ericsson is strengthening its cooperation with Taiwan-based network equipment makers as it strives to expand its television solution business which covers new TV services such as MOD, mobile TV and interactive TV. The team-up efforts aim to explore new business opportunities by leveraging Ericsson’s strength in the multimedia industry and Taiwan makers’ capabilities in the manufacture of TV and other consumer electronics products.
Under these cooperation projects, Ericsson is responsible for the supply of head-end equipment and system solutions, while local makers are offering IP STBs (set-top boxes) and implementing system integration.
20. Thailand: Major switch to satellite TV predicted
The Nation Business – 27 January
The audience for satellite TV is now about 32 per cent of the Kingdom’s 19 million households, Satellite Television Association of Thailand (STAT) President Nipon Naksompop has said. And that figure is expected to grow to 90 per cent by 2013.
The forecast is based on trends in consumer behaviour, in which viewers have shown a preference for television content customised to their own lifestyles and needs instead of having to watch only a limited number of channels.
Nipon said research by the National Statistical Office and AGB Nielsen Media Research had found people were more likely to watch content they wanted to watch and that on average, they watched only three channels per day per person over a period of three hours per day. At present, the STAT provides 45 satellite channels.
21. Russian: New DTH platform set for launch
Broadband TV News – 28 January
The new Russian satellite pay-TV platform Continent TV will make its debut in February. Its operators Orion Express and RuSat say the service will employ Intelsat 15 at 85.15 degrees East, launched last November, to offer viewers across the entire country over 70 popular Russian and foreign TV channels, some of which will be in HD. The monthly fee for 33 channels will be R99 (€2.32) and that for 50 R199, with 10 all-Russian TV services offered free of charge.
Significantly, viewers will be allowed to create their own packages, making the service more accessible to all income groups.
RuSat is a Moscow-based satellite operator, providing services to – amongst others – mobile TV networks. Orion Express meanwhile operates a DTH platform of the same name and has provided TV services to cable operators since 2005 and individual clients since 2007.
22. Tunisian television to go digital as of March 2010
Tunisia Online – 28 January
With the advent of digital terrestrial television (DTT), analogue television will gradually disappear from Tunisia’s television landscape by March 2010. 90% of Tunisia’s territory will be covered by digital television by 2010 which is slowly but surely gaining momentum throughout the country.
The establishment of digital terrestrial television will cover all of the country by 2014, with the re-use of frequency spectrum to develop future services for communications via high-capacity radio waves, high-flow mobile Internet services such as Wimax and the development of broadcasting technologies such as high-resolution systems.
23. Colombian TV goes digital
Colombia Reports – 29 January
Colombia’s minister of information and communication technologies, Maria Rosario Guerra, will launch the country’s first transmissions on digital terrestrial television soon. The three public channels that will use the new digital signal are Canal Uno, Señal Colombia and Canal Institucional, and the signal will for now only be available to some houses in Bogota.
The digital switchover will mean clearer images and higher sound quality for television viewers, as well as increased capacity for television interactivity. Although the introduction of digital terrestrial television is still in its early stages, the coming months will see a growth in the coverage and reception of the digital signal.
24. China Digital TV Announces Strategic Investment in OpenV
PRNewswire – 29 January
China Digital TV Holding Co., Ltd., the leading provider of conditional access systems to China’s expanding digital television market, announced that it has made a joint investment in OpenV China Holdings Company (“OpenV”), a leading Chinese online video company, alongside one of OpenV’s existing shareholders.
Subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, the aggregate amount of China Digital TV’s investment will be up to US$14.5 million, consisting of consideration for an initial equity investment, a convertible loan to OpenV and consideration payable upon the potential exercise of a warrant to purchase additional shares of OpenV. Assuming the full conversion of the convertible loan into OpenV’s shares and the full exercise of the warrant, China Digital TV’s equity interest in OpenV would be approximately 25% to 31%, subject to certain performance adjustment mechanisms. China Digital TV has the right to appoint two directors to OpenV’s seven-member board of directors.
The aggregate amount of the investment from both investors will be up to US$17 million in cash.
25. Motorola completes acquisition of SecureMedia
Trading Markets.com – 29 January
Motorola has completed its acquisition of SecureMedia, a developer of software based digital rights management and security systems. Motorola and SecureMedia signed a definitive purchase agreement under which Motorola has now acquired all of the assets of SecureMedia. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
SecureMedia develops and markets software systems for securing the distribution of digital entertainment over multiple platforms to multiple devices, including set-top boxes, wireless handsets, PCs and portable entertainment devices.
With the acquisition of SecureMedia, Motorola said that it will enhance its content security product portfolio and added that it will be able to offer both stand-alone as well as integrated software security solutions to IP video customers.
26. GTA TeleGuam Expands Japan’s NHK Television Offerings on GUdTV
Earth Times – 31 January
GTA TeleGuam announced it has expanded its GUdTV programming to include Japan’s NHK World TV high definition channel and a new dual language audio track on the NHK World Premium channel. NHK World provides news from Japan as well as popular Asian lifestyle programming for international viewers.
GTA TeleGuam added the NHK World TV high-definition, English language channel at no additional charge to its GUdTV HD tier available for Choice Digital Package subscribers. The new NHK World TV HD channel can be found on channel 461. The NHK World Premium channel with dual language audio tracks in Japanese and English is on channel 230. GUdTV is short for Guam Digital Television.
27. Switch from Reception to Melita’s Digital TV and save money
Gozonews.com – 31 January
Melita has announced that there has never been a better time to switch from Melita’s Reception package to Melita’s Digital M television package. Enjoy great television content, a wide choice of TV and radio channels for just €7.76 per month and benefit from up to 5 month FREE subscription to the world of sports, movies and international hit series through Melita Sports and Melita Movies & More.
Subscribers will be able to enjoy some of the best sports leagues including NBA Basketball and the UEFA Champions League. Film and series enthusiasts will be able to watch hit movies like Marley & Me, Forgetting Sarah Marshal and Vantage Point as well as top-rating series like Glee, Desperate Housewives, Fringe, 24 and much more.
28. NTC to push back deadline for shift to digital TV
The Manila Times – 1 February
THE government may push back the deadline for the Philippines’ migration to digital terrestrial TV given the unresolved matter of which platform will be adopted.
Digital TV is a telecommunication system for broadcasting and receiving digital sound and video signals that requires a specially designed and more advanced TV set than the traditional analog box.
The migration is important for consumers because those who still have analog TV sets will have to buy set-top boxes (STB) to receive digital signals. The STB is a device that connects to analog TV sets so they can receive and display digital signals. The STB also has the ability to manage many channels in one bandwidth and carry electronic program guides and interactive programs.
The NTC earlier estimated that the country had 13 million analog TV sets, which will require a set-top box with the migration to digital TV.
The NTC is choosing between two platforms: the Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) of Europe and the integrated services digital broadcast-terrestrial (ISDB) of Japan.
B. Digital Rights Management
28. Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) Announces Key Milestones
SOA World Magazine – 4 January
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem LLC (DECE LLC), announced it has reached key milestones toward establishing the first open market for digital content distribution. In addition, DECE announced that 21 companies have joined the group which now includes 48 members across entertainment, software, hardware, retail, infrastructure and delivery.
The milestones announced include:
• Agreement on a Common File Format, an open specification for digital entertainment, that will be used by all participating content providers, services and device manufacturers
• Vendor selection for and role of the Digital Rights Locker, a cloud-based authentication service and account management hub that allows consumers rights access to their digital entertainment
• Approval of five Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions that will be DECE-compatible
29. United States: DECE Members agree on format, DRM Schemes
Electronista – 4 January
Members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) said they have agreed on key points behind their promised universal media access strategy. The coalition has come to a deal on a common file format that will work across the hardware and software of every participating member. Among proprietary formats, the group has picked Adobe’s Flash Access, CMLA-OMA, Marlin, Microsoft’s PlayReady and Widevine as officially supported by the system.
The digital rights "locker" key to the system is also now in development by Neustar, according to the companies involved. When finished, the locker will be accessible from any DECE-supporting app or device and grant permission to download or stream content as long as the purchasing or rental rights allow it.
30. United States: NDS Launches end to end solution for the e-publishing industry
NDS.com – 6 January
NDS, a provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, has launched its new solution for the e-publishing industry. The solution monetizes books, newspapers and magazines on e-reader devices, including LCD tablets, e-Ink devices and other compatible consumer electronics devices.
Building on NDS’s conditional access and digital rights management (DRM) technology, NDS VideoGuard, provides future-proof security on multiple levels, including service protection to allow controlled access to content based on user rights, protection of the device to prevent jailbreaking and device modification, DRM for content protection and user authentication schemes.
31. United States: Vobile launches VideoDNA 3D
PRNewswire – 8 January
Vobile, the leading provider of video content identification and management products and services, announced the release of VideoDNA(TM) 3D, a solution specifically designed to track and protect 3D video content, the next generation of digital entertainment. The VideoDNA 3D service offers content owners real-time digital fingerprinting, fully automated identification, tracking and monetization of 3D video content.
Vobile has taken its award-winning VideoDNA technology to the next level of supporting 3D video content. The premium VideoDNA 3D services were successfully deployed to track and protect the industry’s biggest 3D movie hits in 2009. Movie studios, TV broadcasters and cable programmers are increasing their investment in 3D video content. As the 3D explosion continues to progress, content protection using VideoDNA 3D is becoming essential to the new 3D video business.
32. United States: Microsoft awarded Patent for ‘Digital rights management scheme for an on-demand distributed streaming system’
Tom’s Hardware – 9 January
The US Patent office has recently awarded Microsoft with U.S. Patent 7,639,805 for a ‘Digital rights management scheme for an on-demand distributed streaming system.’
The abstract reads as:
A DRM scheme that may be optionally invoked by the owner. With the DRM protection turned on, the media is encrypted before it is distributed in a P2P network, and is decrypted prior to its use (play back). The peers may still efficiently distribute and serve without authorization from the owner. Nevertheless, when the media is used (played back), the client node must seek proper authorization from the owner. The invention further provides a hierarchical DRM scheme wherein each packet of the media is associated with a different protection level. In the hierarchical DRM scheme of the invention there is usually an order of the protection level. As a result, in one embodiment of the invention, the decryption key of a lower protection layer is the hash of the decryption key at the higher protection level. That way, a user granted access to the high protection layer may simply hold a single license of that layer, and obtain decryption keys of that layer and below. The invention further provides for a process for managing digital rights to a scalable media file wherein a different encryption/decryption key is used to encrypt each truncatable media packet with a base layer without requiring additional storage space to store the key.
Content is split and shared with others through a system similar to that of a torrent network.
33. US: Judge Slams MPAA ‘Cartel’ Allegations
Wired – 11 January 2010
Federal judge is slamming the door on RealNetworks’ argument the Hollywood studios are a “price-fixing cartel” that illegally prevent the distribution of DVD-duplicating wares.
The Seattle-based electronics concern made the anti-trust argument in a failed bid to convince U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel in San Francisco to lift a distribution ban (.pdf) of its RealDVD software. It allows consumers to make copies of DVDs to hard drives.
The Motion Picture Association of America and others sued RealNetworks more than a year ago, claiming the software is illegal because it circumvents technology designed to prevent copying.
Patel’s decision means that, at least for the foreseeable future, it remains unlawful in the United States to market devices that copy DVDs. Despite a huge black market for them, the MPAA feared that under a contrary ruling it would lose control of the DVD as the music industry did the CD. CDs were not encrypted and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
34. United States: MPAA, Guilds on Net Neutrality
New Electronics – 14 January 2010
The Motion Pictures Association of America and a collection of major Hollywood guilds both issued separate statements of tentative support for proposed rules to ensure net neutrality on Thursday.
The statements were in a response to a request for public comment from the Federal Communications Committee, which is considering policies on net neutrality.
The MPAA seemed lukewarm in its endorsement of net neutrality, spending the bulk of its statement detailing the dangers that piracy poses to the entertainment industry. In its filing, the MPAA emphasized that the benefits to all Americans of a robust broadband Internet will stem in part from access to compelling, high quality content. MPAA studios are embracing the digital future and already have begun to make their content available through many new, legitimate on-line distribution options. At the same time, content theft poses a serious threat, and the FCC’s proposed approach to network neutrality appropriately would permit Internet service providers to “take action to counter unwanted or harmful traffic” and to “decline to carry traffic if the transfer of content is prohibited by law, including copyright law.” The MPAA made clear in its filing, “if compelling content is to serve as a foundation for a thriving broadband Internet, creative works cannot be subject to rampant theft.”
The MPAA further explained that protecting creative works from online theft not only will help provide consumers with access to the content of their choice, but also help the nation’s creative industries continue to serve as an engine for economic growth and job creation.
35. United States: Civolution, Mikros collaborate for HD Watermarking
Broadcast Engineering – 14 January 2010
Mikros image and Civolution have partnered to develop a solution that enables video watermarking of HD 4:4:4 signals.
The Civolution technical team, assisted by Mikros, advanced its NexGuard watermarking algorithm and its implementation for the quality demands of the 4:4:4 HD format. Mikros image is now offering, as part of its professional service product line, the watermarking of content in HD 4:4:4. Disseminated throughout the content, the watermark is an efficient deterrent against illicit redistribution of media and allows the identification of the source of a potential leakage — an invaluable security solution for rights holders.
The solution allows media content to be embedded with a robust and imperceptible watermark. The watermark or payload is inserted at the time of duplication and can be applied to any tape format up to HDCAM SR. The watermarked content becomes unique and, therefore, identifiable and traceable.
36. JAPAN: Sony Thorne PS3 Digital TV Accessory for Japan Unveiled
i4u – 15 January 2010
Sony unveiled Thorne, the latest Digital TV Accessory for the Sony Playstation 3 in Japan. Thorne, which connects to the Playstation via USB Connection, allows users to watch and record their favourite shows on TV on the console.
As well as the 250GB PS3, Sony Japan have also announced a new digital TV tuner peripheral for the console. The Sony Torne will drop in March 2010, and offer Japanese buyers a way to watch digital terrestrial TV broadcasts on their PS3, together with PVR functionality that allows for recording content (either to the PS3’s HDD or a connected USB 2.0 drive) even while the PS3 is being used for gaming, Blu-ray playback or just in standby mode.
37. Switzerland: Nagravision and DISH Network Sign New Long-Term Agreement
PR Newswire – 19 January
Nagravision SA, a Kudelski Group company and the world’s leading independent provider of value-added content protection solutions, announced the execution of a Conditional Access System agreement with DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (DISH).
DISH Network recently completed a migration of its more than 14 million subscribers (as of Dec. 10, 2009) to Nagravision’s new generation security technology. The new ten year agreement with Nagravision and NagraStar L.L.C. aligns DISH Network’s and Nagravision’s interests to optimize the resilience of DISH Network’s security solutions, including the deployment of next generation security smart cards in addition to a broader scope of signal protection covering traditional and emerging piracy threats.
38. US: EMI licenses songs to new ad-supported site
cnet.com – 19 January 2010
EMI Music has licensed music to ad-supported music service FreeAllMusic.com, becoming the second major label to partner with the start-up. According to a press release, FreeAllMusic says it will give users DRM-free MP3s that are paid for by advertisers. The only catch is that users must agree to watch "one brief video commercial" per download.
39. US: Kindle publisher program eases dropping DRM
Electronicsta – 21 January 2010
Amazon in a support document for publishers using its Digital Text Platform has revealed that it will let those selling Kindle books shed the copy protection. Where it had previously been difficult to remove, the digital rights management (DRM) can now be left off of a book or periodical simply by marking a checkbox. To date, all known Kindle books to date use DRM.
Many other companies, such as Barnes & Noble, Plastic Logic and Sony, have all opted to support optionally protected but universal standards like EPUB on their own e-book readers. The restriction also comes less than a week before Apple may introduce a tablet ready for e-books, though Apple has historically preferred its own file formats when not using widespread standards.
C. Other News
40. MIPS to debut Android-based netbook and set-top boxes
ZDNet – 5 January
MIPS Technology will be exhibiting its new catalog of Android-based devices at CES 2010, further proving that Google’s OS is developing a strong presence among many different types of gadgets.
Their line-up includes the world’s first Android-run set-top boxes (quite a day for those things), starting with a currently-unnamed MIPS-Based STB that will include video-on-demand, ThinkFree Office software (Word, Spreadsheet, Presentation), web browser and remote control keyboard and 1080p HD quality video.
The second set is an Android-based IPTV set-top box, featuring multicasting, video-on-demand, remote control user interface, and digital rights management requirements.
Indiantelevision.com – 11 January
42. United States: Call for study of threat from “offline” filesharing
The Guardian – 15 January 2010
The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP), a body set up to advise the government, has been looking into "offline" copyright infringement after its research last year into online piracy threw up questions about how consumers get films, music and games for free.
In a review of available national and international research conducted by BOP Consulting, it was shown that consumers were ‘more interested in factors such as price, quality, and availability of material, rather than its legal status.’
As technology improves and film companies and publishers become more affected by piracy, he expects to see more copyright guidance from rights holders but not necessarily finger-wagging and a list of "don’ts". No one wanted a repeat of the bad press sparked by record labels’ pursuit of individual file sharers in the courts.
43. United States: Kingmax Launches 32GB SDHC Waterproof
CRN Network – 21 January 2010
Kingmax recently launched 32GB Class 10 SDHC memory card. The card has a writing speed of over 20Mbps and IPX8-compliant waterproof performance feature to prevent data damage from accidents.
Measuring 32x24x2.1mm, the card ensures AVCHD resolution and complies with full HD (1920×1080) picture quality. It can store up to 160-minutes of high-definition movies, or 2,500 pictures in RAW3 format.
Kingmax 32GB SDHC card supports content protection for recordable media (CPRM), built-in error correcting code (ECC) to detect and correct transfer errors and is compliant with RoHS, Halogen Free and PFOS / PFOA.
The card is tested to comply with the IEC 60529 waterproof criteria for IPX8 waterproof performance to ensure data integrity and safety in special shooting circumstances, such as divining and raining, or accidents. The exclusive PIP (product in package) technology packages the product in a robust unit to enhance both reliability and durability.
The cards will be start shipping in February and the pricing details are yet to be announced.
44. Zambia: ZRA Intercepts 40 Bales of Pirated Tapes, DVDs
Allafrica.com – 22 January
The authority through its Lusaka International Airport officials confiscated the pirated products in which one DVD contained a collection of over 20 movies and the items are currently at Lusaka International Airport warehouse.
DIGITAL MEDIA DIGEST – JANUARY 2010
A. DIGITAL TELEVISION
1. Kenya: Digital TV now a reality
Business Daily – 10 December
cost of set top boxes is expected to come down significantly early this
year when Treasury removes key levies charged on the gadgets.
the launch of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation’s digital transmission
system, President Kibaki directed Treasury and the Information ministry
to work out how to give consumers a tax relief to make the gadgets
affordable to a majority of homes.
Dealers are currently selling
high end market brands of the recommended MPEG4-enabled boxes for as
much as Sh10,000 and the lower end versions at between Sh6,000 and
Sh8,000. Tax relief is expected to bring the costs within the Sh3,000
and Sh5,000 range that the government says is the right pricing for the
The high cost of the boxes could slow down
Kenya’s migration to the digital broadcasting that the government says
should be complete by 2012.
2. Netherlands: 4.56 million homes are digital
BroadbandTVNews – 10 December
number of digital TV homes in The Netherlands reached 4.56 million at
the end of September, 2009. This was equivalent to 57.3% of all
According to research by Telecompaper, the percentage digital homes will surpass 60% by the end of the year.
The majority of digital viewers (52.6%) is subscribing to cable. 22.1% watches digital DTH and 19.1% digital terrestrial
is the number 1 provider of digital TV (31.8); KPN is runner up with
Digitenne (DVB-T) and its IPTV service (20.7%); the digital DTH
platform Canal Digitaal Satellitet comes third (18.5%) , followed by
3. Italy: Telecom Italia Launches All-In-One Multimedia Broadband Device
Wall Street Journal – 15 December
Italia SpA (TI) Tuesday unveiled an all-in-one multimedia broadband
device named "CuboVision," which provides home TV access to digital
terrestrial TV channels, Web TV and pay-per-view films and which allows
users to organize personal content such as photos, videos and music.
a statement, Italy’s largest telecommunications operator said
CuboVision connects to TV aerials and to any type of high-speed
broadband line, bringing to home TVs all unencrypted digital
terrestrial television content, plus information services from the
Internet, leading Web TV stations and access to on-demand video.
groundbreaking product transforms the traditional home TV into an
online multimedia powerhouse offering a broad range of digital services
and content via a single remote control," the company said.
will be sold in a few flagship stores for EUR199, Telecom Italia Chief
Executive Franco Bernabe said Tuesday, presenting the new device in
The company aims to sell between 300,000 and 400,000
CuboVision devices in 2010. "CuboVision is an innovative response to
the needs of ever more well-informed broadband consumers. This new
package is, to begin with, focusing on heavy Internet users," Bernabe
4. Mexico: COFETEL Federal Telecommunications Commission Confirms Legality of Hi-tv Digital Terrestrial Multicasting System
PRNewswire – 16 December
Salinas, a group of dynamic, fast-growing and technologically advanced
companies deeply committed to the modernization of the countries in
which they operate, created by Mexican entrepreneur Ricardo B. Salinas,
applauds a recent resolution by the COFETEL Federal Telecommunications
Commission that confirms that the operation of Hi-tv is legal and
The resolution issued on
December 14, 2009 recognizes the possibility of transmitting several
signals within the spectrum concessioned to TV Azteca and validates
that Hi-tv follows relevant legislation: The Federal Radio and
Television Law; mandates of its concession, the Agreement for the
Transition to Digital Terrestrial Television and ATSC norms.
COFETEL resolution positions Mexico on the technological vanguard of
digital television. The multichannel model of Hi-tv is proven around
the globe to be the most effective medium to move consumers to the era
of digital television, said Hi-tv executives.
5. Brazil: Japan helps fund ISDB in Peru
RapidTV News – 16 December
International Co-operation Bank has provided a ‘soft’ loan of some
US$65m to help fund development of digital-terrestrial TV in Peru. The
latter has agreed to adopt the Japanese-Brazilian hybrid ISDB
television transmission standard, and is due to start broadcasts in
The loan is to be assigned to seven Peruvian TV
channels which expressed their decision to acquire transmitters and
other equipment that will enable HD broadcasting and national coverage.
The Free Zone of Manaos (Suframa), located in the state of Amazonas in
Brazil, is ready to provide the TV sets with integrated converters that
Peru might require, reports NexTV Latam.
In the region,
Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru have turned to ISDB;
whereas Colombia, Panama, French Guyana, Uruguay and Dutch Antilles
have chosen Europe’s DVB. So far, just Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador
have adopted America’s ATSC system.
6. Spain: Mediaset to gain control of Prisa TV network
Financial Times – 19 December
Berlusconi’s Mediaset will take control of a second free-to-air
television station in Spain as part of a €1.05bn share and cash tie-up
with Prisa, the country’s largest media group. The deal, announced on
Friday night after weeks of speculation, will consolidate the lead of
Telecinco, Mediaset’s stock market-listed Spanish unit, in a market
which has been hit hard by the advertising downturn.
terms of Friday’s deal, Prisa’s channel Cuatro will be folded into a
holding group controlled by Telecinco, in which Sogecable will be
awarded new shares worth about €550m and equivalent to 18.3 per cent of
the expanded capital.
The merger will also see Telecinco pay
€500m in cash for a 22 per cent stake in Digital Plus, Sogecable’s
satellite pay-TV service.
Friday’s deal is the first of two
expected in Spain’s overcrowded media sector. Antena 3, a television
station controlled by Barcelona-based media group Planeta, confirmed in
a regulatory filing on Thursday that it was in talks with La Sexta,
another free-to-air station controlled by a separate Catalan media
If it goes ahead, that tie-up would create Spain’s
second-largest private sector broadcaster by market share, with about
22 per cent of the total audience, behind the new Telecinco’s 25 per
Prisa has for more than a year been selling parts of its
radio, television and publishing interests to pay down about €1.8bn in
short-term debt linked to the buy-out of minority shareholders in
Sogecable. It recently agreed the sale of a 21 per cent stake in
Digital Plus to Telefónica, the Spanish telecommunications giant.
7. Hong Kong: Digital TV coverage extended to 85% population
7th Space – 20 December
the completion of five more fill-in transmitting stations constructed
by the two free-to-air broadcasters by the end of this year, the
coverage of digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting in Hong
Kong will be extended from 75% to 85% of the population.
five new fill-in stations at Sheung Yeung Shan, Sai Wan Shan, Piper’s
Hill, Brick Hill and Beacon Hill respectively are meant to enhance the
DTT signals for areas in Tseung Kwan O, Sheung Sze Wan, Siu Sai Wan,
Cheung Sha Wan, Shouson Hill, Repulse Bay and Tai Wai, etc. The
Government and the two free-to-air broadcasters would write to appeal
to the owners corporations, management companies and residents in
buildings situated in these areas to encourage them to switch to DTT.
at end of November 2009, OFTA has authorised 214 models of receivers
who are all capable of receiving DTT channels of both
standard-definition TV and high-definition TV, including 102 set-top
boxes and 112 iDTV sets.
8. Ireland: Eircom takes control of DTT
Broadband TV News – 22 December
of progress in the launch of digital terrestrial television in the
Irish Republic after Eircom agreed to take a 65% stake in the
consortium it had previously shared equally with Setanta Sports, TV3
The Irish Independent reported
on Tuesday that far from following in the footsteps of Boxer, which
handed back its licence in May, the One Vision consortium has in face
returned to negotiations with the transmission company RTE NL. A series
of meetings have been scheduled either side of Christmas.
the new shareholding structure Eircom will hold 65%, Arqiva 25%,
Setanta 10% with TV3 taking a nominal shareholding. It had been
anticipated in September that a restructuring might be needed before
the DTT platform went to air.
A launch was
original anticipated in the autumn, but it now seems likely that
permanent services will not get underway until mid-2010.
9. New Zealand: Digital dividend – 112 MHz cleared for 4G use
Computerworld – 23 December 2009
date for New Zealand’s digital switchover has not yet been set but is
anticipated to occur between 2013 to 2015, according to the Ministry of
Economic Development (MED).
176 MHz in the 502 and 694 MHz frequency range is designated for
digital television use after the switchover and 112 MHz, between 694
and 806 MHz, will be designated for new 4G cellular technologies.
Ministry said that the next phase of planning is to finalise a
technical frequency plan suitable for 4G usage, and following that, to
determine a process for allocating the spectrum. The frequency plan
needs to take account of what is being planned internationally, as well
as the availability of equipment.
Ministry further said that once detailed design work and engagement
with industry and Māori interests have taken place, there will be
further Cabinet decisions required at the end of 2011 to confirm the
band plan and the allocation process.
10. Japan: ISDB-Tmm Adopted for Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting
PRNews – 24 December
has been adopted as one of the standards for nationwide mobile
multimedia broadcasting in Japan. Broadcasting using this standard is
scheduled to start after July 24, 2011, when analog TV broadcasting
will be closed down. ISDB-Tmm belongs to the
family of technologies, and has been developed based on the same
technology as ISDB-T. This technology is being actively promoted by the
ISDB-T Forum, a group made up of approximately 80 Japanese
corporations, and thus it is almost certain that the use of ISDB-Tmm
technology for broadcasting will become a reality.
addition to ISDB-Tmm, other standards adopted for multimedia
broadcasting include ISDB-Tsb and MediaFLO. Broadcasters will choose
one of the standards when they apply for a license. ISDB-Tmm eliminates
the need for a guard band by combining some blocks of 13 segments (5.6
MHz) and several 1-segment formats (1 segment = 0.4 MHz), and can be
applied to various frequency bands. A transmitter for a combination of
33 segments (14.2 MHz) has already been developed, allowing a
significant reduction in transmission costs. As is clearly shown above,
the versatility of ISDB-Tmm enables it to be applied to a wide range of
operating frequency bands, as well as support spectrum allocations for
7 MHz and 8 MHz bands.
In addition, ISDB-Tmm is highly
compatible with the digital terrestrial television system standard,
allowing the sharing of receivers and the reduction of transmission
costs. For these reasons, ISDB-Tmm is considered to be the ideal
multimedia broadcasting system for countries, including those in South
America, that have already adopted ISDB-T as the standard for their
digital terrestrial television system.
11. LG Electronics Introduces First Mobile DTV In U.S. Designed to Receive Rugged Mobile DTV Signals
PRNews – 31 December
Electronics is introducing the industry’s first portable,
battery-operated mobile DTV in the United States, designed to receive
new rugged over-the-air signals being transmitted by local
broadcasters. With hundreds of stations expected to sign on the air
using the newly-minted technology in 2010 and with demand for truly
mobile, portable TV reception on the rise, LG will officially introduce
the DP570MH Mobile Digital Television with DVD Playback here next week
at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show.
Ideal for reception of Mobile
DTV any time, the DP570MH Mobile Digital Television offers the
flexibility of both over-the-air reception and the convenience of
built-in DVD playback. Equipped with stereo speakers and a 7-inch wide
screen to display crystal clear digital TV images (at Wide QVGA
resolution of 480×234), the LG Mobile Digital TV is designed so that
its display screen can be tilted to the viewer’s preferred viewing
The DP570MH comes equipped to play DVD movie discs and
audio CDs, and it can also display .JPG photos and play WMA music files
from its USB2.0 connection. The Mobile Digital Television comes
equipped with two earphone jacks so that more than one passenger can
enjoy Mobile DTV shows or movies in the back seat of the car, or on a
train. Equipped with a removable battery that powers the device for up
to 2.5 hours in TV mode or up to 4.5 hours during DVD playback, the
device includes both AC and Auto power adaptors.
B. DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT/ONLINE PIRACY
11. Paramount Launches Content Hub for Licensees
Media Post – 15 December
Digital Entertainment has tapped white-label video technology company
Digitalsmiths to launch an online content hub exclusively for
represents the first offering from the studio’s digital film index, and
presently features clips from over 80 of Paramount’s most popular
films. The idea is simply to open new revenue stream, according to
Geremie Camara, VP of product development for Paramount Digital
Paramount licensees can
search for any element within the library by specific actor, location
or line of dialogue. Digitalsmiths’ VideoSense product combs through
the collected metadata to locate the relevant clip, which can then be
reformatted, exported to a video platform, and monetized.
the project, Digitalsmiths applied proprietary video interpretation
technologies such as facial recognition, scene classification and
closed-captioned time alignment to HD copies of films from the
12. Hackers say Kindle copy protection is breakable
MX Logic – 29 December
copy protection system used by Amazon to prevent users from illegally
sharing ebooks for use on the company’s Kindle reader has been broken,
according to hackers.
The .azw file format used to store Kindle
books contains digital rights management technology that prohibits the
transfer of the books to non-Kindle devices, aimed at stopping
unauthorized distribution of Kindle books. Two different hacks,
however, were reported in the wild just before Christmas, although both
versions break the data protection in similar ways.
dubbed his product Unswindle. The software allows users to save Kindle
books as .pdf files for easy copying and distribution, though it must
be used along with another program called MobiDeDRM, which was
developed by another hacker.
Another hacker, known as Labba, has
also claimed to be able to convert files from Amazon’s proprietary
format into a .pdf, and has posted the results on an Israeli forum
13. China clamps down on online piracy
CCTV – 18 December
movies and music from the Internet is a popular past time in China.
Public file sharing protocols such as Bit Torrent, or BT, provide the
service for free. But BTs are now being targeted in a nationwide
crackdown to protect copyrights on-line.
BTs have meant watching
the latest box-office movie is only a mouse click away. Internet users
wait until the download is complete and then watch their favorite
movies. Despite the poor quality pictures, users like Xiao Xu enjoy the
service because it is free.
But the luxury of free downloads has
come at a hefty cost for filmmakers and music artists. Most of the BT
platforms have not paid for the copyrights of the movies or music they
transfer on their website. That means they are providing piracy
Qiao Xinsheng, professor of Zhongshan Univ. of
Economics & Law, said, "If one provides links to download video or
audio files that have been copyrighted, it is an infringement of
copyright law. But this excludes those not for commercial purposes. But
we have to make clear that all the BT websites are totally commercial,
no matter how they make money."
14. Copyright Law Reform in Brazil: Anteprojeto or Anti-project?
Intellectual Property Watch – 23 December
law reform process was initiated in 2005 when a National Conference on
Culture proposed to promote a broad public debate on copyright. In
December 2007, when former Minister Gilberto Gil was still in office,
the Ministry of Culture (MinC) launched the National Forum on
Copyright. Since then one international and four national conferences,
a number of regional discussions and sectoral meetings with
representatives from various branches of culture industry as well as
civil society were held. The MinC summed up these debates in a paper
that formed the vantage point of the Third Conference on Copyright and
the Public Interest held on 9 and 10 November in the Centro Fecomércio
in São Paulo.
This paper identifies
three fundamental imbalances that require changes to the current
Brazilian Copyright Law 9.610 as amended in 1998:
relationship between creators and investors, characterized by total
buy-out contracts especially in international trade.
(ii) imbalance between copyrights and the rights of citizens to have access to knowledge and culture.
(iii) the inadequate role of the state in the copyright field.
of these imbalances, the Ministry proposes to extend the first article
of the copyright law to include the following language:
law is to “make explicit that there must be a balance between the
constitutional provisions of copyright protection and the guarantee of
full enjoyment of cultural rights and other fundamental rights and the
promotion of national development;” and it is to “strive to harmonise
copyright protection with the principles and rules of free enterprise,
protection of competition and consumer protection.” If passed by the
Brazilian Parliament, this would be the first copyright law that I know
of that makes balancing of copyright with access and usage rights and
consumer protection its declared goal.
15. Modern Warfare 2: Most pirated game of 2009
CNet News – 30 December
to TorrentFreak, Modern Warfare 2 is the most pirated title of 2009.
According to the site, the game’s PC version was downloaded on torrent
sites 4.1 million times. Those numbers are all the more impressive when
one considers that the game was downloaded over a period of just two
TorrentFreak also released its
findings for other top pirated games. The Sims 3, Prototype, Need for
Speed Shift, and Street Fighter IV rounded out the list of most-pirated
PC games. Street Fighter IV and Prototype were second and third on the
most-pirated Xbox 360 games, following Modern Warfare 2. Dirt 2 and UFC
2009 Undisputed placed in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
also evaluated the most pirated games on the Wii. Not surprisingly, it
was the New Super Mario Bros. that took the top spot with 1.15 million
downloads. It was followed by Punch-Out, Wii Sports Resort, House of
the Dead: Overkill, and Mario Power Tennis.
16. India major online film piracy hub
The Deccan Herald – 16 December
to studies commissioned by the Motion Picture Distributors’ Association
(MPDA), the local office of the Hollywood Motion Picture Association
(MPA), India accounts for maximum film piracy in any English-speaking
country if one goes by the number of broadband subscribers.
India is the fourth largest downloader of films after the US, Great
Britain and Canada, according to the MPDA’s Internet piracy studies. It
is no surprise that Hindi films are the most widely downloaded Indian
content with the maximum downloads happening in Delhi, Bangalore and
Similar results were found by Internet company
Envisional. In its Internet piracy landscape report, Envisional found
that online piracy of film and television content in India is mainly
through the file-sharing network BitTorrent and cyberlockers, or
web-based file hosts such as RapidShare or HotFile.
sites are also popular, though their usage is lower than BitTorrent and
cyberlockers. Major international BitTorrent portals were heavily used
by Indian downloaders.
17. Argentina extends copyright term
The Music Week – 18 December
has delighted the international music industry by extending the term of
protection on sound recordings for performers and producers from 50 to
The news was announced at the “Tango National Day” celebrations in Buenos Aires yesterday.
move was supported by the Argentine Performers Association (AADI) and
the Argentine Music Industry Chamber (CAPIF), who say it will better
protect local performers and producers and bring the country closer
into line with emerging international trends in this area.
chairman and CEO John Kennedy says that Argentina has strengthened the
rights of performers and producers by extending the term of protection.
“Argentina has a strong musical heritage and this reform means that
producers will have a greater incentive to invest in the next
generation of local talent,” he adds.
the UK, Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw said in October that the UK
Government was about to start pushing “very hard” for copyright term
extension across Europe, with the Spanish poised to take over the
European presidency on January 1 from the term-sceptic Swedes.
C. P2P NETWORKS AND ISP LIABILITY
18. File-sharing Bill could give Government control of the internet
The Register – 18 December
Digital Economy Bill would give the Government the power to control the
internet access of UK citizens by ministerial order, bypassing
Parliament and without an adequate right of appeal, according to one
Barrister Francis Davey has
examined clause 11 of the Bill and believes that it puts extraordinary
powers to control the information available to UK internet users in the
hands of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills,
currently Lord Mandelson.
of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has rejected the
interpretation of the law, claiming that the EU’s E-Commerce Directive
prohibits the activity described by Davey.
11 gives the Secretary of State the power by ministerial order to make
any ISP [internet service provider] take technical measures against any
subscriber," said Davey.
This clause has
been widely read as being designed to allow the disconnection of
copyright-infringing file sharers, but Davey said its application could
be far wider. "Nothing it says has anything to do with copyright
infringement or even wrongdoing by the subscriber," he said. "The
Secretary of State could use this to order ISPs to block access to a
website or to certain kinds of files."
Digital Economy Bill has been controversial because it gives the
Secretary of State powers to order ISPs to take ‘technical measures’
against subscribers, such as disconnecting the access of those accused
of illegal file sharing.
19. Comcast Settles P2P Class Action Lawsuit
EWeek – 23 December
has preliminarily agreed to pay $16 million to settle a class action
lawsuit that claims the cable giant blocked or throttled peer-to-peer
traffic to its customers.
settlement stems from a November 2007 lawsuit filed by Jon Hart, a
California Comcast subscriber who claimed Comcast slowed or cut off P2P
file-sharing networks like BitTorrent and Gnutella in violation of
Comcast’s user’s agreement. Hart’s share of the proposed settlement is
Several months after Hart’s
lawsuit, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) began an
investigation into similar complaints against Comcast and in August
2008 found Comcast guilty of network neutrality violations for
throttling P2P traffic. The FCC also found that Comcast misled
customers by not properly disclosing its P2P policy.
20. United States: isoHunt charged with inducing copyright infringement
Toms Guide – 28 December
a ruling against Canadian-based website isoHunt and its owner, a
California Court held that the website violated the U.S. copyright law
by ‘inducing’ copyright infringement.
A curious aspect about
this case is that the Motion Picture Association of America–the group
behind the lawsuit against isoHunt–failed to provide sufficient
evidence of infringement against the website. And unlike other cases
such as the ones against Napster and Grokster, the judge didn’t see a
need to proceed to a full trial, granting the MPAA its request for a
The judgment also stressed that the DMCA doesn’t
apply in regards to "inducement liability." This means that those found
to have induced infringement cannot qualify for the DMCA’s safe harbor.
21. Chile Resists US Pressure, Rejects ISP Filtering
Zeropaid – 29 December
Chilean House of Representatives has formally rejected the latest
attempt by Chilean President Michele Bachelet to “reform” that
country’s copyright laws to include ISP-level content filtering. The
proposed reform would’ve required ISPs to block content after a simple
warning letter by copyright holders alleging copyright infringement as
well for them to keep identifying data of those who receive it.
Bacehelet had argued that it’s necessary in order to comply with a Free
Trade Agreement with the United States, but critics pointed out that’s
not true being that the US is nowhere near ever having a similar system
in place nor is it likely to ever have one.
Many voted against the bill simply because it would’ve allowed ISPs and not the courts to determine copyright infringement.
Specifically, they cite Article 10 which reads:
Provider is aware that in good faith alleged breaches of the rights
established in this Act shall be exempt from liability, whether by
letter notifies the alleged offender. If he announces that it agrees to
the discretion of the service provider or be silent for more than ten
days from the date of communication, the service provider may block the
material hosted on their systems that may be subject of reproach. It is
within this period, the alleged violator in writing to insist that such
content will continue to be transmitted, they can not be blocked by the
service provider and the service provider is exempt from any
ISPs would’ve been
responsible for verifying copyright infringement and most likely
would’ve introduced mechanisms to be more proactive with their efforts
to ensure compliance and decreased liability, meaning active content
filtering in violation of customer privacy.
article, Article 12, would’ve required ISPs to keep identifying data of
those accused of copyright infringement for at least 6 months. Critics
says it’s unfair since it’s only an allegation and no similar treatment
is required for people accused, yet not convicted of other crimes.
D. OTHER NEWS
22. US publishing giants join forces for digital standards
Pocketlint – 9 December
the United States, five big publishing companies have announced they
are to team-up on a venture that will see open standards created for
the new era of digital publishing on portable digital devices, such as
the as-yet unconfirmed Apple iTablet that’s got them all so very
Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp and Time Inc
are working together on a "new digital storefront and related
technology that will allow consumers to enjoy their favourite media
content on portable digital devices".
The goals of the
initiative are said to be to create "a highly featured common reading
application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each
publication; a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple
devices, operating systems and screen sizes; a consumer storefront
offering an extensive selection of reading options; and a rich array of
innovative advertising opportunities".
23. ASTRO brings next generation entertainment to Malaysia
CASBAA – 14 December
ASTRO launched ASTRO B.yond,
a multi-phased innovative service starting with the first ever High
Definition (HD) broadcast, setting yet another new benchmark in
Malaysia’s broadcast industry.
Incorporating best in class technologies, the newly launched ASTRO B.yond
offers customers more innovative services which will be introduced in
phases. Starting with the first ever High-Definition (HD) broadcast in
Malaysia, ASTRO B.yond will change TV viewing experience with
richer colours, picture-perfect clarity and cinematic surround sound.
Along with this, a new and improved Electronic Programming Guide (EPG)
designed for better viewer interface will be introduced.
As the technology infrastructure and hardware around ASTRO B.yond
is future-ready, more innovations will follow. In 2010, ASTRO aims to
be the first in the world to offer video recording through an external
hard drive. With this service, customers can record their favourite
programmes and personalize their TV viewing schedules. ASTRO B.yond
will also introduce Digital Video Recording (DVR), Video on Demand
(VOD) and IPTV connectivity in phases over the next 24 months.
24. RAB AND NAB announce expanded working relationship
National Association of Broadcasters – 16 December
Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and National Association of Broadcasters
(NAB) today announced an expanded partnership of communications and
events, including a combined Radio convention Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2010 in
This natural extension
of the relationship forged under one voice for Radio in 2007 entails a
long-term program of communications and events for Radio sales and
representation in Washington to coincide with "The Radio Show produced
by RAB and NAB." More details on the fall convention will be
forthcoming in early 2010.
"As part of
the management structure of both the NAB and RAB, I’ve long felt there
was tremendous value in bringing both organizations closer together,"
said Steve Newberry, NAB Joint Board Chairman and President and CEO
Broadcasting Corporation. "This
enhanced partnership is designed to positively address the needs of our
radio station members and bring about proactive change for both of our
25. APEC/ASEAN on pay-TV piracy
CASBAA – 17 December
analysis of the pernicious effects of pay-TV signal theft on economic
and social development in Southeast Asia featured strongly throughout a
series of government and industry meetings in Jakarta, Indonesia. The
CASBAA-coordinated meetings were centered on an APEC and ASEAN
symposium which covered the protection of broadcast content with
officials drawn from 16 governments from around the Asia-Pacific
The first day of the three-day programme was delivered
in cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Communications and
Information Technology, the Directorate General of Intellectual
Property Rights and the Indonesian Multimedia Providers’ Association
It was followed by a regionally focused "Signal
Piracy, Regulation and Enforcement in a Convergent World" symposium
with the 16 governments with pay-TV broadcasters such as MTV, Turner
Broadcasting, ESPN Star Sports, Celestial Pictures and Newscorp, plus
signal security providers Irdeto and Viaccess, pay-TV platform
operators Indovision, Cignal and Foxtel as well as the Asia-Pacific
Broadcasting Union, the Motion Picture Association and European
anti-piracy organization AEPOC. This symposium was co-hosted by the US
Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).
Among items covered in
Jakarta were the impact of TV piracy on domestic creative industries
and investment in networks; the losses incurred by governments in terms
of tax revenues foregone from black-market and grey-market commercial
piracy; the vast potential damage from mass online piracy of TV content
and the need for governments and industry to work cooperatively.
26. Broadcasters respond to FCC’s spectrum inquiry
National Association of Broadcasting – 22 December
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Association for
Maximum Service Television (MSTV) filed joint comments today with the
Federal Communications Commission concerning the agency’s National
Broadband Plan inquiry.
As part of the
filing, NAB and MSTV also submitted, "A Proposed Framework for
Discussion," which included a new study that shows nearly 750 MHz of
spectrum is currently available for licensed broadband use. That figure
is more than double the amount of spectrum allocated exclusively for TV
broadcasters, which totals 294 MHz. The study, conducted by a pair of
Purdue University engineering professors, also questions the validity
of a recent spectrum forecast by CTIA-The Wireless Association, calling
its results "flawed or, at best, highly suspect."
the outset, NAB and MSTV urged the Commission to "conduct a
comprehensive inventory of present and future spectrum usage by all
parties," including the wireless industry, satellite, broadcasters and
the government. "To the extent that more spectrum is needed for
broadband uses — a proposition that should be fully tested — the
Commission should not assume that broadcast spectrum is the best or
even a viable place to find that spectrum," NAB and MSTV wrote.
Broadcasters also outlined four overarching principles relevant to the FCC’s Public Notice on the National Broadband Plan.
• Broadcasting and broadband are not "either/or" propositions; that is a false choice.
• Local TV broadcasters offer an array of social benefits that are irreplaceable by other services.
The FCC’s spectrum policy must be guided Section 1 of the
Communications Act and by Congress’s directive to provide local service.
Throughout the DTV transition, the Administration, Congress and the FCC
told American consumers that they would benefit from the digital
transition with free, over-the-air HDTV and additional free multicast
27. India Task Force to tackle piracy
CASBAA – 23 December
Task Force to recommend measures to combat film, video, cable and video
piracy in India has been set up in the Ministry of Information &
Broadcasting. The Task Force will be under the chairmanship of Special
Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The Task Force
shall hold consultations with State Governments as well as stakeholders
before finalising their recommendations. The group is scheduled to
submit its report within a period of six months.
28. TRAI releases Supplementary Consultation Paper on Tariff related issues for DTH services
Telecom Regulation Authority of India – 24 December
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released a
supplementary consultation paper on Tariff related issues for DTH
services. This supplementary paper specifically deals with the certain
aspects of Tariff related issues as applicable to tariff dispensation
for basic and add-on packages in case of DTH services.