14 Jun 2011
Imagine paying $150,000 for a movie… That’s the reality for 23,000 people who were named in a recent BitTorrent download case involving the film “The Expendables”. Nu Image studios, an L.A. based production company, filed the suit in February, and on May 4th, the IP addresses of 23,322 defendants were submitted to a federal judge in the United States. Nu Image is seeking damages from all the people who are accused of illegally downloading the film.
In the U.S. damages of up to $150,000 can be awarded in cases such as this. Although the smart money is on the studio going for a smaller sum, just enough to make a point that if you choose to take films from the internet without paying for them in some way, it may cost you eventually. Cases like these show that, in the U.S. at least, the government takes illegal downloading seriously, due to the impact it has on the economy.
08 Jun 2011
Want to take a glimpse of what the home entertainment landscape will look like in the future? Not the far future either. I’m talking about next year. When Microsoft introduced the Kinect for its Xbox 360 console, critics scoffed that it would probably turn out to be just another novelty fad. Guess again. This technology is reshaping the way we interact with electronics. And while it may be mostly gamers who are using it right now, it’s only a matter of time before similar peripherals start getting connected to televisions and Blu Ray players.
11 May 2011
Rumors circulating that either Facebook or Google were on the verge of purchasing European company Skype veered off the rails recently as Microsoft stepped in and snagged it for a whopping $8.5 billion. A natural assumption might be that Microsoft is going to push integration with the Windows Phone. Couple this with news that the new Xbox 360 dashboard update is going to include an interface for using Paypal (which would eliminate much of the risk of using credit cards online, something that got Sony into trouble lately), and you can see that Microsoft has definitely got its sights trained on bringing entertainment and social media options to living rooms around the world.
In the entertainment industry, obstacles to VOD domination have always revolved around a lack of delivery hardware. Both Sony and Microsoft have made inroads recently, adding VOD options to their gaming consoles. Many internet-ready Blu Ray players have included Netflix apps as well. So many options…if only I could remember where I put the remote…
07 May 2011
From the official press release:
“Bring home the adventure and share Star Wars™ with your whole family – when STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment! To be released beginning on September 12 internationally and on September 16 in North America, the nine-disc collection brings the wonder of the entire Saga direct to your living room, where you can revisit all of your favorite Star Wars moments – in gorgeous high definition and with pristine, 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Dive deeper into the universe with an unprecedented 40+ hours of special features, highlighted by never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives. “
07 May 2011
Maybe the only people who will care about this in a month are the ones who had their credit cards compromised. I don’t play online much on the PS network; Xbox is my console of choice. I’ve heard some people say that this is why they choose Microsoft’s system, because we pay for access to a closed online network that protects us from crap like this. Sounds logical to someone with my limited knowledge of how the cyberworld works. Could be hamsters running on wheels fastened to gears held in place with elastics for all I know. I do know that at the end of the day, I’m not sure I trust any of these companies to fully protect me. I take my own precautions.
06 May 2011
It’s funny how we never think twice about putting our credit card numbers and personal information out in cyberspace any more. Online purchases are so routine that people extend trust to most of these sites, assuming they will protect our info. Recent news that Sony’s Playstation network had been hacked, with tens of millions of accounts being compromised, some including credit card info, sent shock waves through the entertainment industry. With both Playstation and Xbox systems being used as a gateway to VOD services, it isn’t just gamers at risk of being made fearful of using these systems; lots of families and Netflix fans may also be feeling wary of keeping this kind of information on file with companies like these.
Most credit card companies protect and cover customers against fraud or stolen accounts, but I’d be more worried about the fear of identity theft. This sort of thing can cause a nightmare of red tape for people trying to sort it out. Stay tuned…this should get interesting.