Archive for July, 2006


European Commission Opens Public Consultation on Content Market

July 31, 2006

A public consultation on ways to stimulate the growth of a true EU single market for online digital content, such as films, music and games, was launched by the European Commission today. The Commission intends to encourage the development of innovative business models and to promote the cross-border delivery of diverse online content services. It is also keen to ascertain how European technologies and devices can be successful in the creative online content markets. Input to this consultation will help shape a Commission Communication on Content Online, due to be adopted at the end of the year. The deadline for replies is 13 October 2006.

 “Supplying content on line, such as films, music and games, not only helps to make Europe’s culture more accessible, but will also be a tremendous opportunity for Europe’s content industry to expand its own markets”, noted Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “Easy access to, and secure distribution of, online content is a crucial challenge. I expect input to today’s consultation to identify clearly any remaining obstacles to a competitive, pan-European online content industry which the EU needs to tackle. Only a cross-border market for online content, in which authors, artists and creators are able to reap a fair reward for their talent and skills, will enable Europe’s content sector to compete with other continents.”

The public consultation “Content Online in Europe’s Single Market” launched by the Commission today intends to pave the way for a true European single market for online content delivery. Online content can play a crucial role for the growth of Europe’s sector for information and communication technologies (ICT) and media. Western European online content-sharing frameworks and markets are expected to triple by 2008 (with the user/creator part growing tenfold). These developments are expected to multiply across the sector, already accounting for 8% of EU GDP today.

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Notes From the Label

July 30, 2006


Very good music related comic strip at Bassit Wanted by American artist Porter Mason


Tell Me What I Want to Hear

July 29, 2006


Very good music related comic strip at Bassist Wanted by American artist Porter Mason


Universal Music Group Has Good Semester Despite Turmoil for Giants

July 28, 2006


According to the report issued last week by UMG’s parent company Vivendi Universal, the year has been kind to sales. Figures show an increasing of 5,5% over the same period last year, totalling 2.2 € billion. Digital music sales account for 10,1% of all UMG’s sales, a number that has been growing steadily over the last few quarters. 

Recently Sony/ BMG had reported losses of about 14,4% and other competitors are expected to report a decline in revenue for the first semester of 2005. However Sony/BMG’s situation has been worsened by the annulment of the joint venture by the European Court of First Instance recently, leaving company and analysts in shock. Plans by EMI to acquire it’s rival Warner Music were subsequently withdrawn reportedly “until the legislative climate in
Europe is favourable”.



Kazaa To Pay $115 Million Settlement to Recording Industry

July 27, 2006


It was announced today that a settlement had been reached between Sharman  Networks, owner of Kazaa and several companies and organizations representing the music industry in the United Satates. The settlement requires the payment by Kazaa of 115 Million USD and the creation of a new subscription service that filters illegal content.

The announcement made by the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) and the RIAA’s (Recording Industry American Association) was considered ground breaking, bringing to mind Napster’s route to legality a few years back in very similar circumstances. Yet many observers don’t share the industry’s optimism. The fact that many of the files shared through Kazaa were plagued with virus and spyware made the number of users decline heavily in recent months, causing many to migrate to other emerging services such as LimeWire and eDonkey. For these analysts file-sharing tendencies will not be significantly affected by this settlement.



True Product!

July 26, 2006


Now you can Enhance your Experience in any room with your favorite music from your iPod.


• 4 Integrated high performance moisture-free speakers deliver exceptional clarity and high quality sound
• Charges your iPod while playing music
• Audio selector allows you to play iPod shuffle or other Audio device
• Integrated Bath tissue holder that can be easily folded as a stereo dock
• Requires AC Power (AC Adapter included)
• Easy to remove from Wall Mount Specifications:Dimension (W x H x D):
8.25in x 3.68in x 7.12in
210mm x 93mm x 181mm

Power Requirements:
12V, 1.5A AC adapter

2 x tweeters for highs
2 x woofers for lows Made For iPod:

Compatible with all iPod with dock connectors.

Look it up at


Commission Opens Public Consultation on the Protection of Minors Using Mobile Phones

July 25, 2006

 The European Commission today launched a public consultation on the potential risks for children of using mobile phones. Input is invited from any stakeholder, including child safety, parent and consumer organisations, mobile network operators, content providers, handset and network manufacturers, and regulators. The consultation will run until 16 October 2006.

“Mobile phones are part of our daily lives, not only for adults but also for teenagers and increasingly for younger children. Mobile communication is a great opportunity for the development of
Europe’s economies and societies. However, at the same time, the protection of minors needs to be guaranteed”, said Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media. “In my view, protection of minors in mobile communications is the responsibility of all actors: industry, child safety associations and public bodies. The more efficient self-regulation can become, the less the need for State intervention.”

The new consultation launched by the Commission today addresses issues linked to content and behaviour, such as access to harmful or illegal content, bullying (e.g. distribution of abusive or compromising messages and photos amongst children), grooming (e.g. strangers “making friends” with children with a view to meeting them), risks to the privacy of children, and the risk of unexpectedly high expense.

In the last few years, the use of mobile phones by children and young people has increased dramatically, as have the capabilities of mobile phones. According to a Eurobarometer survey of May 2006, 70% of European youngsters aged 12-13 years and 23% of children aged 8-9 years own a mobile phone. Handsets can now be used for video messaging, entertainment services (downloading games, music, and videos), access to the internet and location-based services.

The growth in mobile use clearly helps people link-up in an Information Society. But it also gives rise to concerns about the safety of children. The consultation aims to gather factual information and views from different stakeholders on the types of risks faced by children in their use of mobile content services, the technical and regulatory solutions that exist and the scope for further action, in particular at European level.

The consultation launched today is part of a process which started in June 2005, when a plenary session of the Safer Internet Forum attracted 200 representatives from the industry and child welfare organisations. The Commission would like such a European level debate to lead to the kind of self-regulation which is already developing in some Member States. It is therefore supporting several related initiatives of mobile operators, NGOs and other stakeholders.

The Safer Internet Forum is part of the Commission’s Safer Internet Programme, which has been running since 1999, and aims to equip parents and teachers with the knowledge and tools they need to ensure internet safety. The current 4-year programme (2005-08) has a budget of €45 million to combat illegal and harmful internet content. It also covers other media, such as videos, and explicitly addresses the fight against racism, and e-mail “spam”.