Europe's online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in packaged media and new delivery technologies

News in Brief - february 2012


THE DIGITAL Entertainment Group Japan (DEG Japan) and the Blu-ray Disc Association aim to have Blu-ray Discs overtake DVDs in numbers shipped by 2013. The two industry groups predict that Blu-ray will have a 41% share of the market this year, and 58% next year. By 2014, the groups intend for Blu-ray to have a 71% share. In the first half of 2011, DVD sales made up 77.8 percent of the Japanese home video market. However, anime Blu-ray Discs have a higher percentage of the anime home video market in Japan.

WARNER Bros. has renovated and installed a digital screening room complete with 3D technology at the residence of current U.S. Ambassador to Paris Charles Rivkin. The room also boasts a state-of-the-art digital projector, custom-made speakers and curtain liners to block out light during daytime screenings. The screening room is located in a former ballroom that is said to have hosted both dances and film screenings when it was a German Officers Club during World War II.

STEPHEN Shui, who worked on the Hong Kong-produced 3D adult film Sex and Zen, plans a sequel in what he calls '4D.' Shui explained to Channel NewsAsia that he wants the sequel to be shown in theaters with seats that vibrate at various points during the film. Tentatively named 4D Sex And Zen: Slayer Of A Thousand From The Mysterious East, Shui said the sequel is to address a key complaint filmgoers had leveled, namely, that the racy scenes in the first film were not intense enough. "This time we will be paying more attention to that, and will be enlisting the aid of experts from Japan to direct these scenes."

SOCIAL networking websites cannot be forced to install anti-piracy software in a bid to stop members illegally file-sharing. The ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is in a case between Belgian-based social network Netlog and SABAM, a music royalties collection firm also based in Belgium.

HADOPI, the French anti-piracy organisation, has already emailed warnings notices to some 822,000 users who have persisted in downloading copyright films and music content. As at the end of December, 68,343 users had received official letters through the post, warning them that their actions could lead to fines of up to €1500 and loss of service. Some 165 more serious offenders have been reported to the courts.

FILM and music piracy has led to the closure of almost 1,600 outlets selling original products in Gujarat, India, in the last four years. Traders say, only a handful of outlets are functioning by diversifying into other products like stationery and books. Original DVDs marketed by companies like Music Today, HMV, Saregama, Moser baer offer only one movie or music album at Rs 399 (€6.10), but pirated DVDs available on the roadside pack in six movies and cost Rs 30 (€0.46).

SONY Corporation has announced that Kazuo Hirai has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer effective 1 April 1 2012, in what could be a challenging time. Sony announced a loss in Q3 last year, and expects more loss and lower sales for fiscal year 2012 than its earlier forecast. Sir Howard Stringer, currently Chairman, CEO and President, will become Chairman of the Board of Directors in June 2012.