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News in Brief

FOOTBALL fans could be watching World Cup matches next year in South Africa live and in 3D in plans being drawn up by FIFA, according to TVBEurope. FIFA TV is working with World Cup host broadcaster HBS and official FIFA sponsor Sony to broadcast live stereoscopic feeds of as many as half of the games.

ACCORDING to a recent Billboard report, the German record industry has failed to successfully fight against provision 53 of the country's copyright law. That provision allows the digital copying of CDs for private use, and as a result of a court decision digital private copies still remain legal.

ONLINE piracy could stifle innovation by the country's own dynamic Internet industry, the chief executive of one of China's oldest Web companies has suggested. "China needs to clean up piracy on the Internet or face a lag in innovation," Charles Zhang, chief executive of said at the China Internet conference Beijing. Zhang also blamed piracy for hindering development of a vibrant movie industry in China, where illegal CDs are usually available within days of a movie's theatrical release for the equivalent of less than $2.

BEST BUY of the US, the world’s largest electronics retailer, has confirmed it will be launching an online store for movies and television shows that will compete with Apple’s iTunes. The service will use technology licensed from Sonic Solutions. Sonic’s Roxio CinemaNow system will be installed on televisions, computers, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and mobile phones sold Best Buy.

JEAN-BERNARD LEVY, CEO of Vivendi, has said the UK government needs to bring in a "three-strikes" policy that would ultimately cut off persistent illegal file-sharers. Speaking at the UK government's Creativity & Business International Network conference he said that while it was too soon to gauge the results of the introduction of the "three-strikes" policy in France, it was a necessary step to protect content owners. "Britain should be more in favour of developing the media industries and even if France is ahead in legislation it should be obvious (that the UK should) be doing something like three strikes."

SPEAKING to a local audience of government officials, policy makers, distributors and industry representatives in Tokyo, Motion Picture Association of America president and COO Bob Pisano urged Japanese internet service providers to consider the graduated response scheme adopted by some countries that give illegal downloaders an educational notice before sanctions are imposed on repeat infringers.

US President George W. Bush has signed a bill which toughens penalties for copyright infringement, music and movie piracy. The bill tightens civil and criminal intellectual property laws, imposes stricter penalties on violators and establishes the position of a White House-based "Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator." It also provides the Justice Department and FBI with more resources to fight intellectual property crimes. The bill was welcomed by trade groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America.