Google, Viacom settle outmoded YouTube copyright suit

Google and Viacom have settled their seven-year copyright lawsuit, a nearly forgotten fight in which the central conflict has largely become an anachronism.

Viacom, the parent company of such television networks as MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, sued Google shortly after the search giant's acquisition of YouTube. It claimed the sharing platform for user-generated videos hosted thousands of unauthorized clips.

Google and Viacom putting the conflict to rest reflects how much the attitude toward online video has changed for traditional content companies, from one of protective wariness to one of essential opportunity. It also reflects how YouTube, over the … Read more

Apple devices said to get free in-flight movies on United

Word has it that iPhone, iPad, and Mac users will soon get to access more than 150 movies and about 200 TV shows for free when flying on United Airlines, according to Patently Apple.

Come April, the airlines is said to be rolling out an update to its iOS app that will come with the added feature of an in-flight movie service. To get the purported service, users must be running iOS 7. For those with Macs, Patently Apple reports that no app is necessary to get the in-flight service.

The movie service is said to only be available for … Read more

YouTube network Maker Studios valued at $500M?

Maker Studios could be valued at $500 million or more based on takeover discussions Disney is holding with the YouTube network, according to a report by Recode.

No deal is certain, Recode reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A representative for Maker Studios said the company doesn't comment on rumor or speculation, and Disney didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

YouTube multichannel networks appear to be a hot commodity lately, with news of a soaring valuation for Maker coming a day after Machinima, a company that produces gaming videos, disclosed Warner Bros. led an $18 million financing round. … Read more

Lufthansa plans to beam in-flight movies to your devices

Lufthansa, one of the world's largest airlines, will soon take advantage of onboard tech that sends in-flight entertainment directly to passengers' smartphones and tablets.

The company plans to have BroadConnect, an entertainment system developed by Lufthansa Systems, installed on 20 of its Airbus A321 aircraft by this summer. The system, which is actually a small server inside the plane along with several wireless access points, ties into onboard Wi-Fi and lets passengers stream in-flight movies on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. In order to get the streaming entertainment, passengers need to download the app before their flight takes … Read more

Beatles channel debuts on Apple TV

It's been 50 years since The Beatles made their way to the US, and Apple is commemorating the anniversary with an Apple TV channel.

For a limited time, Apple TV owners can view The Beatles' back-to-back performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The channel popped up on the company's set-top box on Sunday and is free to download.

The new channel follows several Beatles-related efforts that Apple is making in its iTunes store, including full access to the band's US albums and a "Beatles in America" station on iTunes Radio.

(Via 9to5Mac)

'The Astronaut Wives Club' drama to land on ABC

Why should advertising executives and their wives have all the fun? While "Mad Men" tackles Madison Avenue, "The Astronaut Wives Club" will be dealing with pressures only NASA could sympathize with. ABC just ordered 10 episodes of the original drama TV series planned for summer release.

Based on the best-selling novel by Lily Koppel, "The Astronaut Wives Club," the TV series is set in 1969 and tells the real story of women who were married to the biggest legends of the space race, and how they coped with sudden fame. … Read more

Microsoft media exec resigns due to company's 'direction'

Blair Westlake, Microsoft's corporate vice president for media and entertainment, has set sail from Redmond.

Westlake confirmed to Variety on Wednesday that he has resigned from his post, saying that "it has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or my skill sets." Westlake didn't discuss the direction in which he believes the company is going.

Westlake spent nearly 10 years at Microsoft, handling the company's relations with the entertainment industry. According to his LinkedIn page, he was responsible for "business development, … Read more

Keep alien invaders at bay in Ziggurat

Ziggurat is an 8-bit-inspired survival game for iOS, set during an alien apocalypse. It's the project of Action Button Entertainment founder and director Tim Rogers, a Bay Area transplant recently nominated the Most Interesting Man at PAX Prime, and a regular contributor to geek-centric content farm Kotaku.

The story: Aliens have just wiped out humanity, and you are the last man standing. Literally standing: You're atop a ziggurat, above the clouds, armed with one BFG-like firearm, making a last stand. You shoot by tapping, charge by holding the lower portion of the screen, and fire when releasing. The … Read more

Polar Vortex great for business (online porn business, that is)

As I sat on my sunny Californian deck, reading about people buried 3 feet deep in snow, I thought to myself: "Ohio. Now where's that on the map?"

My second thought was: "I wonder what they're doing out there, besides huddling and tossing boiling water in the air to make snow."

It was more or less at that moment on Friday that my regular source of pornographic pulse-taking, The Washington Post, revealed an answer. It seems that the chilly temperatures incited a spurt of enthusiasm for online pornography.

The Post leaned rather alluringly on … Read more

Digital movie sales climb 47 percent in 2013

It appears that digital sales could breath new life into the movie industry.

According to data from Digital Entertainment Group, consumers spent $18.2 billion on digital home entertainment in 2013, an increase of 1 percent from 2012. While that doesn't sound like a big increase, if you look specifically at digital movie sales, you can see a 47 percent rise over last year to $1.19 billion.

"Stability in home entertainment continued for the second straight year in 2013 as total consumer spending rose nearly one percent to $18.2 billion," Digital Entertainment Group director Lyndsey … Read more