Vid-Biz: Quantcast, McCain, Indecency

Quantcast Signs MTV Networks; company will provide web metrics for MTVN sites. (AdWeek)
John McCain on Losing the Election; big ideas site Big Think sat down with the GOP candidate a few months ago and asked him what it would mean to him if he lost the election. (Big Think Blog)

Supreme Court Hears Indecency Case; FCC and networks duke it out over fleeting expletives. (TVWeek)
TV Networks Eye India; Viacom, Time Warner and GE-backed channels all vying for a piece of Bollywood, where TV ad spending is expected to grow for years. (The Wall Street Journal)
“Anti-Piracy Hero” Shot Dead; Kasim Cha Tong, former regional director for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, was gunned down in Thailand; police looking into the possibility that this was an assassination. (TorrentFreak)
FCC Looks Into Cable TV Pricing; commission opening investigation into the practices of cable operators and Verizon, including the shifting of analog stations to digital. (The Associated Press)

Vid-Biz: Discovery, GE, Canoe

Discovery Creates Nine YouTube Channels; Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet and others to get immediate launches, users encouraged to submit videos to Mythbusters. (TVWeek)

GE Bundling NBC Content with New TV Sets; company taking stake in a new venture with Tatung, televisions will provide links to NBC content. (The New York Times)

Canoe Ventures and Google TV Could Work Together; Canoe CEO says his company could need an electronic marketplace, and the two entities could partner to build out a television platform. (paidContent)

NBC Finds Success Fighting Piracy; advances in filtering technology helping the peacock quash unauthorized clips from popping up, like that of Tina Fey playing Gov. Sarah Palin on a recent SNL episode. (CNET)

Abacast Buys Tukati; streaming media delivery firm buys P2P CDN for peer-assisted, live and on-demand service, financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. (release)

Blockbuster Upgrading Stores; rental chain will spend $20 million making improvements and adding kiosks to 500 stores, also says Blu-Ray accounts for less than 5 percent of rentals. (Video Business)

Media and Tech Companies Team Up for New Advocacy Group; Viacom, NBC, Cisco and Microsoft among companies forming Arts+Labs to push for enhanced web content and fair compensation for creators, as well as to keep consumers away from bad sites. (Variety)

BitTorrent’s Achilles’ Heel

The popular BitTorrent web site Mininova was sued by the Dutch anti-piracy organization BREIN this week in a bid to get Mininova to filter unlicensed content. The organization has had some success in the past against Edonkey and BitTorrent web sites, so there is at least a possibility that Mininova will be forced to either take down most of its torrent files or shut down completely. Either way, it would be a big blow for the BitTorrent community. Since launching in early 2005, Mininova has quickly become one of the biggest BitTorent directories, with almost 5 billion torrent downloads to date.

The possibility of Mininova closing down also raises an important issue: BitTorrent is a highly centralized P2P protocol to begin with, depending on central servers both to catalog content and facilitate downloads. The growing popularity of the protocol has led to the creation of a few torrent powerhouses, with Mininova and The Pirate Bay being two of the most prominent. Could this increasingly monolithic infrastructure be the Achilles’ heel of BitTorrent piracy?

Read More about BitTorrent’s Achilles’ Heel

China Putting Piracy Heat on Net Cafes


Whasai!* Chinese officials are cracking down on Internet cafes that let customers download illegal copies of movies.

Beijing courts are levying bigger fines for copyright infringers as part of an overall campaign against piracy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a third of China’s Internet users use Internet cafes, where, evidently, most of them watch movies. Internet cafes are breaking intellectual property laws either by downloading illicit copies of movies and offering them up, or signing deals with movie providers that don’t have the rights to the films.

*Chinese for “Wowzers”

Image from Flickr user Gemma Kate Thorpe.