Daily News Brief: MPAA Admits Mistake in College Study

Daily News Brief: MPAA Admits Mistake in College Study

Ten Million Subscribers? WoW!

As if we needed any proof that the MMO experience is here to stay, Blizzard announced that their immensely popular World of Warcraft game can now boast a subscriber base 10 million wide. Asia accounts for more than half of all subscribers at 5.5 million, with North America claiming 2.5 million and Europe adding 2 million. WoW is available in seven languages along with a Russian version expected later this year.

IBM Cutting Base Salaries

IBM may have posted record profits, but thousands of its U.S. employees will soon face a 15 percent base cut. According to The Associated Press, the cuts come as a response to a 2006 lawsuit in which IBM was accused of illegally withholding overtime pay before ultimately settling the case for $65 million. The base pay cut will help compensate for the reclassified overtime eligibility, and at least one union group is considering pickets at IBM sites to protest. Read more here, including what some internal documents had to say.

Update: IBM Responds to Overtime Lawsuits with 15% Salary Cuts - InformationWeek

AT&T Ponders Internet Filtering

Illegal file sharing has caused quite the ruckus, with some ISPs taking 'creative' measures (resulting in at least one creative spoof, this one by Will Smith) against bandwidth hogs. Potentially adding themselves to the list of companies actively combating rising bandwidth concerns, AT&T is currently evaluating whether to examine internet traffic to help halt illegal file sharing. CEO Randall Stephenson equated it to "being in a store and watching someone steal a DVD. Do you act? " When and if AT&T answers that question, we'll be right there to cover it.

China's Fight Against Internet Pornography

In what must be a blow to teens living in China, Chinese state media said they've shut down 44,000 websites and arrested 868 people for internet pornography last year. China forbids pornography and paid sex in nearly all forms, though prostitution remains a problem and the government's internet police fight a continual battle to block porn sites from abroad. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, China's online population jumped to 210 million people and could surpass the U.S. this year.

Sony to Japan: No Skype For You!

At least, not yet. Sony posted a press release today describing problems with the microphone that was to accompany the introduction of Skype on the slim and light PSP models. Sony said "it was found that the microphone did not meet the Skype specifications in parts to obtain certification and SCEJ has determined to postpone the release of the microphone." Because of the microphone issue, Sony is also postponing Skype features and services in Japan. No timeframe was given on a new release date.

MPAA to College Kids: Oops!

Turns out college kids have been given a statistically bad rap. For more than two years, the MPAA held steadfast that college students were responsible for 44 percent of the movie industry's claimed domestic losses as a result of illegal downloading, but we're now learning that number is far less. Just how far was it off? The new estimate has college students accounting for 15 percent of the industry's losses, almost three times less than originally projected. The MPAA blamed the inflated number on "human error," but did not elaborate. Woof!

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HeartBurnKid

I doubt anything big is going to come from AT&T's musings about filtering content. The instant they start filtering what goes through their pipes, they lose "common carrier" status and open themselves up for liability, not only for contributory infringement from whatever files get through their net, but for every hysterical mother who catches her child looking at porn, every schmoe who gets scammed out of thousands in a 419 scheme, every molester who uses the net to hook up with underage kids, etc. It would be a monumental act of stupidity, and frankly, it'd be legal suicide.

IANAL, though, so I don't know if there are any loopholes in common carrier status that they could exploit -- or if they could simply lobby (read:bribe) Washington to create some.

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Darth Ninja

AT&T hasn't thought out their cunning plan at all: they copied it, remember this years earlier Concast (AKA. Comcast) fiasco? Comcast spoofing packets... See "creative spoof" as linked above...

Soon AT&T'll be kicking users who use there service...

Comcast: It's Comcastic!
Concast: It's Craptastic!

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Shalbatana

Not to spoil the trend, but I'd like to comment on the actual news stories:

So the bottom line is IBM is saying "don't care what the courts say, we're not paying you one way or the other".

Since they had to bend and pay overtime, they're going to make up for that money going out by regular salary cuts.

I could understand if and only if they have previously held the un-official stance of, "we'll pay you more than you're worth, but you should expect to work a little extra."

I've been in places like that and it inspires loyalty. Then I could understand pay cuts to shell out OT. But somehow this doesn't seem like that kind of a situation.

===

As for MPAA, they're becoming a little too much "the sky is falling" lately. Especially if they can't adhere to copyright regs themselves.

There's no time like the future.

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Insula Gilliganis

%20%20 were also added to the "statistically bad rap" link.. the link should be http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/movie-industry-admits-it-overstated-piracy-on-campus/

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nmanguy

You accidentally put a space in the link to the creative spoof. It's between bandw and ith.

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Paul_Lilly

Link fixed. ;)

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codepath

Actually there are two encoded spaces (%20%20). All the encoding in the world won't help if the actual target page does not have any spaces.

codepath

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