October 16, 2007
NEWS AT A GLANCE
YouTube outlines antipiracy plan
Google unveiled its long-awaited plan to fight the use of copyrighted media on YouTube. (MarketWatch) Google’s new video identification system compares copies of content provided by media companies with clips a user is uploading—for material flagged as copyrighted, the copyright holder can have YouTube block the upload or place ads on it. Media companies were cautiously receptive. But some are still suing Google. “It is too late in coming; it offers too little protection; it gives YouTube and Google content that they don’t need and shouldn’t have,” said Louis Solomon, a lawyer for England’s Football Association Premier League. (The New York Times, free registration required)
Oil on a tear
The price of oil hit a new high of almost $88 a barrel this morning, after yesterday’s record close of $86.13. The surge was attributed to concerns that Turkey will cross into Kurdish Iraq, disrupting oil supplies. (AP in Yahoo! Finance) The weak dollar and low U.S. heating oil supplies are fueling prices, too, says Tetsu Emori at Japan’s Astmax Futures Co. “It is difficult to find any bearish factors now.” (Reuters) Also weighing on stocks, shares of Ericcson shed 28 percent this morning after the Swedish telecom giant lowered its earnings forecasts due to a drop in mobile network sales. (The Wall Street Journal)
Pinkberry: the next Starbucks?
Maveron, a venture capital firm cofounded by Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz, bought a $27.5 million stake in Los Angeles-based frozen-dessert chain Pinkberry. The tangy yogurt-like dessert has become a sensation in L.A. and New York, with its 33 stores frequented by devotees and celebrities. (The New York Times, free registration required) Schultz and Pinkberry’s founders plan to take the brand global, like Schultz did with Starbucks. “My partner and I feel like we had a child together, and now we need another master for our child’s growth,” said Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee. (Los Angeles Times, free registration required)
Superheroes’ changing identities
Where Hollywood used to merely export its cartoon characters and superheroes with dubbed voices, it is now “transcreating” many characters for Asian markets. Transcreation involves tailoring a character designed for one market to the tastes of another culture. So in India, Peter Parker/Spider-Man becomes Pavitr Prabhakar, who got his powers from a yogi and fights crime in a loincloth. “There are very few things that work everywhere,” notes Orion Ross at Time Warner’s Turner Networks in Asia. “Places with strong national identities, like Japan and India, need adaptation and change.” (The Wall Street Journal)
of The Week magazine.