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February 5, 2007

Culture, Adoption and Adaptation [10:46 am]

Internet Boom in China Is Built on Virtual Fun

“I think every Internet user likes personalization,” [Tencent's Pony] Ma said during an interview here. “In 2005 and 2006, we came up with a new strategy: ‘Online Lifestyle.’ ”

[...] Because few people in China have credit cards or trust the Internet for financial transactions, e-commerce is emerging slowly. But instant messaging and game-playing are major obsessions, now central to Chinese culture. So is social networking, a natural fit in a country full of young people without siblings. Tencent combines aspects of the social networking site MySpace, the video sharing site YouTube and the online virtual world of Second Life.

“They have what I call the largest virtual park in China,” said Richard Ji, an analyst at Morgan Stanley. “And in China, the No. 1 priority for Internet users is entertainment; in the U.S., it’s information. That’s why Google is dominant in the U.S., but Tencent rules China.”

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A Trademark Settlement [10:43 am]

Now just to get iPhone resolved: Apple and Beatles settle trademark squabble - pdf

In a statement, the companies said Apple Inc. would now own all the trademarks related to “Apple” and would license certain trademarks back to Apple Corps for continued use.

The trademark lawsuit between the companies will also end with each party bearing its own legal costs.

[...] The Beatles are high-profile holdouts from Internet music services such as iTunes, but it emerged during the trial that Apple Corps was preparing the band’s catalog to be sold online for the first time.

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Working New Distribution Methods [9:08 am]

Screening shows on other people’s sites - pdf

Fox Television Stations Inc. is signing up new affiliates for its news programs: bloggers.

The News Corp. group, which owns 35 TV stations across the country, struck a deal last week with Internet company Critical Mention Inc. to push video segments from its local news shows to blogs and other enthusiast websites.

[...] “The hallmarks of traditional media have been limited distribution and an emphasis on driving an audience to their own properties,” said Will Richmond, president of Broadband Directions, an Internet media consultancy. “Online syndication takes advantage of what the Internet does best — distribute traffic to millions of points. You’re talking about an unlimited number of distributors.”

[...] Traditional media companies are treading cautiously. Many are wary of giving up control of their properties to bloggers. Others don’t have the legal right to syndicate because of contracts that didn’t foresee such relationships. Additionally, systems aren’t fully formed for measuring video viewership across many sites, making it harder to sell the concept to advertisers.

“It may be a departure from what they’ve traditionally known,” said Carolyn Creekmore, senior director of media analytics with Nielsen/NetRatings. “On the other hand, the [Internet] space as a whole is getting a bit more comfortable.”

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