The UpStream

Google Book Deal Doesn't Do It By the Book

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Google Book Deal Doesn't Do It By the Book

For those of you not familiar with this situation, Google has been trying to work a deal with authors and publishers that would let them create a gigantic online library. That sounds like a good idea but Google is finding there is a lot of red tape surrounding this. Back in 2005 many authors and publishers accused Google of copyright infringement because they scanned many libraries full of books. The big issue the government is concerned with is whether this is violating anti-trust laws. The investigation is still ongoing but Google released a statement saying:

The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers said the Department of Justice filing 'recognizes the value the settlement can provide by unlocking access to millions of books' in the United States... We are considering the points raised by the Department and look forward to addressing them as the court proceedings continue.

Blockbuster Goes Belly Up, Closing 900+ Stores

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Blockbuster Goes Belly Up, Closing 900+ Stores

With competitors like Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster appears to have fallen behind this year. Blockbuster set out to close all of its unprofitable stores. Out of over 7,000 stores, a shocking 18% were proven unprofitable. Their plan was to "improve four-wall profitability," and in order to achieve this goal, these stores had to be closed.

Blockbuster intends to close up to 960 stores by the end of next year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. This is in an attempt to make the company more financially stable. Even before this information was discovered, Blockbuster was planning "normal closures," which included anywhere between 280-300 locations. Also, an expected 300 or so stores will be considered "accelerated closures."

Next year looks a lot less gloomy for this chain, expecting to close only 100-125 locations that will be normal closures, and 130-150 that will be accelerated closures, according to the company's SEC filing. But overall, between 810-960 stores will be closed by the end of 2010.

Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 for $399

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 for $399

Just as Microsoft announces a drop in price of the Xbox 360 Elite to $300, they come out with a new $400 Xbox, but this one is well worth the price! At the Modern Warfare 2 press event this week, the new Xbox 360 Modern Warfare edition was announced.

This package comes with much more than the original Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Elite. It includes the console, which is custom designed around Modern Warfare 2, with a 250-GB hard drive, two wireless controllers, a wired headset and a copy the game itself. This is the only Xbox with a HDD this big, and it is not sold separately. All this priced at only $399.99!

Sound good huh? Well, you can pick this new Xbox 360 up soon, seeing as it is already available for pre-order at retailers all over the world!

Musicians Want Money for Nothing

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Musicians Want Money for Nothing

There is a term in music called "public performance fee." That is the money that artists make when their music is played for a live audience. Advocacy groups, like RIAA, believe that there are several types of "public performances" that aren't currently being bought. The most prominent of these is the preview on iTunes.

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