Netflix Doubles Down on European Gambit
Today in international tech news: Netflix vows to increase its European expansion, malware shuts down Iranian oil facilities and government websites, a Chinese company challenges Apple on its use of the name "iPad," Giga OM looks at the roots of the recent YouTube/Germany dispute, and some 38,000 entrants in the London Marathon had their information published publicly.
04/24/12 8:30 AM PT
Earnings report be damned, Netflix has vowed to grow its European operations in the fourth quarter of this year.
On the same day that it revealed a quarterly loss of US$5 million, Netflix said that it would press on with its expansion efforts in an attempt to bolster revenue.
In its first quarter earnings report, issued Monday, Netflix said:
Given our expected return to global profitability in Q2, and how well we've been received in the UK, we've decided to open an additional attractive European market in Q4 of this year. Assuming continued success, and additional markets we can enter with confidence, we expect to roughly match the roll-out of new markets to global profitability for the foreseeable future.
While declining to disclose the number of subscribers in the UK and Ireland, Netflix did say that number surpassed the total of subscribers it gained in Canada during the same timeframe.
A malware attack reportedly forced Iran to disconnect key oil facilities over the weekend.
The computer virus is believed to have hit the internal computer systems at Iran's oil ministry and its national oil company.
Equipment on the Kharg island and at other Iranian oil plants has been disconnected from the net as a precaution.
Oil production had not been affected by the attack, said the Mehr news agency.
The attack is thought to be the culprit for knocking the Iranian oil ministry and national oil company websites offline, according to the BBC. An oil ministry spokesperson said that, because of the attack, data about users of the sites had been stolen.
Use of "iPad" at issue in China
Chinese electronics firm Proview is contesting Apple's use of the name "iPad."
According to a Tuesday article from the Associated Press,
Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, told reporters in Beijing that the government regards Shenzhen Proview Technology as the rightful owner of the trademark for the popular tablet computers. His remarks could add to pressure on Apple to find a solution to the standoff ...
China has sought to showcase its determination to protect trademarks and other intellectual property, but with hundreds of thousands employed in the assembly of Apple's iPhones and iPads is unlikely to want to disrupt the company's production and marketing in China.
Apple acquired the international rights to "iPad," but Proview claims that acquisition doesn't cover mainland China.
The BBC quotes a Proview official who predicts that the case will be settled out of court.
Giga OM Dives Into YouTube Spat
Giga OM, an online network of tech outlets, ran an article Tuesday looking at the backstory behind the recent ruling against YouTube in Germany.
Last Friday a German court, hearing a case brought by GEMA, a German group that represents musicians and songwriters, ruled that YouTube was liable for copyrighted content uploaded to the site.
The case, according to Giga OM, was years in the making:
In 2010, GEMA and YouTube were trying to negotiate how much YouTube should pay in royalties for the copyrighted music videos on the platform. YouTube was willing to cough up 10.25 percent of the net ad revenue it generated in Germany, which GEMA would then (mostly) redistribute to the artists.
However, GEMA also wanted a whopping 12 euro cents (16 US cents) per stream. Google said no, GEMA sued, the negotiations were abandoned and, as a result, most major-label videos have been blocked on YouTube Germany for the last two years ...
But now here comes the weird bit: The court also wants YouTube to use its own Content ID system to flag up videos that are copies of copyrighted material, whether or not rightsholders have complained.
The German court ruled that users who upload videos could also face a fine of up to euros 250,000 ($330,000).
London Marathon Leaks Data
The home and email addresses of nearly 40,000 London Marathon entrants had inadvertently been published on the organizers' website, the BBC reported Monday.
According to the BBC,
A number of high-profile celebrities and politicians were among those who had their personal details made public in the data protection breach.
The details were accessible all day to anybody logging on to the site.
The BBC also reported that an investigation would be launched by the Information Commissioner to check compliance with the Data Protection Act.
According to the Data Protection Act, breaches can, depending on circumstances, be considered a civil or criminal offense.