Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How to Overcome Fear of Challenges and Obstacles Your Business Will Ultimately Face | Evolvor Media

Running a small business is one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can make, but it’s also one of the most challenging. Every small business, regardless of the industry it operates in, is always faced with obstacles along the way.

Great entrepreneurs are those who are ready to face these obstacles head on and learn from them. It’s best to be prepared and have a system in place that will guide a business during difficult times because difficult times are bound to come at some point.

Competitors

Small businesses are always pressured by competitors to offer new services, new products and to provide a better customer experience. It’s imperative to remain relevant on the market and to find ways not only to retain existing customers, but to gain new ones wherever it’s possible.

This is a process that starts with understanding the competition and investigating its resources and its way of doing business. The most fruitful information in this regard comes from the customers themselves. A successful business is always on the lookout as to the concerns of the competitors’ customer base.

An important part of outlasting the competition is a comprehensive marketing strategy. There are countless ways of approaching it, but for a small business, it’s best to focus on the customer service aspect, because that’s where most of the users come into contact with a company.

Customer service is the most sensitive part of the marketing efforts and it needs to be handled by  personnel that’s able to present the best features of a company. It’s also important for a small business to embrace developing technologies in this area and use that in order to approach the customers on all channels available.

There’s no way to avoid dealing with an increasing number of talented competitors because that’s the nature of any business, but there are ways to deal with them head-on.

Financial management

A lot of the time, businesses are created by entrepreneurs with strong and complex visions, which have an idea for a company or a product in general and overarching terms. This is a rare talent to have, but it has very little to do with running a business on a day to day basis and especially with figuring out how the financial aspect is handled. That’s why a small business needs to hire professionals to handle these challenges as soon as they emerge.

A big part of running the finances of a small business is handling the tax accounting behind it. It’s probably an area in which most money can be saved just by hiring a professional to handle it and to provide useful feedback based on past experiences. It’s best to use the accounting services of somebody who is specialized in the industry that the business is operating in. An attorney familiar with hospitality accounting could help a hotel more than any general purpose accountant ever could.

Besides taxes, financial managers also need to create a business practice that allows the company to take out a loan or establish a credit line with ease. A small business needs to be able to grow and expand its services in order to accommodate the market and for this, it needs to be able to borrow money at lowest possible rates.

Employees

It’s often said that a company is only as good as its employees and there’s no truer cliché about running a business. The employees, however, are also a constant source of worry for the management as well. Small businesses often experience a rather large turnover because employees are leaving in order to expand their own careers and move up, which is an opportunity a small business can’t always offer.

In order to avoid high turn-over rates and to help create a sense of loyalty among the employees, a small business needs to foster a working environment and a corporate culture that will mean more than high salaries and big bonuses. That means that every employee needs to feel appreciated and respected within the company.

First of all, employees should have a clear career path set out for them. That way, everyone knows that there’s room to grow and learn on the job. It also creates a less stressful working environment because there’s no place for animosity between the employees competing for a promotion.

Also, small perks, such as longer vacation time, remote work and even a better parking spot and better office snacks could mean a lot for an employee and their relationship with the company. This is something that should be fostered, especially if a company can’t afford bonuses and raises.

Every company faces a lot of challenges along the way. The key is to deal with them in a comprehensive manner and with long-term goals in mind.

 

 

The post How to Overcome Fear of Challenges and Obstacles Your Business Will Ultimately Face appeared first on Digital Media News & Training.

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Launching A Start-Up? Here’s a Few Steps to Spread the Word | Evolvor Media

As thrilling and exhilarating as it may be, starting a business requires plenty of planning and careful consideration, often demanding moths of brainstorming and meticulous preparation before you can even think of venturing into the competitive arena. And while no success story ever publicly started with “and then we made a cool business plan”, careful strategizing is the base of every successful business. With that in mind, here is your essential guide to startup marketing.

startup marketing

Flat designt business startup launch concept with rocket icon

Choosing a market

Every marketing strategy starts with choosing the appropriate demographic for your business according to your mission, vision, and brand values. The audience you opt to engage with will define the future of your company, and rather than thinking that a “spray and pray” approach is best, try focusing on narrowing down your demographic profile.

This means having a concrete age group, assessing their spending and lifestyle habits, and figuring out the things that make them tick in order to tailor the right message that will resonate with their hearts and minds.

Defining your digital marketing strategy

Should you start a website, should you run your business on social media, should you open up a blog page, should you share your content around the web? Yes. Yes to all, and more. Your digital marketing strategy needs to encompass all online media and platforms relevant to your industry and niche.

Start by defining your long-term marketing goals, and work your way backwards to define the tactics and short-term solutions that will get your there. Be sure to figure out how your audience consumes content so that you can tailor your approach.

Incorporating word-of-mouth and offline marketing

In the digital world, many companies overemphasize online marketing without properly addressing offline tactics and word of mouth. You want to create an all-encompassing approach by targeting your audience online, but also offline by giving out cool promotional items such as branded USBs, cups, pens, flyers, and more. This will spark community engagement and spread the word about your brand in the local market.

Staying on top of relevant SEO metrics

The success of your online marketing efforts directly depends on search engine optimization and how you incorporate various SEO features into your website, social media, ads, and online content. However, SEO is not something you want to take on alone, so it’s best if you hire a professional digital marketing team that’s going to implement the best practices and get you the ROI you deserve.

What’s more, you want to make sure you always stay on top of all relevant SEO metrics, as these variables are going to give you the inside scoop on how your brand is really performing in the online arena, and in the hearts and minds of your audience. Using this information, you can restructure your marketing approach to reach new goals in terms of website traffic and conversions.

Focusing on creating killer content

In the digital realm, content truly is king. You want to focus on creating killer content on a regular basis, whether it’s blog posts, videos, infographics, pictures or podcasts that will spike conversation, motivate people to share and like your stories, and ultimately, drive traffic to your website. Make sure every piece of content is optimized so that Google displays it proudly at the top of the first results page.

Launching your first business venture takes plenty of time and preparation, and coming up with a great marketing strategy should be one of your priorities. Be sure to take this essential guide to heart and implement it into your business plan in order to ensure long-term success in the business world.

 

The post Launching A Start-Up? Here’s a Few Steps to Spread the Word appeared first on Digital Media News & Training.

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Spotify: We persuaded Universal not to go Premium-only with Shawn Mendes record | Music Business Worldwide

Illuminate by Shawn Mendes was one of the most prominent pop albums of 2016, hitting No.1 in the US and Canada and going Platinum in multiple territories.

Yet, according to Spotify’s Troy Carter, the record’s path to market could have been very different.

Carter, Spotify’s global head of creator services, was speaking earlier today (April 24) at a press conference in New York, where he helped unveil the platform’s all-new free tier.

Spotify’s ad-supported update, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks, offers more on-demand elements for users across 15 playlists, in addition to data-saving benefits.

It also places personalised playlists front and centre in the ‘free’ mobile app.

“When we showed Shawn’s label how many of his young fans were actually on the free tier, they quickly changed their minds.”

Troy Carter, Spotify

Carter made comparisons between Spotify’s free tier and radio networks, suggesting that “our ad-supported service functions like the biggest radio station in the history of the world”, and that “from a revenue perspective, Spotify’s ad-supported tier is much better for artists and labels than terrestrial radio in many markets”.

The exec also reiterated the global reach of Spotify’s ad-funded tier, which at the close of 2017 stood at 90m people. (The Spotify Premium service, meanwhile, counted 71m subscribers at the same point in time.)

And then, Carter re-wound the clock to tell a previously untold tale – one which remains rather prescient when it comes to the record business of 2018.


He revealed: “About a year [and a half] ago, Shawn’s label came to us about this album, Illuminate, which he was about to release. But they only wanted it on the Spotify Premium service.

“Of course, we were super-excited to have Shawn’s label come to us with this album – he’s an incredible artist, and we knew the fans on Spotify Premium were going to love this new record. But we also knew he had to be on both Premium and free if the goal was to reach that broader audience.”

Added Carter: “When we showed Shawn’s label how many of his young fans were actually on the free tier, they quickly changed their minds. They decided to bring the album to the whole Spotify audience, so that all of Shawn’s [core] fans and the millions of other fans Shawn would not be able to reach on Spotify Premium alone [could hear it].

“I think we’ll see stories like this happen more and more often with this new upgrade to Spotify.”

“I think we’ll see stories like this happen more and more often with this new upgrade to Spotify.”

The release of Illuminate arrived in September 2016 via Island Records/Universal – that’s the “record company” Carter is referring to.

Universal, of course, announced in April last year that it had officially won the right to ‘window’ artist albums on Spotify Premium for two weeks after release, should it ever decide to do so.

To date, it hasn’t – with the exception of a live release from Rammstein, PARIS, released in May last year.


In fact, only one other artist since then – the Broken Bow/BMG-signed Jason Aldean – has taken advantage of their right to ‘window’ an album on Spotify Premium.

Aldean’s latest LP, Rearview Town, was kept off ad-funded streaming services – including Spotify’s – when it was released on April 13.

It has since gone to No.1 on the US albums chart with 183,000 album-equivalent first-week sales, according to Billboard.

(Island Records, meanwhile, is going through a leadership change: long-term chief David Massey is reportedly off to launch a JV with Sony, while UK boss Darcus Beese is rumored to be taking his place.)

“71% of our monthly active users are under the age of 34.”

Said Carter today: “The changes we’re announcing today are great for creators. [They] will grow our free tier way past the 90m-plus music fans who are already there – and that’s already a massive audience.”

He added: “Millennials, ‘Gen Z-ers’, they make up a huge part of our fanbase; in fact, 71% of our monthly active users are under the age of 34.

“This makes our free product that much more important for artists. I don’t know about you guys, but I would have been all over free as a kid.

“Let’s be honest, there are millions of music fans who simply can’t afford to pay $9.99 a month. But that doesn’t mean they’re not music fans, and it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a way to enjoy their favourite [acts].

“Artists can’t afford to ignore that audience.”Music Business Worldwide

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Troy Carter on ‘free’ Spotify, taking on radio and the future of streaming | Music Business Worldwide

It’s a big day for Spotify.

The streaming platform unveiled a major upgrade to its mobile free tier earlier today at a press conference (April 24) in New York.

Over the next few weeks, more on-demand elements will be rolled out for ad-supported users – including the ability to select individual tracks in up to 15 different playlists such as Discover Weekly, Rap Caviar and Today’s Top Hits.

That’s in addition to data-saving benefits, increased personalization and other perks.

Spotify underpinned today’s news with one over-riding key message: with a more generous free tier, we can pinch more of radio’s audience, and then convert them into paying customers.

Some may question, of course, whether giving away more stuff to free users may actually lead to fewer people successfully being up-sold to Spotify Premium.

Troy Carter has no such concerns.

He’s certain – and says Spotify has a “ton of R&D and data” to prove it – that a better ad-funded experience will result in good times for the record industry ahead.

Following his newsworthy appearance at today’s Spotify press conference, MBW sat down with Carter, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services, for a wide-ranging interview.

We cover topics such as artist royalties, treatment of independent labels, YouTube, windowing and, naturally enough, the balance of free vs. paid…


You said in your presentation that kids who can’t afford $9.99-a-month will now be able to play songs on-demand via Spotify on mobile. Why is that a good thing for the industry?

People who can’t afford $9.99 a month have always been able to play songs on-demand – it’s called piracy!

As an industry we can’t be naive and think that Premium is the only option. There are a lot of options out there for [free] music right now, and we’ve seen where those options take us.

Being able to monetize users through a free experience on Spotify, via ads, is very important.

Also, to bring them all within the same ecosystem; as you’re marketing to fans, you’re selling tickets, you’re selling merchandise. Being able to reach them and know where they are is very important.

“People who can’t afford $9.99 a month have always been able to play songs on-demand – it’s called piracy!”

Where they ‘lived’ previously – the other [free] options – I think as the music industry, we don’t want to see it go back there.

When you look at our numbers, 60% of Premium users were once free users. When you look at the format of streaming, it’s still new to a lot of people. It’s not something where everybody is going to come in, put their credit card down and pay for right away.

We’re seeing a lot of people making that conversion – a lot of people don’t want ads. But for people who won’t convert, and it’s obvious not everyone in the world is going to have a Premium subscription, we see how big the size of the audio ad market is globally.

In the US alone, I think the last [annual] number alone [for audio ads] is around $16bn.


Lyor Cohen recently said that YouTube would be trying to ‘frustrate’ free users on its new service in order to push them to upgrade to Premium. Is that not a strategy you concur with?

I can’t speak on behalf of YouTube and their strategy, but based off our announcement today, people seeing the product, we’re moving in the opposite direction.

It’s not good for any company to make the user experience worse!

We want our users to be satisfied and delighted, and if they want to upgrade to a better version, we’ll give them the ability and the incentive to do that.


How far along are you in your mission to explain to the artist community that this is a new world in terms of their royalties – that they’re getting paid forever rather than in one hit?

At the beginning, people were stuck on the old model of selling CDs; this idea of an album costing $10 or $14.99 or whatever.

Then we saw iTunes come and unbundle [the album], and decide it would be $1.29 for a single track. And there was pushback around that.

Then streaming came along, and it was a per-stream rate, and people looked at that and tried to make a comparison to old album prices. It’s a different model, and it’s a different day.

[Tony] Sal, who manages The Weeknd, was one of my first meetings when I came to Spotify. I sat with him a couple of times, then he called me back one day and said: “I get it. The fact that we get paid for the life of this record is phenomenal. Forget us just getting paid one time off the sale – now we get paid so long as people are streaming.”

I’m a Stevie Wonder fan; I’ve been listening to Songs In The Key Of Life since my late teens, early ’20s. I think I burned a hole in that record.

Now Stevie is able to monetize every time I listen, and every time people who have history with that record listen; you can start looking at the business in a different way.


Is there still a lot of misunderstanding over the topic of royalties in the artist community?

I think it’s amongst a minority. It might be a loud minority at times – a Spotify headline makes for a good headline!

The reality is we’ve paid out over €8bn to [artists and labels] to date. That’s significant.

The [IFPI] numbers came out today [reflecting] Spotify’s contribution to the music industry, and when you look at the overall streaming contribution, it’s huge.

But all artist deals are different. Depending on what your deal is with your record label or distributor, it’s going to determine what your payout is going to be.

It’s an old myth that Spotify doesn’t pay.


We’ve just seen Jason Aldean ‘window’ to Premium-only, but he’s a really rare case. How much demand are you seeing amongst labels and artists to take advantage of windowing, and how much persuading are you having to do in defence of the free tier?

It’s funny. When I came into Spotify, one of the biggest requests from labels was wanting to window albums on Premium-only.

We talked internally and Daniel [Ek] basically said he wasn’t religious about windowing albums. If we wanted to offer that up, it wouldn’t be a problem.

We basically opened the doors and told people: ‘You know what? If you want to do a two-week Premium-only window, we’ll allow you to do it.’

“We basically opened the doors and told people: ‘You know what? if you want to do a two-week Premium-only window, we’ll allow you to do it.'”

I can probably count on one hand the amount that have actually done it. We’ve had these conversations, and we show people the data of how many of their fans are on the free tier, or how many fans they’re able to reach and hopefully convert to their own fans.

If you’re looking for a No.1 album, you want a certain amount of streams. If you’re looking to reach a certain demographic, you want your album on the free tier.

Labels, artists and managers have been really smart in the way they’ve approached it. They understand the value.


A stat that’s caused some debate of late is the idea that 20,000 tracks are added to Spotify every day, as mentioned at your Investor Day. Is it an impossible mission to ensure the best artists from that amount – seven million a year – get ‘picked’ by Spotify for advancement and recommendation?

That’s a lot of songs, right? You can’t expect them all to be great. And the reality is, even prior to Spotify, you’ve got aggregators where people distributed a lot of music.

It was the same thing, maybe not quite at that volume, when you looked at iTunes – a certian amount of tunes will get to the top. It’s the law of averages that weigh out, at the end of the day.

In some cases, the cream naturally rises to the top.

“as an industry, we have to collectively convert the songs that do well into superstar artists.”

But also our editors, who are real music lovers, who thrive on discovery – they’re on blogs, they follow tastemakers, they’re out at clubs – are always looking for what’s next.

When you can couple that with our algorithms, which are scraping for things that are starting to bubble, that’s where we’ve been really good.

Discover Weekly has been a powerful tool in discovering new artists, as has Fresh Finds; all of the data shows us that people are finding more artists to listen to and are engaged with more artists now. We know it’s working.

Yet as an industry, we have to convert the songs that do well into superstar artists; really do a collective job of developing these acts where it’s not just about the songs, but about our collective contribution of building the next generation of superstars.

That’s more my concern than the 20,000 [tracks uploaded each day].


What’s Spotify’s role in turning a hit song into a superstar artist?

It’s a few things. One, we’ve been making a commitment to putting video in playlists.

That additional context – whether artist interviews, behind the scenes, different types of shows – is important.

We also did over 300 Fans First events last year, taking a group of super-fans and introducing them to artists that they follow and are starting to fall in love with. It’s building that connection.

There are a lot of things we’ve already started doing and there are a lot of things we’re thinking about.


I’ve heard some complaints from the independent label community that the majors seem to be able to get tracks on big playlists during release week – but The indies say they more typically have to release a track and prove it’s successful before they get a look-in. Is the playing field unfair?

I think that’s a broad statement. The indie labels have done extremely well on Spotify, and all of the data shows that, [both] in terms of their market share growth, and a lot of personal anecdotes from the indie label community on how well they are doing.

I’ve also watched artists who uploaded their stuff to SoundCloud, it started to do well, and our editors [convince them] to put it in [playlists] when these artists weren’t even signed anywhere on any aggregation service.

If you look at radio, our track record is a lot [more favourable to indies]. It’s hard to get indie artists on radio, or [prioritized within] physical retail for that matter. It’s a development process.

“If you look across 45,000 of [Spotify’s] owned and operated playlists, it’s hard to say that the indie community doesn’t have proper representation.”

If you look across 45,000 of [Spotify’s] owned and operated playlists, it’s hard to say that the indie community doesn’t have proper representation.

And by the way, I get the same complaint from major labels if some of their bigger acts don’t go into Today’s Top Hits or Rap Caviar with their new singles!

We may say to them, ‘Hey, it needs to build in the smaller playlists and get familiarity before we give it to a flagship.’


The IFPI revealed today that the global recorded music business in 2017 turned over $17.3bn. How much growth do you think there’s left in the industry?

Overall, the industry is much bigger than people anticipated at the beginning of the streaming era. Especially coming out of the piracy era.

When you see China in the Top 10 [markets] for the first time, plus the [fact] the industry’s going to see Subsaharan Africa and India [grow revenue] – as well as explosive growth in Latin America right now.

Then when you look at devices providing voice [activation]… music can still become a lot more ubiquitous, and with voice devices we’re going to see a lot more usage in places where there previously may not have been.

I’m bullish about where the overall music industry could potentially go; advertising could follow all of that as well. I’m excited.


Some people think the recorded music industry could double – doesn’t that seem a bit lofty?

My answer here isn’t specific to Spotify – I don’t want to sound forward-leaning. [Spotify is in a fiscal quiet period ahead of its upcoming Q1 earnings.]

But in terms of the overall music industry, even counting the CD heydey, I don’t think we’ve seen its best days yet.


What needs to happen to give the industry the best chance of that growth?

Global expansion is very important: being able to grow in markets like China… China is engaged in building out a healthy music business, and that’s a huge opportunity.

If you can do more of that in places like Africa, where you have this growing youth population; there are going to be a lot more mobile devices than there ever were CD players.

I really don’t think the music industry has seen anywhere close to its best days yet.Music Business Worldwide

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Certain Songs #1195: The Monkees – “Daydream Believer” | Medialoper

Album: The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees
Year: 1968

One of the many ironies about The Monkees was that their least photogenic guy was their best singer by miles, which kinda undercut the “American Beatles” vibe they were going for, as manifested by the casting of an actual Brit, David Jones, as “the cute one,” Davy.

There was another David Jones on the British rock scene in the mid-1960s, but the story has always been that to avoid any kind of confusion between the two David Joneses — though there wasn’t ever any confusion a decade later between Mick Jones of The Clash & Mick Jones of Foreigner — he changed his last name to “Bowie,” which led me to wonder: forget Stephen Stills, what would The Monkees as both a TV show and a band been like had the other David Jones tried out?

I mean, while he wasn’t quite as conventionally cute as Davy Jones, Bowie was no doubt dripping with charisma even back then, and his love of artifice might have made him as much of a fit as Jones was. No doubt he would have been fine with the “falling in love” sparkle eye effect — the precursor to the “heart eyes” emoji — that they used on Jones whenever he saw a gear bird.

Hell, the TV show was cancelled early enough that Bowie still could have written and released “Space Oddity,” in 1969 and gone on to have the rest of his career while the other David Jones continued on with his theatrical career. And while its hard to imagine Head being even weirder than it actually was, with Bowie on board, it no doubt would have been, because David Bowie.

What I can totally imagine, though, is David Bowie singing “Daydream Believer.” And now, so can you. Listen hard enough, and you can totally hear him on the the utterly pop-tastic chorus.

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Written by former Kingston Trio member and future California soft rocker, John Stewart, “Daydream Believer” was — like most of the songs Jones sang on — more traditionally pop than the rest of the Monkees singles. Suffused with horns and strings and a pretty piano riff that may or may not have been played by Peter Tork, “Daydream Believer” lived and died on its chorus.

And the chorus lived and died on the tiny pause that Jones takes just before he sings “daydream believer.” With his voice rising on “to a“, and landing hard on “daydream”, it’s one of those pauses that lasts for just a second — or even less — and yet somehow contains entire universes of beauty and meaning, taking “Daydream Believer” out of realm of cheesy manufactured pop song and makes it something mysterious and maybe even profound.

At the very least, that moment helped make “Daydream Believer” the final #1 U.S. single — to date! — for The Monkees and, at the very least, an indicator that they got the right David Jones all along.

“Daydream Believer”

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Epic Responds to Cheating Fortnite Kid’s Mom in Court | TorrentFreak

Last fall, Epic Games released Fortnite’s free-to-play “Battle Royale” game mode, generating massive interest among gamers.

This also included thousands of cheaters, many of whom were subsequently banned. Epic Games then went a step further by taking several cheaters to court for copyright infringement.

One of the alleged cheaters turned out to be a minor, who’s referred to by his initials C.R. in the Carolina District Court. Epic Games wasn’t aware of this when it filed the lawsuit, but the kid’s mother let the company know, loud and clear.

“This company is in the process of attempting to sue a 14-year-old child,” the mother informed the Court last fall.

Among other defenses, the mother highlighted that the EULA, which the game publisher relies heavily upon in the complaint, isn’t legally binding. The EULA states that minors require permission from a parent or legal guardian, which was not the case here.

“Please note parental consent was not issued to [my son] to play this free game produced by Epic Games, INC,” the mother wrote in her letter.

After this letter, things went quiet. Epic managed to locate and serve the defendant with help from a private investigator, but no official response to the complaint was filed. This eventually prompted Epic to request an entry of default.

However, US District Court Malcolm Howard wouldn’t allow Epic to cruise to a win that easily. Instead, he ruled that the mother’s letter should be seen as a motion to dismiss the case.

“While it is true that defendant has not responded since proper service was effectuated, the letter from defendant’s mother detailing why this matter should be dismissed cannot be ignored,” Judge Howard wrote earlier this month.

As a result, Epic Games had to reply to the letter, which it did yesterday. In a redacted motion the game publisher argues that most of the mother’s arguments failed to state a claim and are therefore irrelevant.

Epic argues that the only issue that remains is the lack of parental consent when C.R. agreed to the EULA and the Terms. The mother argued that these are not valid agreements because her son is a minor, but Epic disagrees.

“This ‘infancy defense’ is not available to C.R,” Epic writes, pointing to jurisprudence where another court ruled that a minor can’t use the infancy defense to void contractual obligations while keeping the benefits of the same contract.

“C.R. affirmatively agreed to abide by Epic’s Terms and EULA, and ‘retained the benefits’ of the contracts he entered into with Epic. Accordingly, C.R. should not be able to ‘use the infancy defense to void [his] contractual obligations by retaining the benefits of the contract[s]’.”

Epic further argues that it’s clear that the cheater infringed on Epic’s copyrights and facilitated others to do the same. As such, the company asks the Court to deny the mother’s motion to dismiss.

If the Court agrees, Epic can request an entry of default. It did the same in a related case against another minor defendant earlier, which was granted by the Court late last week.

If that happens, the underage defendants risk a default judgment. This is likely to include a claim for monetary damages as well as an injunction prohibiting the minors from any copyright infringement or cheating in the future.

A copy of Epic Games’ redacted reply is available here (pdf).

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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MPAA Chief Says Fighting Piracy Remains “Top Priority” | TorrentFreak

After several high-profile years at the helm of the movie industry’s most powerful lobbying group, last year saw the departure of Chris Dodd from the role of Chairman and CEO at the MPAA.

The former Senator, who earned more than $3.5m a year championing the causes of the major Hollywood studios since 2011, was immediately replaced by another political heavyweight.

Charles Rivkin, who took up his new role September 5, 2017, previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs in the Obama administration. With an underperforming domestic box office year behind him fortunately overshadowed by massive successes globally, this week he spoke before US movie exhibitors for the first time at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

“Globally, we hit a record high of $40.6 billion at the box office. Domestically, our $11.1 billion box office was slightly down from the 2016 record. But it exactly matched the previous high from 2015. And it was the second highest total in the past decade,” Rivkin said.

“But it exactly matched the previous high from 2015. And it was the second highest total in the past decade.”

Rivkin, who spent time as President and CEO of The Jim Henson Company, told those in attendance that he shares a deep passion for the movie industry and looks forward optimistically to the future, a future in which content is secured from those who intend on sharing it for free.

“Making sure our creative works are valued and protected is one of the most important things we can do to keep that industry heartbeat strong. At the Henson Company, and WildBrain, I learned just how much intellectual property affects everyone. Our entire business model depended on our ability to license Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the Muppets and distribute them across the globe,” Rivkin said.

“I understand, on a visceral level, how important copyright is to any creative business and in particular our country’s small and medium enterprises – which are the backbone of the American economy. As Chairman and CEO of the MPAA, I guarantee you that fighting piracy in all forms remains our top priority.”

That tackling piracy is high on the MPAA’s agenda won’t comes as a surprise but at least in terms of the numbers of headlines plastered over the media, high-profile anti-piracy action has been somewhat lacking in recent years.

With lawsuits against torrent sites seemingly a thing of the past and a faltering Megaupload case that will conclude who-knows-when, the MPAA has taken a broader view, seeking partnerships with sometimes rival content creators and distributors, each with a shared desire to curtail illicit media.

“One of the ways that we’re already doing that is through the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment – or ACE as we call it,” Rivkin said.

“This is a coalition of 30 leading global content creators, including the MPAA’s six member studios as well as Netflix, and Amazon. We work together as a powerful team to ensure our stories are seen as they were intended to be, and that their creators are rewarded for their hard work.”

Announced in June 2017, ACE has become a united anti-piracy powerhouse for a huge range of entertainment industry groups, encompassing the likes of CBS, HBO, BBC, Sky, Bell Canada, CBS, Hulu, Lionsgate, Foxtel and Village Roadshow, to name a few.

The coalition was announced by former MPAA Chief Chris Dodd and now, with serious financial input from all companies involved, appears to be picking its fights carefully, focusing on the growing problem of streaming piracy centered around misuse of Kodi and similar platforms.

From threatening relatively small-time producers and distributors of third-party addons and builds (1,2,3), ACE is also attempting to make its mark among the profiteers.

The group now has several lawsuits underway in the United States against people selling piracy-enabled IPTV boxes including Tickbox, Dragon Box, and during the last week, Set TV.

With these important cases pending, Rivkin offered assurances that his organization remains committed to anti-piracy enforcement and he thanked exhibitors for their efforts to prevent people quickly running away with copies of the latest releases.

“I am grateful to all of you for recognizing what is at stake, and for working with us to protect creativity, such as fighting the use of illegal camcorders in theaters,” he said.

“Protecting our creativity isn’t only a fundamental right. It’s an economic necessity, for us and all creative economies. Film and television are among the most valuable – and most impactful – exports we have.

Thus far at least, Rivkin has a noticeably less aggressive tone on piracy than his predecessor Chris Dodd but it’s unlikely that will be mistaken for weakness among pirates, nor should it. The MPAA isn’t known for going soft on pirates and it certainly won’t be changing course anytime soon.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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