Daily Archives: July 1, 2009

Richard Waters

Now that the first half of the year is over, it’s a good time for taking stock. These numbers pretty much tell the story of the tech financing markets:

Down 57 per cent.  The value of tech IPOs and M&A in the US in the first half of 2009, compared with the same period last year (figures from Dow Jones Venture Source.) At only $2.8bn, this is back at 2003 levels. The NVCA reckons that the amount that all venture-backed companies raised from “liquidity events” fell by 53 per cent, to just under $4bn. Read more >>

Joseph Menn

Microsoft, Yahoo and RealNetworks were hit this week with a copyright infringement suit filed on behalf of the composers of 950 songs offered by the companies through on-demand streaming or downloads that last only for the duration of a subscription.
While the amount of damages available under the law if the composers win is very large—as much as $150,000 per violation deemed to be “willful”—a more likely outcome is a settlement for less than the penny-per-play right recently established for streaming royalties.
The details of the case show why lawyers are among the precious few groups of people earning money in the music business these days. Read more >>

David Gelles

  • Mozilla released the latest version of its Firefox internet browser, warming up a battle between competing browsers that is dramatically increasing the speed with which web pages are viewed. The 3.5 version of the Firefox software was released to the public on Tuesday, with a capability of loading web pages more than twice as fast as its 3.0 predecessor, thanks to advances in JavaScript, the scripting language.
  • The Chinese government backed away from its Wednesday deadline for new computers sold in the country to come equipped with Green Dam/Youth escort, an internet filter ostensibly aimed at pornography sites that also blocks users from reaching some Web pages devoted to politically sensitive topics. While authorities said they would continue to move forward with the initiative, computer companies were encouraged and said strong domestic opposition and international pressure might shelve the harsh controls for good.

 Read more >>