Europe

Maija Palmer

Facebook logoWhen Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s chief security officer, and Elliot Schrage, the company’s head of public policy,  flew to Washington DC on Monday for a grueling four-hour “showdown” meeting with a senior UK child protection official, the company wanted to send a strong signal that it was ready to listen and act on local concerns.

Facebook is desperate to draw a line under an escalating controversy in the UK over child safety. Always a target for scare stories over everything from spreading venereal disease to teenage depression, Facebook has recently come under scrutiny following the conviction of Peter Chapman, a serial rapist who used Facebook to meet a 17-year-old girl, who he went on to rape and murder. Read more

Maija Palmer

copyrightIt is another change of tactics in a war that has been going on for 50 years. This week, consumer electronics companies led by Apple, HP, Sony, Panasonic and Research In Motion, broke off the latest round of talks to reform the Europe’s convoluted system of private copy levies.

The copy levies are surcharges placed on devices such as MP3 players and printers by 22 European countries, to compensate writers, artists, and musicians for small amounts of personal copying of their material. It is not to be confused with illegal filesharing; the copy levies are intended to cover handfuls of copies in the private sphere, which many countries allow. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Tech entrepreneurs are fleeing from social networks and advertising revenue streams and moving into business applications, according to Seedcamp, the start-up investor that holds its annual event in London later this month.

Seedcamp – which was founded by Index Ventures’ Saul Klein and Reshma Sohoni, formerly of 3i – has seen advertising-based business models drop from 30 per cent to 10 per cent of the 1,500 entries to its Pop Idol-style investment contest since 2007.

By contrast, marketplaces that take a fee or percentage of transactions have risen by more than 60 per cent in the last three years, while “freemium” businesses have more than doubled. Productivity and business applications have increased 90 per cent while online games have “skyrocketed”, said Ms Sohoni. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

A who’s who of European technology entrepreneurs will be providing guidance and mentoring to a new generation of start-ups at this year’s Seedcamp. Founded by Saul Klein of Index Ventures and run by Reshma Sohoni, formerly of 3i and Softbank Capital, Seedcamp aims to build and support a community of European tech entrepreneurs, culminating in its main event in London this September.

The best-known entrepreneurs on this year’s advisor list are Niklas Zennstrom, founder of Skype, the internet telephony service, and more recently Joost, a web video provider; and Brent Hoberman of travel site Lastminute.com and, latterly, Mydeco, an online furniture retailer. Read more