ITunes Tactics Examined By Department Of Justice

The Justice Department is examining Apple’s digital music story for any anti-trust violations. The discussions with major music labels and Internet music companies have revolved around the online music industry, particularly how Apple has pressured music labels into not giving exclusive music to rival

Certainly if the Justice Department is getting involved, it raises the possibility of potential serious problems down the road for Apple, said Daniel L. Brown, an antitrust lawyer at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton. Without knowing what acts or practices they are targeting, it’s difficult to say exactly how big a problem this is, but it s probably something Apple is already concerned about.

The FTC is running a separate investigation about Apple’s recently amended developer’s agreement.

Source: New York Times

Screenwriter Talks Taking The Gaming Source Material Seriously For Movies

Gaming properties have not had a good history being adapted into movies, with most being critically panned and many turning up disappointing box office results. David Hayter, having both worked on screenplays for movies like X-Men and Watchmen along with voicing Metal Gear Solid‘s hero Solid Snake, has a balanced perspective on the issue.

“For me the idea of whether or not to adapt a game into a movie is, is it an interesting enough world, is it a visual enough world and does it have characters that you want to follow without being in control of them,” he said. “If it’s a game I like and something I can see being a movie, then I think it should be turned into a movie. If it’s something that just has a certain amount of profit potential but they don’t get the right people to do it, [that’s when] you run into trouble.”

“The history has been less than stellar in the same way that comic book adaptations were less than stellar before we really did X-Men. The [Tim Burton] Batman movies were fine and Richard Donner’s Superman movies were amazing, but I think the reason the other comic book movies prior to 2000 were horrible was because the studios didn’t take the storytelling seriously, described Hayter. When we were adapting X-Men, the first X-Men, [the studio] kept saying, Why is it so serious? Why are these people so serious? It’s like, ‘Well . . . it’s life and death, and the world hates them and [everyone is] trying to kill them, so you’d be serious too. So I think there is a huge element of studio executives seeing the value and the numbers that the video games sell in but [they] don’t really appreciate how elevated that medium has become, and how far beyond studio movies video games have become.”

“If you don’t take the source material seriously, then you’re never going to adapt it well. And you’re certainly never going to adapt it to the standards of video game fans, who are pretty exacting and have come to expect a pretty serious product when they put down their money, he continued. “What it will take is a few truly great game adaptations to come in and make the kind of money that an Iron Man does or the X-Men movies did. And suddenly you will be getting better quality in terms of the writing and the directors that come on board these things. I just think there’s still a subtle prejudice with them that has to be gotten around.”

Perhaps if Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time does as well as Disney hopes, it’ll mark a major turning point for movie adaptations of games the way X-Men was for comic movies.


Sex In The City 2: 60 Second Summary

Sex in the City 2 will no doubt be a big draw when it releases in theaters, becoming a date movie guys “want” to go to whether they want to or not. For those who can’t wait to see the movie (and for those who will be forced to sit through it) here’s a clever and knowledgeable parody of the movie in 60 seconds.

Ninja For Hire: Stuff You Can’t Make Up

Craigslist has always been on the periphery of Internet culture, and the old tales that emerge out of there are being turned into a web series. Using posts from the Los Angeles area, Craigslist TV will see a new episode every Tuesday. Below is a taste of the Ninja for Hire episode.

Red Dead Redemption Comes To Fox

Showing a major crossover between TV content and machinima, Rockstar announced today that Fox will be airing a Red Dead Redemption show at Midnight Eastern on May 29. The short film was made in a virtual film studio and created using in-game assets and technology.

The 30 minute short film, created and directed by John Hillcoat (the director of The Proposition and The Road), chronicles a slice-in-time of protagonist John Marston as he tracks down his former fellow outlaw and friend, Bill Williamson, reads the announcement from Rockstar.  Along the way, Marston encounters many of Red Dead Redemption’s eclectic cast of dreamers, misfits and liars.

Considering that Red Dead Redemption is red hot right now, this is a great way to inform a more mainstream audience about the game’s cinematic flair.


Online Game Asks, ‘Who Is Salt?’

Columbia Pictures today announced that it has made an immersive gaming experience to complement the upcoming movie Salt. For nine weeks, espionage-themed missions will be given out detailing the world of Salt, by bugging suspects, tracking enemy operatives, and decrypting messages.

“This game is built on a series of cliffhanger moments that enhance the moviegoing experience by allowing audiences a unique and truly fun glimpse into the movie,” said Dwight Caines, president, Worldwide Digital Marketing for Sony Pictures. “While the missions are serialized, it was also important to create an environment that allows players to join midstream or follow at their convenience. We believe the mystery and action that surrounds the Day X plot, which is central to the film, will keep web fans coming back to the central question – Who is Salt ”

In the Salt Day X Exists game, players must help CIA Operative Evelyn Salt, who is accused of being a spy. Every week, they’ll receive a new video from Salt, and will seek to get more details in the plot. Find out more at

Facebook Unveils New Privacy Settings

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently unveiled the new privacy settings for Facebook, while emphasizing that the company listens, though he said the response was blown out of proportion.

The new announced changes are set to not alter privacy settings whenever a new update comes out. We’re really going to try not to have another backlash, said Zuckerberg. Facebook is not a solved problem, there’s so much more we have to do.

Currently the cycle Facebook goes through after launching a new feature and changing the user policy results in shock due to the lack of warning, confusion and anger from the userbase and then a retroactive apology and modification by Facebook. A change would generally be in Facebook’s own self-interest, though the features remain mostly opt-out rather than the other way around.

“The kernel of what we do is that people want to stay connected,” said Zuckerberg. “There’s a view of the world that all information should stay private. That s not what the users have told us they want. We really do believe in privacy and giving people control.”

The key will be for Facebook to compartmentalize privacy and new features if both keep coming up simultaneously, there’s a real chance the social network could hurt itself in the long run.

Source: ZDNet

Natal Priced $149, Says Report

According to a trusted source, Microsoft’s Project Natal will have a standalone price of $149, with an Xbox 360 Arcade bundle featuring the motion sensing camera retailing for $299.

The price is higher than some original estimates that put Natal at below $100 for launch. The device is expected to release October 26 (though that time may shift a few weeks) and the name Natal will apparently be changed at E3.

Microsoft expects to sell millions and millions of Natal units in its first year on the market so you can expect the software launch line-up to target non-traditional gamers, said the source. A major marketing campaign will also play a key role in attracting and educating the expanded audience about Xbox 360 s controller-free revolution.

Source: Edge

Prince Of Persia Criticized As ‘Whitewashed’

In a few days, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will release and possibly roll on to be one of the most successful movies based on a game franchise ever. Yet the casting in the movie, particularly of white actor Jake Gyllenhaal for the title role of Prince Dastan, has rubbed some critics the wrong way.

“This part really needed to go to someone who’s Persian,” said Jehanzeb Dar, a blogger and independent filmmaker. “It’s not only insulting to Persians, it’s also insulting to white people. It’s saying white people can’t enjoy movies unless the protagonist is white.

“It becomes very clear that it’s part of the historical pattern of Hollywood and it’s not an isolated incident and it’s not because they happen to be fictional characters,” said Michael Le of “It’s because this is the standard procedure for Hollywood films, and it really shouldn’t be. It’s 2010.”

Despite the mythical Middle-Eastern setting for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, practically all of the main cast members are Caucasian. Ben Kingsley (who plays the antagonist Vizer Nizam) is half Indian and is probably best known for playing Gandhi.

Source: Yahoo! Movies