THE CIRCUIT: Amazon and Viacom Strike A Deal

February 8, 2012


By Hayley Tsukayama (The Washington Post)

Amazon and Viacom: Amazon and Viacom announced Wednesday that they had entered into a rights agreement that will bring content from MTC, Nickolodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land and VH1 into Amazon’s streaming video catalog.

The deal, announced Wednesday by Amazon, will add about 2,000 titles to its Instant Video service and put more pressure on streaming services such as Netflix, especially in light of an announcement earlier in the week from Verizon and Redbox that they will launch an initiative of their own.

Cybersecurity hearing: The House subcommittee on technology held a hearing Wednesday to examine proposed broad cybersecurity legislation.

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Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said in the hearing that as the country relies more on the Internet for business, the government must be clear about the protocol for reporting cyber threats.

“Improved information sharing is also a key aspect of our nation’s response to cybersecurity,” Eshoo said. “If we’re going to ask industry to report cybersecurity incidents to the government, then we need to establish a clear process to do so.”

Witnesses at the hearing included experts from Juniper networks and McAfee as well as other cybersecurity experts.

In his testimony,  Internet Security Alliance President Larry Clinton argued that more government regulation won’t help deal with cyber threats. “We can’t use 19th & 20th century models, federally regulating the Internet, or giving DHS the power to make the final decisions about securing technology they don’t own or operate; they will make our cyber security less effective.”

Sprint earnings: Sprint may have reported a loss Tuesday as part of its latest earnings report, but the company is optimistic after its first quarter selling the iPhone, The Washington Post reported. The company paid heavily to sell the iPhone, but sold 1.8 million of the devices in the past quarter, and 40 percent of those sales were to new customers. Overall, Sprint added 1.6 million customers in the past three months. Sprint reported that it had lost $1.3 billion in the past quarter, which beat analyst estimates, but was still a wider loss than the previous quarter.

Nokia to cut 4,000 jobs: Nokia announced Wednesday that it is poised to cut 4,000 jobs in Finland, Mexico and Hungary. The cuts come on top of nearly 10,000 in job cuts the mobile phone maker made last year, and means that there will be no more mobile phone assembly in Nokia’s European factories.

The Associated Press reported that this doesn’t mean, however, that the factories in Europe will be shut down, only that the product assembly functions will be focused in Asia, while other factories will focus on the software aspects of production.

RIAA’s Sherman on online piracy: Cary Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, said Wednesday in a New York Times editorial that the consumer backlash against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act was the result of a “dirty trick” played by companies such as Google and Wikipedia. In the piece, Sherman said that the messages posted on the home pages of the popular Web sites “manufactured controversy” and that the movement amounted to a “abuse of trust and a misuse of power.”

Sherman added that he hopes the Web firms will participate in crafting an alternative to SOPA and PIPA, adding that he believes that alternative OPEN Act is a “diversionary bill.”