A new bill before Congress would poke holes in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act to make it easier for consumers to enjoy digital content. The Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing US Entrepreneurship (FAIR USE) Act, co-introduced earlier this week by a Democrat and Republican in the House of Representatives would reportedly allow “customers to circumvent digital copy restrictions in six limited areas when copyright owners’ business models are not threatened.” An example of this is allowing “libraries to circumvent digital locks or secure copies of works that have been damaged, lost or stolen.” The RIAA has come out opposing the bill, while the Consumer Electronics Association, among others, supports it.
Marware and Dr. Bott have announced the availability of the USB Travel Dock for the second-generation iPod shuffle. The $20 device, original set to ship in January, allows you to charge and sync the new shuffle while “causing no interference with adjacent ports, so you can prominently display your new 2G iPod shuffle right next to your laptop screen.” The USB Travel Dock also sports a blue “Power On” LED indicator.
Apple looks to have taken the iTunes Store into the realm of independent video downloads, according to Variety. The snowboarding action movie That began selling through iTunes on Tuesday, the trade publication reported, as well as content from action sports video distributor Studio411. These two moves mark the first time the iPod maker has “sold video content that didn’t come from an established network, studio or distributor.” Apple would not comment to Variety on any future video distribution plans in this vein they might be planning.
Electronic Arts today announced that music from its best-selling games will be available for purchase from the iTunes Store. “Game players and music lovers worldwide can visit EA Trax and jump directly to an iMix of the music from their favorite EA game on iTunes,” says EA. “From Madden NFL to Burnout to Need for Speed, every song that can be heard in the game can now be purchased on iTunes including exclusive mixes, non-album cuts and previously unavailable international tracks.” Songs are currently available for games such as Burnout Dominator, Def Jam Icon, Need for Speed Underground, Medal of Honor, SSX, and various NFL, NBA, NHL and FIFA titles.
Comedy Central has announced that uncensored versions of episodes from South Park this season will be available for purchase from the iTunes Store. The network said the uncensored episodes will be available on iTunes the Tuesday after they premiere beginning on Tuesday, March 13th. The 11th season of South Park launches on Wednesday, March 7th at 10:00 p.m. ET. “Coming up in the 11th season, viewers can expect a parody of the popular Fox hit series, 24, and Hilary Clinton pays a visit to South Park. There will be plenty of shocking surprises from the legendary fourth-graders,” says Comedy Central.
iLuv has introduced the i185 video dock for fifth-generation iPods. The device, similar to the DLO HomeDock Deluxe, allows users to connect an iPod to their home entertainment system to navigate and play music and videos from the device on a TV screen. The i185 comes with a remote control and features S-Video and Composite video output and 2-channel audio output. The iLuv i185 video dock sells for $150.
“Simply dock your iPod into the i185 and the little 2.5-inch screen is transferred to your much bigger TV screen,” says iLuv. “With a larger screen area on which to navigate the contents in your iPod, you have a more user friendly option at your fingertips. Sit back on your recliner and view the contents of your iPod on the TV using the included remote control. Now that high-resolution movies are available from iTunes music store, the iPod no longer has to be the little entertainment gadget that you carry around in your pocket. It can now effectively knock out your DVD player as the primary video player in your living room.”
Apple could sell as many as 12 million iPods during its March quarter, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munser. Based on January iPod unit sales from NPD, the analyst estimates that Apple will see sales of 11 million to 12 million iPods during the quarter, slightly above the street consensus of 10.9 million units. “The 11m-12m unit range is based on various assumptions and is an extrapolation of one month of data,” Munster explained. “When the second month of data is released, our analysis will likely lead to a slightly different iPod unit figure than what our analysis suggests based on the first month of data, so we believe investors should supplement this data point with other information.”