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Headline News Japan High Court Rules in Favor of VO Actors Over Anime Houses

On June 28, 2005, Japans Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that ordered Japan's largest animation production company to pay royalties to voice actors on video and DVD sales, reports MAINICHI DAILY NEWS.

The dismissal of Tokyo-based Nippon Animation Co.s appeal will force the company and an affiliate to pay nearly 87 million yen to about 360 voice artists, which includes Masako Nozawa (GALAXY EXPRESS 999 and DRAGON BALL) and Ichiro Nagai (TVs SAZAE-SAN).

Headline News Disney Escapes Roger Rabbit Suit with Minor Damage

The jury in the 15-week Los Angeles Superior Court trial pitting ROGER RABBIT creator Gary Wolf against the Walt Disney Co. has ruled that Disney must pay Wolf at least $180,000 in underreported royalties, but ruled against Wolfs claim that he deserved a share of gross receipts on non-cash promotional deals, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The ruling will award Wolf nearly $400,000 in damages, but not the $8 million he had sought by alleging his 5% royalty should include tie-ins with McDonald's and other outlets.

Headline News Letterman Digital Arts Center Unveiled in San Francisco

The Letterman Digital Arts Center (LDAC), the new home of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts, located in the beautiful 23-acre campus in San Franciscos Presidio, had its grand opening on June 25.

Headline News SAG Board Takes Up Rejection of Gaming Contract

A special SAG board meeting will be held next Wednesday (June 29, 2005) to further address the national executive committees rejection of the contract hammered out with the gaming industry, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. NEC turned down the offer despite the support on negotiators.

Headline News Ziff Davis Media Game Group Announces Pocket Games Research Study Results

According to a recent POCKET GAMES readership research study conducted by videogame magazine publisher Ziff Davis Media Game Group, portable gamers are shifting to an older and more diverse demographic segment than it has been historically. POCKET GAMES readers are now 20 years old on average, and 13% of the readership is female compared to 9% in 2003.

Headline News Vicon Forms Feature Unit

Vicon, developer of Academy Award-winning motion capture technology, the Vicon Feature Unit (VFU), a new Los Angeles-based entity devoted to on-site consulting, custom service, development and pipeline building for its film, videogame and TV clientele. VFU will be able to provide everything from purchasing and setup advice, pre-production, capture and post-production services through to custom hardware and software to rapidly deliver on unique studio requirements and project demands.

Headline News Banjax Opens Digital Animation Studio in Belfast

Banjax has opened a new digital animation studio based in Belfast's Titanic Quarter, to produce province's first major animated feature film and breathe life into the creative industries in Northern Ireland.

Banjax founders Darryl Collins, formerly of Blackstar, and award-winning director and writer Richard Morss and director/animator Alastair McIlwain, are focusing on the export potential of two major projects in a global industry sector that is expected to grow 10-fold over the next five years. Their efforts are being supported by Northern Ireland agencies.

Headline News Marvel/Fox Zoom Lawsuit Against Sony/ Revolution

Marvel Enterprises and 20th Century Fox have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Revolution Studios and Sony Pictures Ent. over the production of sci-fi comedy ZOOM, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The case claims that the film, which stars Tim Allen and Chevy Chase and is based on Jason Lethcoe's graphic novel ZOOM'S ACADEMY FOR THE SUPER GIFTED, copies too much of the X-MEN mythology.

The lawsuit filed June 20, 2005, in U.S. District Court, Central District of California is seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Headline News Vivendi Universal Games Acquires Game Developer Swordfish Studios

Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has acquired independent game developer Swordfish Studios. Under terms of the agreement, VU Games will retain Swordfish Studios' team of 45 development professionals, leaving the studio basically intact in its current office in Birmingham, England. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headline News MTV Networks Acquires NeoPets

MTV Networks has acquired NeoPets Inc. the owner and operator of Neopets.com, the world's largest and fastest growing youth community on the Internet. Neopets is a global online entertainment network whose members create and care for "virtual pets" that inhabit a mythical land called "Neopia." To date, more than 25 million members worldwide have created Neopets accounts in 10 different languages, generating more than five billion pageviews per month. Both Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore Media Metrix consistently rank Neopets.com as one of the top-10 "stickiest" sites on the Web.

Headline News Lions Gate Restructures International Operations

Lions Gate Entertainment Toronto has restructured its international operations to reflect continued growth of its feature film and television businesses with Nicolas Meyer, president of Lions Gate International, solely overseeing the international division of Lions Gate Ent. with two newly created executive positions that will report directly to him.

Headline News Viacom Splits Into Two Publicly Traded Companies

After putting the pieces in place, Sumner M. Redstone, chairman/ceo of Viacom Inc. announced today (June 14, 2005) that the companys board of directors has unanimously approved the creation of two separate publicly traded companies from the companys leading entertainment brands through a spin-off to Viacom stockholders.

Headline News Apple’s Move to Intel Gets Mixed Response

Apple ceo Steve Jobs announcement last week that Macintosh computers will embrace Intel microprocessors next year in an effort to improve speed and efficiency, especially on notebooks, has received mixed reviews.

Some analysts fear a rocky transition ahead and a diluting of the brand. However, others are more optimistic. This move away from IBMs PowerPC would allow the Mac to eventually run Windows at full speed, opening it up to more software choices.

Headline News Actors Flinch to Gamers’ Strong Stand

Stopping the potential for a strike, SAG and AFTRA have comes too terms with the videogame publishers, backing down from their demand for residuals from the $7 billion videogame industry, reports VARIETY. Yet, the actors will be a hefty 36% increase in the base rate of $556.20 per session for voiceover work.

Headline News Walt Disney Internet Group Acquires Minds Eye

The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) has acquired of Minds Eye Prods., one of the leading interactive TV game developers in Europe. The agreement demonstrates WDIG's commitment to the iTV games market and to developing new growth businesses for The Walt Disney Co.

Disney entered the interactive TV games market in the U.K. in August 2004, with the launch of Disney Channel Play on Sky. This service provides games featuring some of Disney's most popular TV programs, movies and characters, including those from THE LION KING and KIM POSSIBLE.

Headline News Iger Talks About Pixar, Next-Gen DVDs

Walt Disney Co. ceo-elect Bob Iger on Tuesday (June 7, 2005) said he had "really good" talks with Pixar Animation Studios Inc., reports RUETERS. He told investors at a Deutsche Bank conference that it was too early to tell if a new agreement would be reached.

"I'm not sure I really want to give you odds. We've had really good discussions," Iger said.

Headline News Delaware Court Allows Disney/Gold Lawsuit to Go Forward

The Delaware Chancery Court has ruled that the lawsuit brought by Roy E. Disney and Stanley P. Gold against the Walt Disney Co. and eight directors can go forward with an expedited trial date of August 2005.

The lawsuit, which was filed on May 9, 2005, alleges that the Walt Disney Co. board made false statements to the company's shareholders about its ceo search in order to induce shareholders to vote for the incumbent board at the 2005 annual meeting and to induce Disney and Gold not to run an alternate slate of directors at the meeting.

Headline News One Red Room Opens Doors With 2 Series For Playhouse Disney

Former Microsoft production manager and a producer of top-selling SIM CITY videogame, Matthew Thornton, established on June 1, 2005, the digital animation and production company One Red Room and is already producing two series for Disney.

Headline News China to Further Support Its Animation Industry

An official with the Chinese broadcasting regulatory agency told broadcasters and animation producers to expect more domestically produced cartoons to be broadcast and there was support to encourage the play of more animated cartoons during golden broadcasting slots, it was reported by PEOPLE'S DAILY ONLINE.

Headline News DreamWorks Sued Over Shrek 2 DVD Sales

A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles today, (June 2, 2005) seeking unspecified damages from DreamWorks Animation for allegedly misleading stockholders about sales prospects for SHREK 2 DVDs. This is the companys first suit since going public in October 2004.

Headline News Vizrt Purchases Curious Software

Vizrt Ltd. has acquired Curious Software, effective June 1, 2005. In consideration for the purchase of the shares or assets, Vizrt will pay $5,000,000 in cash to the Curious shareholders. Up to an additional $4,000,000 is to be paid in Ordinary Shares of Vizrt as an earn-out in four quarterly installments upon reaching certain milestones.

Headline News Cookie Jar Education Acquires Kingsley & Fiesta Brands

Cookie Jar Education has acquired the Kingsley and Fiesta lines of ESL (English as a second language) and SSL (Spanish as a second language) books and education materials from San Diego, California-based Kingsley Publishing, the publisher responsible for the development of the properties.

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