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Headline News

Hong Kong Raid Nets 10,000 Products Used to Play Pirated Nintendo Software

At Nintendo's request, the Hong Kong High Court has intervened to help stop a global distribution operation involving game-copying devices and modification chips that violate its copyrights and trademarks in the Nintendo DS and Wii systems.

Production Headline News

New Canadian Animation Studio Formed

Toronto-based independent production houses Rocket Science Visual Effects and Screen Door have joined forces to create Fandango Animation, reports KIDSCREEN. Former Nelvana exec and industry veteran Heather Walker will be Fandango's lead production executive, charged with shepherding the company's first slate of projects into production in both traditional and new media platforms. With a number of shows already in development, Fandango is currently looking for co-production partners.

Headline News

BBC Children's To Be Cut by 20%

The BBC has confirmed that 88 of the 426 jobs in its children's department will be eliminated as part of the corporation's downsizing, C21 MEDIA reports. The news follows the earlier announcement that 1,800 total jobs will be cut as part of the "Delivering Creative Futures" strategy. While a spokesman confirmed that the jobs would be cut over the next three years, it wasn't clear which sub-divisions would be most affected, as the BBC intends to first ask employees to take voluntary redundancy.

Animation Headline News

Maverick Productions Moves into Animation

India's Maverick Productions, which recently joined with the DNS Network to distribute mobile content, is gearing up to enter the animation world, reports ANIMATION XPRESS. Maverick COO Yash Chavan revealed that the company is in talks with potential international partners and is looking at a popular comic strip as source material for an animated feature for the international market. Currently budgeted at US $1.5 to 2 million, the two-hour feature is expected to be released in late 2009 or early 2010.

Services Headline News

Media Heads Unveil Guidelines for Online Content

Several of the world's leading Internet and media companies have announced their joint support for a set of collaborative principles that enable the continued growth and development of user-generated content online and respect the intellectual property of content owners.

Headline News

BBC To Cut 1,800 Jobs

Director-General Mark Thompson has announced that the BBC will eliminate 1,800 positions as part of a six-year strategy to "re-prioritize resources," reports C21 MEDIA. The company will also sell its West London headquarters and will reduce its production output by 10% by 2012-13. The reorganization is being undertaken to compensate for a $4.1 billion funding shortfall caused by a lower-than-expected license fee settlement. The "Delivering Creative Futures" strategy will be presented to the BBC's employees today following a meeting with unions.

Imax Headline News

IMAX Sets Target Launch for Digital Projection

IMAX has moved up the launch date of its digital projection system in development to the second quarter of 2008 from its previously announced time frame of the end of 2008 to mid-2009. The IMAX digital projection system will further enhance The IMAX Experience and help to drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theaters by virtually eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens.

Animation Headline News

Full Circle and Toon Boom Animate the Caribbean

Full Circle Studio, a state-of-the-art design studio based in Trinidad, has equipped its facility with Toon Boom Digital Pro, reports the software maker. Full Circle aims at becoming a major animation studio in the Caribbean and catering its professional animation services to North American and European studios.

Studios Headline News

Foundation 9 Collects Two Facilities into One Shiny New One

Foundation 9 Ent. announced that it will combine its two existing Southern California studios, The Collective and Shiny Ent., into one larger entity. The merge will enable greater capacity to create large-scale games based on big licensed properties. Both studios have already relocated to F9E's new 60,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Irvine, California.

Studios Headline News

EA To Acquire BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios

Electronic Arts Inc. announced an agreement with Elevation Partners to acquire VG Holding Corp. -- the owner of both BioWare Corp. and Pandemic Studios. This acquisition gives EA a strong competitive position in key genres in interactive entertainment: action, adventure and role-playing games.

Animation Headline News

Universal Music in Tune with Animation Collective

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) announced today the signing of Animation Collective to an exclusive worldwide publishing administration agreement.

Through the agreement, UMPG will administer Animation Collective's entire catalogue of original music created for its popular animated and live-action children's programming, including ELLEN'S ACRES and KAPPA MIKEY. The deal encompasses worldwide administration rights, as well as synchronization rights worldwide.

Services Headline News

Nelvana Hooks Up with HP for Online Sales

Nelvana Ent. is expanding its digital sell-through network with the announcement of an agreement to sell its animated content through the online stores powered by HP Video Merchant Services.

Episodes from Nelvana's extensive kids content library, including BEYBLADE, BRACEFACE, BRIAN JACQUES' REDWALL and TALES FROM THE CRYPTKEEPER will be available as DVD-on-demand and/or via electronic sell-through in the U.S. through HP's network of retailers.

Headline News

Family Guy Sued Yet Again, Along with Cartoon Network

Seth MacFarlane, FAMILY GUY composer Walter Murphy, Fuzzy Door Prods. and Cartoon Network have been sued by Bourne, the publishing company that holds the copyright to the song "When You Wish Upon a Star," says THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. In a lawsuit filed Oct. 4, 2007, Bourne alleges that the show violated its copyright to the song in the episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein," which features character Peter Griffin singing a song titled "I Need a Jew."

Headline News

Ofcom Calls For Debate on Kids' Programming in U.K.

Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the U.K. communications industries, today published the U.K.'s first comprehensive review of the children's television market. The review assesses the current state of children's programming and the prospects for the future delivery of a wide range of high-quality and original content for children.

Ofcom's study reveals significant changes in the children's media market, including:

Headline News

Animated 10 Commandments to Challenge McLiteracy

A recent survey of 1,000 Americans revealed that respondents were more familiar with the ingredients of a McDonald's hamburger than they were with the 10 Commandments.

The survey, which was commissioned by the Ten Commandments Commission and conducted by Kelton Research, was undertaken in conjunction with the upcoming nationwide theatrical release of Promenade Pictures' CGI animated feature film THE TEN COMMANDMENTS on Oct. 19.

Studios Headline News

Mobility Art Studios Launches India's First Vicon MoCap Facility

Mobility Art Studios, the first professional motion capture studio in India, has purchased a Vicon solution.

Mobility Art Studios is the only fully integrated performance capture studio in India and is among the largest motion capture service studios outside of North America. The studio is one of a handful in the world capable of offering full body, face and hands motion capture.

Headline News

Corus Pares Down Workforce in Restructure

In fallout from a major restructure at Canada's Corus Entertainment, the company's director of original kids' productions, Bonita Siegel, and several members of her development team have been let go, reports KIDSCREEN. The realignment, announced Tuesday, has resulted in 53 job cuts across the company, and has raised concerns about the health of the kids channels' production and development departments.

The layoffs are rumored to include two additional development execs, which raises further questions about Corus's future plans regarding original commissions.

Disney Headline News

Disney Wins Again in Pooh Case

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 12:00am

In the 16-year court battle over WINNIE THE POOH royalties, Disney came out ahead again as a California appellate court upheld the dismissal of the case on grounds of misconduct, VARIETY reports. A three-judge panel ruled that L.A. Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy's 2004 decision to throw out the case was justified after the plaintiffs, the Slesinger family, altered and destroyed documents.

Animation Headline News

Starz Opens State-of-the-Art Animation Studio in Toronto

U.S. media company Starz, LLC has announced the opening of one of Canada's largest studios and the appointment of veteran animation executive David Steinberg to run it. Initially the studio will have 150 employees, but it is expected to grow substantially as new projects begin production. The studio will produce computer-generated animated feature films and more.

Headline News

Court Orders New Line to Pay Jackson $125,000

In the continuing battle over LORD OF THE RINGS accounting, U.S. Magistrate Steven Hillman ruled that New Line Cinema should pay Peter Jackson $125,000 for failing to provided documents related to revenue on the FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS, reports VARIETY. In the ruling, Hillman stated that New Line may be guilty of destroying files and only haphazardly looked for files and e-mails related to the case. Additionally, Hillman has ordered New Line to hire a document retrieval company within three weeks.

Films Headline News

ADV And Geneon Call Off Strategic Alliance

ADV Films today confirmed that it has withdrawn plans to distribute Geneon Ent.'s DVDs, CDs and other product in North America.

"We regret that we could not complete an arrangement with Geneon Ent.," said ADV Films Co-Founder/President John Ledford. "We have enormous admiration for Geneon's line and wish them the best of luck."

The strategic alliance announced jointly by ADV Films and Geneon Ent. on Aug. 29, which was slated to take effect Oct. 1, would have made ADV Geneon's sole distributor in North America.

Headline News

POW! Ent. & Stan Lee To Counter-Sue Valcom for Fraud

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 12:00am

In a statement in response to a Sept. 17th lawsuit filed by Valcom, POW! Ent. Inc. today announced their plans to counter-sue Valcom for more than $10 million. POW! described Valcom's description of its dealings with them as "inaccurate and misleading." The company plans to file its countersuit next week claiming failure to perform and fraud.

Studios Headline News

Sony Computer Ent. Acquires Evolution Studios & Bigbig Studios

Sony Computer Ent. has acquired leading game developer Evolution Studios Ltd and its subsidiary Bigbig Studios Ltd to further expand its game development capability as part of Sony Computer Ent.'s Worldwide Studios.

In a strategic move to secure excellence in game development for current and future PlayStation platforms, the acquisition of Evolution and Bigbig formalises the successful and long established exclusive relationship between Sony Computer Ent. and the two studios.

Headline News

Significant Interest for TV-Loonland Stake in Metrodome

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 12:00am

TV-Loonland AG announced that it has received significant interest in its stake in home entertainment firm, Metrodome. Earlier in the year, TV-Loonland AG announced its plans to sell its majority shareholding in Metrodome. Interest in buying the stake were received from North America, Europe and the U.K., both from strategic investors, the film industry and venture capital funds.

Animation Headline News

Animation Writer Re-Elected WGAW President

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 12:00am

TV animation writer Patric Verrone has won re-election as the WGA West President, reports VARIETY. Verrone received 90% of the votes cast, beating radio newswriter Kathy Kiernan. His re-election comes right as the guild is about to enter new contract negotiations for movie and primetime TV writers. The current contract expires Oct. 31. The biggest sticking point in talks is over WGA's demand for more Internet residuals while the producers want to rework the residual structure completely.

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