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Blog

MySpace sued for copyright by Universal

Universal Music has launched a legal challenge against MySpace, the first time  Rupert Murdoch’s social network site has been challenged for copyright infringement.

Universal is suing MySpace for unauthorised use of the music and music videos of its artists, citing the availability on the site of material from Jay-Z’s as yet unreleased album as an example of this.

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Yahoo internal memo calls for major shake up

According to a leaked internal memo written last month by senior vice president Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo is in serious need of major organisational changes.

In the memo, published by the Wall Street Journal, Garlinghouse argues that Yahoo suffers from a lack of consistent leadership, business focus and a 'single cohesive strategy'. A Yahoo spokesman has confirmed the document’s authenticity.

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Yahoo buys online contests site Bix.com

Yahoo has announced the acquisition of Bix.com, a site which allows users to compete in online karaoke contests, and rate each other’s videos and photos.

Incredibly, Bix.com only launched in August, though in those three months it has acquired over 1 million users. The site allows companies to sponsor and give out prizes in its contests and competitions.

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London-based 3i invests in women's social network startup

Real Girls Media Network has secured VC funding of $6 million from 3i and WaldenVC for a series of three female-orientated sites which will launch next year.

The RGM network’s sites will allow women to submit articles, product reviews and related photos using an online publishing system developed for the site and intended to streamline the editorial process.

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Ross Levinsohn leaves Fox Interactive / Murdoch

Ross Levinsohn, who was instrumental in News Corp's acquisition of MySpace.com, has resigned from Fox Interactive Media to pursue other ventures.

He will be replaced in the position by his namesake Peter Levinsohn, who is a distant cousin. Peter is currently president of digital media for Fox Entertainment Group.

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Calacanis resigns after AOL moves to oust CEO

Wow… all change at AOL, where CEO Jonathan Miller was this week fired, as the news comes in that Weblogs Inc founder Jason Calacanis is also stepping down, seemingly in protest of Miller’s firing.

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Bebo introduces new mail system for its users

Social networking site Bebo today announced the launch of several new features in the site’s internal mail system, designed to enhance users’ ability to share content among their friends while reducing spam.

The new mail system now sorts incoming messages into two inboxes – one for personal one-to-one messages, the other for messages among groups of two or more users.

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Online shopping boosts October retail sales figures

UK retail sales were higher than expected in October, with sales boosted by the growth in online shopping.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the volume of retail sales increased by 0.9% in October, higher than analysts’ predictions of 0.3%. This represents the biggest monthly rise since November last year.

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Swedish startup raises $5.1 million for image search technology

Polar Rose, a startup based in Malmö, Sweden, has announced the receipt of $5.1 million from Nordic Venture Partners for its facial recognition and visual search technology.

Polar Rose’s Bloom technology uses a combination of automatic facial recognition with 3D modelling to look for photos on the Internet. In addition,  Polar Rose’s image search will allow users to tag photos to improve recognition.

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One in four web users own digital players

Research from comScore has detailed the habits of US digital music player owners, finding that they are likely to have an above-average income, and thus represent an attractive target for electronics marketers.

These consumers are more tech-savvy than the average surfer, and were found to be fans of online shopping - 49% believe online is the best way to shop, while 94% had made online purchases in the past six months.

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Netscape to expand its paid navigator system

Jason Calacanis has announced the hiring of more Netscape ‘Navigators’, and revealed he may spend up to $2.4m a year on more user-generated content for the bookmarking site.

Netscape now employs 23 of these navigators on what Calacanis calls a ‘very part-time’ basis, paying them $12,000 a year each to submit stories, lead discussions and generally do housekeeping tasks, such as closing down duplicate stories and eliminating spam comments.

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Workers like to shop online on Friday lunchtimes

New research from the Royal Mail suggests that, for those employees who like to do their online shopping from work, Friday lunchtime is the most popular time.

Of those online shoppers who have internet access at work, 65% are likely to buy during the week - and Friday afternoon at 1pm is the most popular time for one in eight.

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