Business briefs

Oklahoman Published: June 23, 2012
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Nation

Treaty may affect Internet

Secret negotiations involving dozens of countries preparing for a U.N. telecommunications summit could lead to changes in a global treaty that would diminish the Internet's role in economic growth and restrict the free flow of information. The U.S. delegation to the World Conference on International Telecommunications to be held in Dubai this December is vowing to block any proposals from Russia and other countries that they believe threaten the Internet's current governing structure or give tacit approval to online censorship. But those assurances have failed to ease fears that bureaucratic tinkering with the treaty could damage the world's most powerful engine for exchanging information, creating jobs and even launching revolutions, say legal experts and civil liberties advocates who have been tracking the discussions.

Band sues Home Depot, Pizza Hut

The Black Keys are not shilling power tools or pizza, the band said in copyright infringement lawsuits against The Home Depot and Pizza Hut. The “Lonely Boy” band filed the federal lawsuits Thursday, claiming Home Depot did not have permission to use elements of the hit song in an ad promoting power tools and that Pizza Hut misused “Gold on the Ceiling” in a recent ad. Both songs appeared on the rock group's seventh album, “El Camino,” which was released last year and has sold nearly 840,000 copies. The Black Keys comprise Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. Musician-producer Brian Burton, who is known as Danger Mouse, is also suing the companies. The cases seek unspecified damages of more than $75,000 apiece and an order preventing the continued use of the songs in the commercials.

Governor blamed in loss of firm

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling says the collapse of his 38 Studios video game company has probably cost him his entire baseball fortune, and he put part of the blame on Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Schilling said during an interview on WEEI-FM in Boston on Friday that he put more than $50 million of his own money in the company and that the money he made playing baseball is “probably all gone.” Schilling also says Chafee's public comments last month questioning the firm's solvency harmed the company as it tried to raise private capital to stay afloat. 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy protection on June 7. It had been lured to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 2010 after Rhode Island offered a $75 million loan guarantee.

3-D channel's hours reduced

DirecTV says it has reduced the programming hours of its 24-hour 3-D channel, n3D, due to a shortage of 3-D content. The satellite TV provider launched the channel to much fanfare in July 2010, boasting the backing of Panasonic Corp. The company said it was the first 3-D channel to operate around the clock. A dearth of 3-D programs on n3D led to the same shows being run in a constant loop. Now, when there is nothing available, the channel will show the n3D logo. If there's an upcoming special event, details will appear on the program guide two or three weeks in advance. The reduced hours began June 1. It's the latest setback for 3-D TV, which has had trouble attracting mainstream audiences. DirecTV's channel isn't the first 3-D offering to stumble. Last August, AT&T Inc. said its U-verse lineup of video channels would no longer include ESPN 3D. The company said the cost wasn't justified, “especially considering the low demand we've seen from customers.”

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