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NEWS
February 20, 2008
Our sympathies to the owners of suddenly outdated HD-DVD players. In the parlance of your neighborhood Geek Squad, you've just been Betamaxed. It's isn't your fault you got stuck with the wrong kind of DVD player for your high-definition TV, but you're stuck nevertheless. Toshiba Corp.'s announcement yesterday was merely a formal surrender. The war looked to be over for weeks as major retailers such as Wal-Mart dropped HD-DVD in favor of Sony's Blu-ray in a move reminiscent of the video cassette battle of the 1980s, when Sony's Betamax lost out to VHS. Still, the duel over high-definition DVD formats has been quite a fight, with major studios releasing movies and TV shows in one version or the other but not always both.
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NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,Sun reporter | February 20, 2008
Buddy Schwartz can finally celebrate his birthday. The Parkville resident had been saving his money since August to buy a new high-definition DVD player, but he has been waiting to see which format would win out: HD DVD or Blu-ray. Both offer enhanced picture and sound but, alas, cannot be used interchangeably. "I just didn't want to spend my money and turn around and say, `Wow, that was a waste of $400,'" he said while shopping at a Target store. Schwartz's wait ended yesterday when Toshiba Corp.
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BUSINESS
By MIKE HIMOWITZ | October 6, 2005
In the early 1980s, two incompatible videotape formats called VHS and Betamax duked it out for the loyalty of the world's consumers. The losers wound up with Betamax equipment and tapes that eventually wound up as fodder for auctions on eBay. You'd think the video industry might have learned something from that debacle - that it's good policy to agree on a standard for new technology ahead of time and then sell it. Indeed, that concept worked brilliantly for the compact audio disc, and later for the original DVD. Unfortunately, the 21st-century version of Betamax vs. VHS is about to begin with a new generation of high-definition DVD players and disks.
NEWS
February 20, 2008
Our sympathies to the owners of suddenly outdated HD-DVD players. In the parlance of your neighborhood Geek Squad, you've just been Betamaxed. It's isn't your fault you got stuck with the wrong kind of DVD player for your high-definition TV, but you're stuck nevertheless. Toshiba Corp.'s announcement yesterday was merely a formal surrender. The war looked to be over for weeks as major retailers such as Wal-Mart dropped HD-DVD in favor of Sony's Blu-ray in a move reminiscent of the video cassette battle of the 1980s, when Sony's Betamax lost out to VHS. Still, the duel over high-definition DVD formats has been quite a fight, with major studios releasing movies and TV shows in one version or the other but not always both.
BUSINESS
By Mike Himowitz | March 31, 2005
HOW MANY of you remember the Betamax? If you're younger than 30, the name probably doesn't ring a bell. If you're older, you'll remember Sony's gadget as the first home videocassette recorder. Yup, the one that lost the format wars and disappeared when consumers chose VHS instead. Although the gadget itself has been consigned to the collector's bin on eBay, some of the country's highest-priced lawyers were fighting over Betamax in front of the Supreme Court this week. That's because the Betamax name lives on in a landmark case that gave consumers the right to own machines that record copyrighted works.
FEATURES
By Liz Stevens and Liz Stevens,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 17, 2002
Reporter: You might have heard. Betamax finally bit the dust. Reader: Betamax, the video format? You must be kidding? I thought Betamax packed it in eons ago, along with Rubik's Cube and Billy Idol. Reporter: Wrong! At the end of August, Sony announced that it would discontinue production of Betamax VCR players, after making them for 27 years. Not that the company was churning 'em out. It only made 2,800 units in 2001, and those were all for the Japanese market. Reader: And this merits a newspaper story because ...?
NEWS
March 30, 2005
IN 1984, the entertainment industry and Sony came before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue a critical question for technological innovation. The issue was whether Sony's Betamax, an early VCR, was illegal because it could be used to copy copyrighted movies and TV broadcasts. The court found that VCRs were legal because they also had substantial legitimate uses, and manufacturers could not be held liable if the technology was used illegally. That landmark ruling opened the way for the unchallenged rise of VCRs and many other copying technologies - including CD burners, MP3 players, TiVo machines and the software-enabling Internet communications and Web searches.
BUSINESS
By Jon Healey and Jon Healey,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 29, 2005
The entertainment and technology industries' most important legal dispute in two decades hinges on a question Hollywood confronts every day: What makes a "bad actor?" The Supreme Court will ponder that question today when it hears arguments from studios and record labels eager to hold the distributors of two file-sharing programs - Morpheus and Grokster - liable for the wide-scale piracy committed by their users. Seven major studios, four major record companies and 25,000 music publishers claim that StreamCast Networks Inc., the producer of Morpheus, and Grokster Ltd. are "bad actors" in the high-tech world that built businesses around people making illegal copies of movies and music.
BUSINESS
August 28, 2002
In the Region US Airways lowers redemption value of nonrefundable fares US Airways Group Inc., flying under bankruptcy protection, moved yesterday to increase its revenue by making cheap, nonrefundable tickets lose their value when travelers miss their flights and try to redeem the tickets later. The change means the No. 7 U.S. carrier no longer lets holders of nonrefundable tickets fly standby. The new rule, which takes effect immediately, applies mostly to business travelers who don't make their flights, knowing they can get credit for the ticket later.
BUSINESS
By MIKE HIMOWITZ | July 21, 2005
THIS WEEK'S angst over a vacancy on the Supreme Court makes it obvious how many Americans believe that a single vote can change the course of American history. But beyond a handful of hot-button social issues, you'll find a court that splits in some very unpredictable ways over issues that are less visible but just as contested - and in many ways closer to our day-to-day lives. In some hot cases, the justices don't split at all. Consider last month's decision in the Grokster case, in which a unanimous court held that businesses that affirmatively encourage copyright infringement can be held responsible for the actions of their customers.
BUSINESS
By MIKE HIMOWITZ | October 6, 2005
In the early 1980s, two incompatible videotape formats called VHS and Betamax duked it out for the loyalty of the world's consumers. The losers wound up with Betamax equipment and tapes that eventually wound up as fodder for auctions on eBay. You'd think the video industry might have learned something from that debacle - that it's good policy to agree on a standard for new technology ahead of time and then sell it. Indeed, that concept worked brilliantly for the compact audio disc, and later for the original DVD. Unfortunately, the 21st-century version of Betamax vs. VHS is about to begin with a new generation of high-definition DVD players and disks.
BUSINESS
By MIKE HIMOWITZ | July 21, 2005
THIS WEEK'S angst over a vacancy on the Supreme Court makes it obvious how many Americans believe that a single vote can change the course of American history. But beyond a handful of hot-button social issues, you'll find a court that splits in some very unpredictable ways over issues that are less visible but just as contested - and in many ways closer to our day-to-day lives. In some hot cases, the justices don't split at all. Consider last month's decision in the Grokster case, in which a unanimous court held that businesses that affirmatively encourage copyright infringement can be held responsible for the actions of their customers.
BUSINESS
By Mike Himowitz | March 31, 2005
HOW MANY of you remember the Betamax? If you're younger than 30, the name probably doesn't ring a bell. If you're older, you'll remember Sony's gadget as the first home videocassette recorder. Yup, the one that lost the format wars and disappeared when consumers chose VHS instead. Although the gadget itself has been consigned to the collector's bin on eBay, some of the country's highest-priced lawyers were fighting over Betamax in front of the Supreme Court this week. That's because the Betamax name lives on in a landmark case that gave consumers the right to own machines that record copyrighted works.
NEWS
March 30, 2005
IN 1984, the entertainment industry and Sony came before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue a critical question for technological innovation. The issue was whether Sony's Betamax, an early VCR, was illegal because it could be used to copy copyrighted movies and TV broadcasts. The court found that VCRs were legal because they also had substantial legitimate uses, and manufacturers could not be held liable if the technology was used illegally. That landmark ruling opened the way for the unchallenged rise of VCRs and many other copying technologies - including CD burners, MP3 players, TiVo machines and the software-enabling Internet communications and Web searches.
BUSINESS
By Jon Healey and Jon Healey,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 29, 2005
The entertainment and technology industries' most important legal dispute in two decades hinges on a question Hollywood confronts every day: What makes a "bad actor?" The Supreme Court will ponder that question today when it hears arguments from studios and record labels eager to hold the distributors of two file-sharing programs - Morpheus and Grokster - liable for the wide-scale piracy committed by their users. Seven major studios, four major record companies and 25,000 music publishers claim that StreamCast Networks Inc., the producer of Morpheus, and Grokster Ltd. are "bad actors" in the high-tech world that built businesses around people making illegal copies of movies and music.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Hiawatha Bray and Hiawatha Bray,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 15, 2004
What is it about electrical engineers? These guys just can't get along. A group of them brings a wonderful new technology to market, and another equally brilliant band creates another way of doing the same thing. It's the customers who end up sorting things out by voting with their dollars. And heaven help the consumer who backs the loser. Think of the hapless souls who chose Sony's Betamax videotape standard over VHS. That didn't turn out at all well. For a more recent example, there's the "plus/dash" war in the recordable DVD business.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,Sun reporter | February 20, 2008
Buddy Schwartz can finally celebrate his birthday. The Parkville resident had been saving his money since August to buy a new high-definition DVD player, but he has been waiting to see which format would win out: HD DVD or Blu-ray. Both offer enhanced picture and sound but, alas, cannot be used interchangeably. "I just didn't want to spend my money and turn around and say, `Wow, that was a waste of $400,'" he said while shopping at a Target store. Schwartz's wait ended yesterday when Toshiba Corp.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Hiawatha Bray and Hiawatha Bray,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 15, 2004
What is it about electrical engineers? These guys just can't get along. A group of them brings a wonderful new technology to market, and another equally brilliant band creates another way of doing the same thing. It's the customers who end up sorting things out by voting with their dollars. And heaven help the consumer who backs the loser. Think of the hapless souls who chose Sony's Betamax videotape standard over VHS. That didn't turn out at all well. For a more recent example, there's the "plus/dash" war in the recordable DVD business.
FEATURES
By Liz Stevens and Liz Stevens,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 17, 2002
Reporter: You might have heard. Betamax finally bit the dust. Reader: Betamax, the video format? You must be kidding? I thought Betamax packed it in eons ago, along with Rubik's Cube and Billy Idol. Reporter: Wrong! At the end of August, Sony announced that it would discontinue production of Betamax VCR players, after making them for 27 years. Not that the company was churning 'em out. It only made 2,800 units in 2001, and those were all for the Japanese market. Reader: And this merits a newspaper story because ...?
BUSINESS
August 28, 2002
In the Region US Airways lowers redemption value of nonrefundable fares US Airways Group Inc., flying under bankruptcy protection, moved yesterday to increase its revenue by making cheap, nonrefundable tickets lose their value when travelers miss their flights and try to redeem the tickets later. The change means the No. 7 U.S. carrier no longer lets holders of nonrefundable tickets fly standby. The new rule, which takes effect immediately, applies mostly to business travelers who don't make their flights, knowing they can get credit for the ticket later.
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