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Posts Tagged ‘Millions’

Polaroid wants Fujifilm to pay millions in royalties for Instax Square format

17 Nov

According to a report by World Intellectual Property Review, Fujifilm has filed a complaint for declaratory judgment, asking a US district court to clear the company of any wrongdoing after it was allegedly threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid over the borders around its Instax Square images.

According to the suit, PRL IP, the brand licensor and marketer of the IP rights for Polaroid instant cameras, has turned against Fujifilm, “by suddenly demanding millions of dollars in annual royalty payments, on threat of a lawsuit.”

Fujifilm says Polaroid sent the company a letter in January 2017 stating that the “square form” of photographs taken by Fujifilm’s Instax camera is “essentially identical” to the trademark and trade dress rights owned by Polaroid. In March, another letter said that Polaroid would have “no choice but to take appropriate action to protect” its IP rights if Fujifilm would not take its Instax Square film off the market.

A third letter, sent in June, demanded royalty payments, and the complaint goes on to say that “on November 8, 2017, Fujifilm was notified that a negotiation meeting between the parties scheduled for the following day was cancelled because the lead investor expressly instructed defendants to pursue litigation unless Fujifilm complied with demands.”

PLR IP owns the US trademarks covering the borders surrounding instant photographs, but Fujifilm’s claim says that after filing for bankruptcy and discontinuing many product lines in 2008, Polaroid has been “unable to return to profitability through product sales” and now seeks “to generate revenue from what remains of the Polaroid IP portfolio”.

Fujifilm is asking the court to declare that its Instax film photos do not infringe any Polaroid IP rights, and is requesting cancellation of Polaroid’s trademarks.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Kodak will lay off 425 employees after reporting millions in losses

14 Nov

Kodak recently disclosed its third quarter fiscal results, revealing that it had a GAAP net loss of $ 46 million on $ 379 million in revenues during its Q3 2017. This marks a sharp downturn of fortunes for Kodak, which saw $ 12 million in net earnings during the same quarter last year. “An overall print market slowdown and rising aluminum costs have impacted our commercial print business,” explained Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke in a release.

Clarke went on to explain that Kodak is, “taking immediate actions to accelerate cost reduction and reduce investments to sharpen our focus as we continue to actively pursue changes to the Kodak product and divisional portfolio.” According to New York Upstate, “accelerate cost reduction” translates to the Eastman Kodak Company cutting 425 jobs.

The quarter had its upsides for Kodak, however, which reports that its Kodak Sonora Plates saw a 24% growth in Q3 and its Flexcel NX revenue grew 2% year-on-year. Overall, Kodak’s CFO David Bullwinkle said the company anticipates generating cash during Q4 2017. “We plan to improve our cash balance through reducing working capital and through cost actions,” Bullwinkle explained, “including focusing investments in technologies most likely to deliver near-term returns.”

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Photobucket breaks billions of photos online, upsets millions of users

04 Jul

If you’re an avid Photobucket user, you woke up to a nasty surprise this past week: the photo storage and hosting service changed their terms, breaking billions of images online in one fell swoop, without so much as a courtesy notice.

Some explanation is probably in order.

Photobucket has been allowing free users to host and link to images on its servers since 2003. If you wanted to host your photos on Photobucket and display them on some 3rd party site (also known as hotlinking) you could do that without being a paying member. This is an extremely useful—not to mention bandwidth-intensive—service to offer, and it’s one of the reasons Photobucket has managed to amass over 10 billion photos uploaded to its servers by over 100 million users.

But starting last week, the company changed its terms and membership structure, and what once was free will now cost users a whopping $ 400 per year. Suddenly, billions of images Photobucket users had hotlinked online no longer showed up. Entire forum threads, like this one found the photo blog by PetaPixel, are now devoid of images.

Instead, you have this graphic on display… over and over:

As you can imagine, Photobucket users are not happy about the change. Any time a free service turns into a paid one there’s bound to be some griping, but going from free to $ 400/year is an extreme jump by any standard.

On the one hand, it’s easy to justify Photobucket’s decision from a business standpoint: advertising revenues are dropping, and hosting that many images has to be incredibly expensive. But doing it so suddenly, without so much as a courtesy warning, has users turning to social media to vent their frustration.

Some are calling it ‘blackmail’ and ‘extortion,’ others are saying it’s business suicide, and droves of users are bidding an angry farewell:

Whatever you want to call it, one thing is certain: making such a sweeping change without warning was the wrong call. You hear that noise? It’s the stampede of users running pell mell towards Imgur.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Banksy Not Arrested: How 1 Man’s Viral Hoax Duped Millions

25 Oct

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

fake banksy spoof photo

By now you may know that the world’s most famous street artist has indeed not been detained by police and his identity remains secret, but how much do you know about the prankster who perpetrated this scandalous subterfuge? For those who missed the start of this affair: a supposedly anonymous author claimed Banksy was unmasked and taken into custody by London police a few days ago during an elaborate sting operation – the story spread like wildfire despite being easy (for those so inclined) to debunk.

free banksy fake identityt

Paul Horner, the man behind the National Report piece, fingered himself as the real Banksy. In reality, he is a serial hoaxer with a history of viral exploits (often involving his own identity) of which this is simply the latest. In many ways, he is a subversive and comedic artist in his own right, arguably not so unlike Banksy after all, who has himself been known to dupe fans for fun if not profit. One could argue that Horner’s artistic stunts simply take other shapes, like writing, coming out of a background of activism and comedy. He is also not the only one who has cleverly used Banksy’s own stunts for creative monetary gain.

banksy not revealed image

His fake story, titled Graffiti Artist Banksy Arrested In London; Identity Revealed, has been shared 3.5 million times on Facebook so far, despite being published on a website well known for reporting fictional (and frequently  hilariously improbable) news. Another early clue: the article’s thin sourcing is relatively transparent: a link to the BBC takes you to their homepage, not an article. For anyone in doubt, there is also fresh new work up on Banksy.co.uk, shown below.

banksy art

Beyond that, the article is riddled with inaccuracies, including inconsistent locations and names as well as an image of an arrest that took place years prior in an unrelated incident. Indeed, the further you read, the more ludicrous the entire thing looks, and yet it fooled millions of believers, too gullible or perhaps simply too eager to finish the piece before sharing it. Superficially, in defense of those duped, it has all of the trappings of a real breaking news piece, including seemingly-relevant pictures and videos peppered throughout.

As for Horner, he “has been alternately described as a media troll, a liar and a hack, but he sees his work in a different light: one part activism, one part fan fiction, and many parts subversive, absurdist comedy.” His exploits include (but are not limited to) claiming he was cast in The Big Lebowski 2 (a film that is not even in production) and the mastermind behind a plan to charge Facebook users for pro accounts. Some would call his pranks and pretensions cruel, but in the midst of the controversy, one has to wonder: what does the real Banksy think of all of this? Does he see a kindred spirit or simply someone using his name to turn a profit?

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

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