The “Forbidden Journey” ride at Universal Studios’ Harry Potter park just got a little less forbidden, at least for some obese tourists. The park has added new larger sized seats to the ride, so at least some of those who were turned away in previous months might have better luck now.
Hey, are you ready for Comcast to take more control over your entertainment? Then great news for you! Yesterday a rumor leaked that the cable giant is negotiating to buy 51% of NBC Universal, which includes the movie studio Universal, Universal theme parks, the NBC network, and shows like 30 Rock and SNL.
While details of such an approach are still sketchy, it would likely involve employees paying tax on a percentage of their employer-provided health benefits. So if Congress decided that all such premiums in excess of $11,000 for family plans would be taxable income, and your company paid premiums worth $16,000 for your coverage, you’d have to pay taxes on $5,000.
Universal Gas & Electric, a Canadian company, sends out door-to-door salesmen who lie to homeowners about the imaginary “savings” they’ll enjoy if they switch gas suppliers, when in reality Universal is currently about 50% higher than the default supplier. One former Universal employee says, “I’d have people ask, ‘What am I paying now?’ and they’d look at the bill and it’s right there in front of them and they don’t know where to look and I would avoid telling them that.”
Of all the Ivy League schools, Harvard is the only one to have escaped the deluge of RIAA pre-litigation letters. What gives?
Starting next month, you can get your fill of ringles in major stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. Brainstormed by Sony, the ringle is a sort of souped-up CD single—”one hit and maybe one remix and an older track—and one ringtone, on a CD with a slip-sleeve cover.” Sony BMG will release 50 titles in October and November, while Universal will release 10 to 20. Each ringle will cost between $5.98 and $6.98. (Wanna bet which price point the labels will go for?)
Look at this kid dance and smile as he revels in his mother’s blatant copyright infringement. The song fueling his happiness, Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” is owned by Universal Music Group, whose lawyers are not dancing, smiling, or happy.
NBC Lawyer: Copyright Infringement Is A More Important Law Enforcement Priority Than Fraud, Burglary And Bank-Robbing
Meet NBC/Universal general counsel Rick Cotton. He told a press conference that,
“Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year.”
Cotton is the Chairman of something called the Coalition Against Counterfieting and Piracy and is “spearheading” a new effort by the MPAA and and the RIAA called, “Campaign to Protect America.”
Four people, likely students, walked into the back of the room, all holding cardboard signs. One sign had a scythe attached and said, “Don’t fear the RIAAper.” Another guy had no pants on and had a sign that said, “The RIAA sued the pants off me.” Another girl had a sign that said, “Download like it’s 1999.” And the last girl had some spare change in her hand that was to go to “Metallica’s retirement fund.”
A couple weeks ago, we repoted that Universal Pictures was intending on selling its embarrassing remake of King Kong over the Internet to customers for the low, low price of thirty five dollars. “Jeezum Crow!” was the only properly incredulous reaction to the announcement. The price was absolutely ghastly for what was being offered — basically, one huge mpeg with none of the extras, packaging or company-expenses of DVDs that sell for half the price.
Universal Pictures is launching a download-to-own service where you can legally download movies like King Kong on to your computer for the low, low price of thirty-five dollars.