Vivendi Buys Mp3.Com
Vivendi Universal last week acquired online music trailblazer MP3.com for $372 million in cash and stock. Vivendi, which owns Universal Music Group, said MP3.com will remain independent, featuring content from all record labels and independent artists, but also said MP3.com is “a candidate” to provide technology for Duet, the music subscription service Vivendi is creating with Sony Music Entertainment.
Software companies lost about $11.8 billion worldwide in 2000 due to piracy, compared with $12.2 billion in 1999, according to an annual survey by the industry trade group, the Business Software Alliance. One-third of all business software applications in use last year were pirated copies, according to the association.
Novell lost $151.3 million for its second quarter of 2001 — primarily due to investment write-offs and a steep decline in revenue — and last week said it would lay off about 260 people, or 5 percent of its work force, by the end of May. Novell said its investment write-downs included $100 million invested in marchFirst, an Internet consulting firm that has filed for bankruptcy, and $42 million for other equity investments in public and nonpublic Net companies. Novell said it expects to return to profitability by the end of fiscal year 2001.
Supreme Court Takes Porn Case
The U.S. Supreme Court said it will review the Child Online Protection Act, a 1998 law that makes it a crime to allow access to material “harmful” to minors on the Web without first verifying a users age. A lower court blocked enforcement of the law on grounds that it unconstitutionally curtails protected free speech. The Supreme Court will hear the appeal, filed by the Department of Justice, later this fall.