VERIZON has filed a lawsuit looking to overturn the FCC’s rules for the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. The lawsuit claims that the auction rules are “arbitrary and capricious,” and overstep the powers of the Commission. The auction is scheduled to begin on January 16, 2008.
VIACOM is finally getting into the social-networking game. This morning it will launch Flux, a social network spread across its many separate sites. Flux.com will allow users to create profiles featuring blog posts, pictures, videos, and (of course) lists of friends. Flux users will be able to log into Viacom micro-sites without having to re-register. All profile info and data will be brought with users, allowing them to carry their social networks to each new destination. The underlying technology for the venture comes from Social Project, a company in which Viacom quietly invested $40 million last year.
MYSPACE is adding even more original content. The social-networking site has partnered with Seventeen Magazine to create “Freshman 15.” The online documentary will follow 15 young women as they embark on their college careers. The participants will post blogs and videos chronicling their experiences. MySpace is partnering with a dominant brand for the teen demographic. Seventeen is the best-selling teen magazine, with 13 million readers.
SONIC MOUNTAIN has purchased FIREANT, the video player startup that focused on video podcasts. SonicMountain previously acquired Odeo, the podcasting-centered startup. It will combine the two acquisitions into one product, and is expected to launch a video and podcast player and community this December.
PRINCE intends to file suit against YouTube, for unauthorized use of the artist’s copyrighted material. He rejects YouTube’s claim that it cannot filter content, claiming that it already successfully filters pornography. He believes YouTube intentionally chooses not to filter copyrighted materiel, and is suing the site as part of his bid to “reclaim his art on the Internet.” Prince is also suing eBay and Pirate Bay, a popular piracy site.