Cablevision, Viacom settle suit over on-demand iPad app

Cablevision Systems Corp. and Viacom Inc., the owner of MTV and other cable TV channels, have settled a lawsuit over software that lets subscribers view Viacom channels and individual shows on demand on their iPads.

Viacom had sought millions of dollars in damages and an injunction preventing Cablevision from offering its Optimum app. Viacom said the app infringes on its copyrights. Cablevision says it’s an extension of a cable service that customers already pay for.

The companies did not give details of the settlement, but they said in a joint statement that they were “able to resolve the iPad matter and an unrelated business matter to their mutual satisfaction.” 

Hulu to launch streaming video service in Japan

Online streaming site Hulu.com plans to launch a subscription video service in Japan this year.

In a blog post Wednesday, Hulu said the new service will provide access to popular television shows and movies on computers, televisions and mobile devices for one monthly price.

The company offered no further details but said it chose Japan for its first international expansion because Japanese audiences are “passionate about premium video content” and because Japan is a “major producer of world-class TV and feature films.”

The company added that Japan is a particularly attractive market for delivering video over the Internet because of its extensive broadband penetration and the ubiquitous presence of Internet-connected mobile devices. 

New Walmart, Amazon services work on iPad but bypass Apple

Walmart Stores Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. last week revealed new video and book-reading services that are designed for the iPad but bypass Apple Inc.’s fees on content sales.

Walmart started to stream video from its Vudu service to the iPad’s Web browser, and Amazon announced the Kindle Cloud Reader, which lets users read e-books.

Amazon, the leading seller of e-books, has a Kindle app for the iPad. However, Apple recently forced it to remove a button that launches Amazon’s Kindle website, where users buy books. Apple wants companies to sell their content through its iTunes system, where it gets a 30 percent cut.

Media companies are finding Apple’s fees hard to accept. So they are getting around that by avoiding apps that must be distributed through Apple’s App Store, where Apple’s fee policies apply. Earlier this summer, The Financial Times created an app-like website for its newspaper to avoid Apple’s fees.

— From news service reports