EU Reveals New Guidelines for App Stores

July 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The European Union announced today that it is working with member states to create guidelines that ensure that games and apps with in-app purchases are marketed to consumers in an "appropriate manner." These rules come after an investigation into App store marketing practices aimed at children.

The EU said that, going forward, the following guidelines will be applied to Apple, Google, and other app store owners:

- Games advertised as "free" should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved

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Ofcom Makes Switching Broadband Fiber Providers in the UK Cheaper and Easier

June 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New guidelines from Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) will make switching from one superfast broadband supplier to another less expensive. Prior to changes in the rules, when a consumer switched from BT's Openreach (the company that controls BT's phone and broadband infrastructure) the new ISP would be hit with a £50 connection fee. This fee was typically passed on to the consumer.

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European Parliament Adopts Net Neutrality Laws

April 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The European Parliament has voted to implement net neutrality rules that would - if fully approved - restrict internet service providers' from charging data-intensive services such as Netflix for faster network access. The new law still needs to be approved by Europe's Council of Ministers.

The new rules would also prohibit mobile networks and broadband providers from blocking services such as WhatApp messages or Google Drive storage, which critics argue could be exploited to allow child pornography to be shared via these types of services.

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'Cut The Rope' Developer Challenges King's 'Candy' Trademark in Europe

March 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK-based 'Cut the Rope' developer ZeptoLab has filed an official challenge to King's "Candy" trademark in Europe. The company filed its official challenge to the broad trademark on March 20. In the European Union, King still has an active trademark registration for Candy that covers video games, video game services, and clothing. ZeptoLab is strongly objecting to this in that region, noting that no company should holds the rights to such a broad and commonly used term such as "Candy."

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European Commission Vice-President: Future Internet is Based on Trust

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking at the Cebit tech fair in Hanover, Germany recently, European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes said that the future of the internet has to be based on trust. Kroes is responsible for the European Commission's Digital Agenda, and was giving the speech to an audience which included such state leaders as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

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A Closer Look at One Censored Scene in South Park: Stick of Truth

March 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Kotaku shows off a couple of screenshots from the European version of South Park: The Stick of Truth. The screenshots - both of which contain spoilers (so if you don't want this specific plot element revealed to you, don't view it) - show off what happens in the uncensored version of the game versus the European version.

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EU-U.S. Trade Talks Face Growing Opposition

February 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

European Union ministers are acknowledging that free trade talks between the European Union and the United States are being continually opposed by advocacy groups who are fighting against such issues as globalization, multinationals, and more. The rise of these groups' influence on negotiations, along with reports that the U.S. has been spying in Europe and that trade agreements are favored by big companies (who are helping to craft the language of some of these treaties) has proven to be a challenge to EU officials.

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European Commission Tackles Free-to-Play Games

February 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The European Commission announced that it is holding meetings with member states and key players in the mobile app space like Apple and Google to enforce even stronger regulation of free-to-play games. The European Union's executive body said that it is concerned that a substantial number of games are marketed as free but contain in-app purchases that can prove to be very costly to consumers and that children are "particularly vulnerable" to messaging and marketing.

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Germany Proposes Building a European Communications Network to Better Protect Citizens' Data

February 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during her weekly podcast that she is proposing to other European nations - most notably France - to build their own communications network to help improve data protection. Chancellor Merkel described a network that would not have to automatically pass through the United States.

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Valve Wins German Lawsuit Concerning Used Digital Games Sales

February 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to the web site for law firm Osborne Clarke, the results of the German court case against Valve for not allowing Steam accounts to be transferred or the ability to sell pre-owned Steam games are in.

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The Ghost of ACTA Haunts EU Trade Agreements

October 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In the early part of 2012 citizens of the world - particularly in Europe - took to the streets to protest, signed petitions, and gave politicians and bureaucrats an earful of disdain over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). All of those efforts paid off, with members of the European Parliament inevitably voting against it.

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La Quadrature du Net: CETA Will Impact Internet Freedoms

October 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Canadian Internet rights group La Quadrature du Net warns that a trade treaty between Canada and the European Union will ultimately hurt internet freedoms in both regions if its ratified. CETA recently reached "agreement in principle" status during a meeting between José Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Stefen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister.

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Germany Proposes Tough Love for U.S. Companies that Don't Protect Private Data

August 7, 2013 -

According to an Ars Technica report, Germany’s justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said on Monday that she favored even stronger European Union rules that would enhance data protection and that companies in the United States who don't abide by those standards should be barred from doing business in the European Market.

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UKIE 'Confident' that EU Commission Will Approve UK Tax Game Industry Relief

July 19, 2013 -

UKIE, the trade body that represents the video game industry in the UK, says that it feels "pretty confident" that the tax break proposal will be approved by the European Union and that the doubts raised by the EU Commission over taxpayers contributing to the proposed relief will evaporate. Last year, the UK government approved tax breaks for the country's games sector, promising to provide 25 percent tax relief on 80 percent of the budget for qualifying UK-made games.

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European Commission Mandates the Inclusion of Intellectual Property Rights Measures in TAFTA

May 24, 2013 -

Back in March La Quadrature du Net (a non-profit association defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet) joined 47 European and International organizations in asking the European Parliament to exclude provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, geographical indications, or other forms of so-called intellectual property from the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).

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European Commission Issues Preliminary Antitrust Ruling Against Motorola Mobility

May 7, 2013 -

This week the European Commission issued a preliminary antitrust ruling against Google’s Motorola Mobility related to its heavy handed tactics against Apple in German Courts. The finding could ultimately lead to a large fine for Motorola (and by extension Google) and could lead to Motorola being forced to enter an agreement with competitors to license its patents for a reasonable royalty rate.

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European Commission Investigating UK Game Industry Tax Relief Plan

April 16, 2013 -

During the United Kingdom's March 2012 Budget it looked like plans for tax breaks for video games developers were a lock, but a European Commission (EC) investigation that was announced today has put their future in doubt. The European Commission announced today that it plans to investigate the proposals, and questions whether there is an obvious market failure in the UK games industry.

Specifically the EC is seeking answers to four key questions related to the UK games tax relief plan:

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Proposal for 30Mbps Broadband to Everyone in the EU by 2020

March 26, 2013 -

Under a new proposal put forward this week as part of the European Union’s Digital Agenda for Europe, all member states would offer a minimum level of 30Mbps broadband to everybody by the year 2020. One of the roadblocks to this lofty goal seems to be a lack of funding; last month over $9 billion earmarked for broadband deployment was cut from the EU budget. Despite this major setback, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes is still pushing for hitting that 2020 target.

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Samsung Won't Seek Injunctions Against Apple Devices in European Countries

December 18, 2012 -

Following yesterday's ruling by U.S District Judge Lucy Koh that rejected Apple's motion for a ban on the sale of three older Samsung devices still being sold in the U.S. that infringed on the company's iPhone-related patents, Samsung has decided to withdraw all of its requests for injunctions against Apple products currently pending in European courts.

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Apple Complies With Italy's Warranty Requirements

November 13, 2012 -

According to this Reuters report, Apple is now complying with local warranty laws in Italy after the company was threatened by the Italian government with shut downs of its local businesses and hefty fines if it did not comply. Last week Apple stopped selling its AppleCare warranty plans in its retail stores in Italy. The paid warranty program from Apple offers coverage after the limited warranty on an Apple product expires.

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Advocacy Groups Demand More Transparency from European Commission on Trade Agreement Negotiations

October 25, 2012 -

Advocacy groups ACT-UP Paris, April, and La Quadrature du Net issued a joint statement this week demanding that the European Parliament's European Commission and Member States be more transparent in the negotiations of a number of trade agreements including The Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), the India-EU, Thailand-EU, Moldavia-EU Free Trade Agreements, and more.

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Release of Jailed Bohemia Interactive Employees Delayed By Protests in Greece

October 12, 2012 -

The Bohemia Interactive developers (Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar) who were locked up under the suspicion that they shot video and took pictures of a military base in Greece have yet to be released, and according to the website dedicated to the duo, it is due to riots in the country over austerity measures.

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CleanIT Act Makes SOPA and PIPA Look Tame in Comparison

October 1, 2012 -

A new bill being secretly passed around to certain members of the European Parliament is making headlines today because of its eerie similarities to legislation like SOPA, CISPA and ACTA. The bill is called "CleanIT," and it is currently in the early stages of being refined. But the draft has been leaked to the public, much to the chagrin of its main supporters and it has a lot of horrible provisions.

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Portugal: File-Sharing for Personal, Non-Commercial Use is Legal

September 28, 2012 -

Last year the movie industry anti-piracy group ACAPOR delivered boxes full of IP-addresses that they alleged had engaged in illegal file-sharing to the Attorney General’s Office of Portugal. The group wanted the AG's office to act against these 2,000 alleged pirates, saying that they were doing anything they could to "alert the government to the very serious situation in the entertainment industry." Fast-forward to the present day and the AG has a decision that the group is not too pleased with..

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Ireland Wants Minimum Broadband Speeds of 30Mbps

August 31, 2012 -

While America continues to flounder when it comes to broadband connection speeds, politicians in Ireland are doing everything they can to make things better for its citizens. According to this Ars Technica report, Ireland's Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has outlined a new broadband plan for Ireland that calls for a "minimum of 30Mbps for every remaining home and business in the country—no matter how rural or remote."

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GameStop Investigating Digital Used Game Sales in Europe

July 27, 2012 -

GameStop is apparently paying close attention to the recent decision by the European High Court that digital purchases could legally be resold. Speaking to GameSpot, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said that the video games retailer is seriously looking into the idea of creating a business out of reselling digital downloads in Europe, but cautions that it is too early for him to say if it is something they will get into. At this point the company is simply investigating the idea.

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Michael Geist: European Commission's Assurance on CETA Don't Add Up

July 26, 2012 -

As more details emerge on the secretly negotiated trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, online rights activists are voicing their opinions on why it is a bad idea and why they are getting a strange sense of déjà vu. Critics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was ultimately voted down by the European Parliament, have warned that those forces in Europe and other parts of the world behind such treaties will continue to push parts of that treaty that most citizens do not want.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Banned in Europe

July 24, 2012 -

Litigation continues in the never-ending fight between Apple and Samsung over patents. Apple has managed to secure a ban on Samsung's popular tablet in all of Europe. Apple has won a preliminary injunction against the Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 in all European Union member countries. While the tablet was already banned in Germany, the new ruling means that Apple can return to the German court if Samsung sells the tablet in Europe and ask the court for remedies.

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Poll: Would You Delete Your Copy of a Game You Resold?

July 17, 2012 -

Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice ruled that game publishers cannot stop European consumers from reselling their downloaded games.  Not only that, but a publisher may have to facilitate such a transaction by allowing the recipient of the sale to download their “used” copy from its website.

Oh yeah, they’re going to love that.

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Report: ACTA Provisions Rise From the Grave in CETA

July 11, 2012 -

Less than a week after the European Parliament voted to soundly reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), opponents of that measure are crying foul on a back door deal to get some of the treaty's worst provision enacted as part of another treaty.

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Whose next half decade of superhero films are you most looking forward to?:

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E. Zachary KnightWatch Ultron ruin all your Disney childhood memories in this How The Ultron Teaser Should Have Ended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra1sBRLRFtc10/30/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeConster:they finally made a working worth while PSP emulator.10/30/2014 - 8:10pm
quiknkoldMechatama31, you can get VC2 on the Vita and Vita TV. you have to buy it through PSN on PS3 and transfer it to vita and then playstation tv. I have it on my PS TV and it works10/30/2014 - 7:15pm
MechaTama31I loved Valkyria Chronicles. Still super cheesed off that the sequels were PSP-only... :/10/30/2014 - 6:57pm
ConsterI played Steamworld Dig on the 3DS, and it's pretty fun.10/30/2014 - 6:51pm
Matthew WilsonRECOMMENDED: OS: Windows 7 Processor: Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.8GHz (or equivalent) Memory: 3 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 (or equivalent) Hard Drive: 25 GB available space10/30/2014 - 5:49pm
Matthew Wilsonhere hare the system requirements. make of ithem what you will. MINIMUM: OS: Windows Vista/Windows 7 Processor: Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.0GHz (or equivalent) Memory: 2 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 (or equivalent) Hard Drive: 25 GB available spa10/30/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenStill a game I really want to play. Hope it's a solid port.10/30/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonValkyria Chronicles pc port needs 25ggb. not bad exept this game came out in 08 on the ps3.10/30/2014 - 4:56pm
james_fudgeEZK: my sarcasm senses are tingling ;)10/30/2014 - 4:21pm
Andrew EisenIf it's any consolation, Xbox owners, Wii U owners don't get the game at all. And if we did, we'd probably never get the DLC.10/30/2014 - 4:19pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://kotaku.com/destinys-new-dlc-kinda-screws-over-xbox-players-1652294153 Sucks when the shoe's on the other foot, huh.10/30/2014 - 4:12pm
E. Zachary KnightSo a vocational school in Oklahoma is being evacuated because someone found a briefcase in the bathroom. Imagine that. A briefcase ina school. That's unpossible.10/30/2014 - 3:33pm
prh99Also, Nintendo wants to watch you sleep..for Science! (*in best Cave Johnson voice) http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/10/nintendo-wants-to-watch-you-sleep-for-science/10/30/2014 - 2:47pm
prh99I got it in a Humble Bundle, it's ok but the hype is definitely over blown. Also, only being able dig in the four cardinal directions made for some irksome digging..10/30/2014 - 2:38pm
E. Zachary KnightI enjoyed it. It was very short, but rewarding and fun.10/30/2014 - 2:35pm
Andrew EisenAgainst my better judgement (game looks boring to me), I purchased Steamworld Dig. It's highly praised and it was on sale. Hopefully I'll be wrong about it and think it's as awesome as everyone else.10/30/2014 - 2:09pm
quiknkoldhttp://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/10/femme-doms-of-videogames-bayonetta-doesnt-care-if.html10/30/2014 - 1:15pm
quiknkoldIf he calls himself the Effing Robot King, I can die happy10/30/2014 - 1:14pm
Michael ChandraAlso, yay for him being Ultron. :D10/30/2014 - 1:08pm
 

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