Wednesday, April 20, 2005   Reeves, Vidéotron launch private online games networkMontreal-based Reeves Interactive has teamed up with Vidéotron ltée to launch a new private online gaming network across Quebec. The cableco is offering the network, which features support for multimedia headsets that allow players to communicate in real time, for two weeks without charge to its broadband subscribers, and for a one-week trial period to non-subscribers. Thereafter, it will cost $5.99 per month for high-speed subs, and $7.99 per month for non-subscribers. Games available on the network include: Counter-Strike, Half-Life2 DM, and Counter-Strike: Source from Valve Software, Call of Duty from Activision, Battlefield 1942 from EA Games, Unreal Tournament from Epic Games, and Enemy Territory and Quake 3 from ID Software. Scores will be tracked across the network and top players will qualify for prizes. Sun Microsystems was involved in launching the network on the back-end, according to a media release. Mad Catz strikes Marvel licensing dealMad Catz Interactive Inc. has inked a licensing agreement with Marvel Enterprises Inc. to secure the rights to produce specialty video game accessories based on Marvel’s Fantastic Four Super Hero franchise for the Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo DS and Sony PSP gaming systems. The accessories release will be timed to coincide with this summer’s 20th Century Fox movie, Fantastic Four. Mad Catz CEO Darren Richardson notes in a media release that the launch of the line of accessories will provide the company with a revenue source outside of the traditional holiday sales season for video games. iSee completes sales offeringCapital L’Estéral, now known as iseemedia inc., has completed its reverse takeover of Isee Media Inc. with a public share offering that resulted in gross proceeds of $5.02 million, according to a news release. The company’s common shares have resumed trading on the TSX venture exchange, and it has qualified as a Tier 1 Issuer under the rules of that exchange. Iseeme will continue the business of the company, which sells a patented technology to stream high-res content over the Internet and mobile networks. The company’s management team now includes Anthony DeCristofaro, president and CEO; David Berman, CFO; and, Ihor Petelycky, VP of technology and CTO. All three held the same positions prior to the transaction. WIPO hosting intellectual property and development meetingsThe World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced that it will hold a series of meetings this month and next on intellectual property and development. The meetings come in the wake of a discussion last fall on an Argentine and Brazilian proposal to incorporate development dimensions in the body’s various activities. Magic Lantern acquisition falls under reviewMagic Lantern Group Inc.’s (formerly JKC Group) bid to control the Canadian business carried on by Magic Lantern Communications Ltd., Magic Vision Media Inc., Tutor Buddy Inc. and Sonoptic Technologies has been ordered reviewed by Canadian Heritage pursuant to the Investment Canada Act. Hip Interactive arranges new credit facilityHip Interactive Corp. has closed a $55-million revolving credit facility with Congress Financial Corp. (Canada). It replaces a $40-million credit with the Bank of Nova Scotia. The credit will be used to meet Hip’s “operating needs and growth,” according to a media release. Hip and Congress have an existing relationship dating to 2001. Sympatico launches new French video channelBell Canada and MSN Canada have launched a free French-language video clip streaming service. The service will offer viewers exclusive content featuring Francophone artists in the coming months. The first such event will be on April 22 when the site offers Les Acoustiques MusiMax featuring an exclusive interactive concert with Richard Séguin. Patrick Norman will be showcased on May 13. Other artists to be featured will include Daniel Boucher, Sylvain Cossette and Gilles Valiquette. The video will be available in Windows Media-format clips. OPP charge Nigerian letter scammerOfficers from the anti-rackets section of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have charged a 32-year-old Brampton ON man with fraud, possession of property obtained by crime, uttering forged documents and conspiracy to commit fraud following a 14-month investigation into a Nigerian letter scam. The OPP’s investigation identified more than 40 victims of the scheme, and more than $800,000 in stolen cheques, according to a media release. Olusoji Ayodele of Brampton is scheduled to appear in court on June 6 on fraud and other charges. Pathfire wins CNW distribution dealAtlanta-based Pathfire Inc. has signed a deal with CNW Group to digitally distribute the company’s broadcast footage and b-roll packages to Pathfire’s network of over 1,300 broadcast stations. Pathfire’s digital media distribution system is an automated IP multicast technology that distributes and manages content to automatically put it on news editors’ and producers’ desks, with the ability for those personnel to search, preview and select content from their desktops. No value for the agreement was disclosed in a media release. CHUM to broadcast protection of children online documentary specialACCESS, CLT and CourtTV Canada, working with Alberta’s solicitor general and Alberta Children’s Services, will broadcast a television special exploring the protection of children online, Children, Sex & the Net: What every parent should know. The two-hour special will feature the rise of child sexual predation online and a panel discussion to provide advice on how to protect kids from it. The broadcasts will be in mid-May on the different stations. Specific airtimes are available online. Online archive of Francophone education history launchedThe Centre de documentation sure l’éducation des adultes et la condition féminine (CDEACF) has posted online a collection of more than 400 documents produced by Francophone community groups working in education, La Collection EducAction. The archive is intended to preserve history for current and future generations, according to a media release (French-language). The items date back 60 years and were created by community activists, volunteers and the education community.