— Mediaequals: Digital ad-trading platform MediaEquals MD and co-founder Gary Goodman is the company’s new CEO for Europe as part of its plans to expand across the continent. The site came out of beta in April last year and allows publishers to detail their inventories and ad agencies to buy up ad spots. In addition, CEO Martin Banbury becomes executive chairman and plans to hire a North America CEO to expand there too. Steve Payne, former head of integrated solutions at Associated Northcliffe Digital, has also been appointed a senior account manager, to run what the company claims is £500 million worth of inventory in the press sector. Via Mediaweek.
— Digital Sky Ventures: Russian VC company Digital Sky Technologies, a majority shareholder in search Mail.ru, has bought a 25.1 percent stake in link exchange business Sape.ru. The deal took place in January 2008 but is only being disclosed now; the amount paid wasn’t disclosed. The site, which reportedly has a turnover of “tens of millions of dollars”, was founded in 2006 and has over 180,000 users. Via Yakov.
— France’s three strikes: The French government will this week try to pass legislation that would oblige ISPs to cut off customers who illegally download music, films or games after two warnings. The plan, aimed at cutting piracy by 80 percent and backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, was proposed in a bill last year by
MEP Guy Bono FNAC chairman Denis Oliviennes but was rejected as European legislation opposed by EU media commissioner Viviane Reding. But there’s nothing to stop France writing its own domestic rules on file-sharing, and Sarkozy may be bolstered by Ireland’s Eircom’s recent adoption of the three-strikes rule in Ireland. From iAfrica.com.
— Sellaband: Fan-funded music platform Sellaband is launching an assault on the US market: the Dutch company has hired New York-based “multi-platform entertainment company” BTN Eastlink to front its American operations and appointed former Public Enemy frontman and digital music enthusiast Chuck D as an ambassador. BTN will handle the company’s day-to-day operations in the US and help co-ordinate its involvement in the American ArenaFest summer tour featuring bands funded through the site.