Ivi.ru is Hollywood’s route to Russian VOD

Russian video aggregator ivi.ru is raising $40 million more. The money will be used to license TV and movie content, as investors hope decreasing piracy and willingness to pay for content can make for success.

Kim Dotcom: A wannabe Steve Jobs?

In a 5,700-word cover story serving a not-so-sympathetic constituency, entertainment trade The Hollywood Reporter reveals Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom to be more of an aspiring tech-media mogul than swaggering international pirate. Friends, associates and attorneys describe the Motion Picture Association of America’s least favorite person.

Subscription movie service Moviepass gets a second chance

Moviepass, which is trying to launch a Netflix-like all-you-can-eat plan for moviegoers, is getting a second chance to launch thanks to a partnership with Hollywood Movie Money, which gives its users access to movie tickets across 36,000 screens in the U.S.

Zediva shuts down DVD-streaming service

Less than two weeks after a federal court issued a preliminary injunction against its DVD-streaming service, Zediva has suspended its operations. The shutdown is a big win for Hollywood studios, which took the company to court earlier this year.

British court orders ISP to block piracy site Newzbin

A judge in London has ruled that the country’s largest internet provide should block access to Newzbin, a filesharing service which Hollywood has been trying to shut down for years. Could the decision encourage other ISPs to institute filters against unauthorized downloading?

First lesson of viral video: No monkey business

20th Century Fox released a viral video last week that supposedly documents African soldiers giving an ape an AK-47, only to have the monkey open fire on them. The video has attracted millions of views on YouTube, but also provoked a wave of racist comments.

James Cromwell film will debut on BitTorrent

File sharers can download a spy thriller with a cast including Six Feet Under actor James Cromwell this Friday, thanks to a collaboration between the film makers and P2P distribution platform VODO. The site is asking for donations to bring the movie to theaters.

PopEater’s Warner Joins HollywoodLife

Mail.com Media Corp.’s HollywoodLife has hired AOL’s Denise Warner as managing editor. At AOL (NYSE: AOL), Warner was one of the original em…

YouTube Doubles Down on VOD with Major Studio Content

Google wants to sell you movie rentals from major Hollywood studios on YouTube, according to reports that surfaced last night. The question is: Would anyone pay? YouTube’s past VOD efforts haven’t fared so well, and only attracted a few hundred paid plays for some movies.

YouTube Seeks to Bring Order to Its Chaos

YouTube has thrived as the undisputed leader of long-tail content, but it could soon begin reining in its content to create specialized channels instead. While YouTube is ready to invest heavily, the initiative marks a departure from its open platform for video sharing.

Tim Armstrong Is Betting AOL’s Future on Hollywood

AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong has been busy signing content-production deals with celebrities like former supermodel Heidi Klum and singer Queen Latifah — but can this new Hollywood-focused strategy produce enough financial bang to make a difference to a fading web giant like AOL?

Weekend Reading: How Marketers Killed the Movie Biz

If read just one article about the demise of quality movies being produced by Hollywood, check out Mark Harris’ “The Day the Movies Died.” With studio decisions being increasingly driven by marketers, the focus has shifted to producing film franchises rather than telling original stories.