Movie studios sue Samsung
Walt Disney Co, Time Warner Inc and three other movie studios sued Samsung Electronics Co, saying the company's DVD players allow consumers to circumvent encryption features that prevent unauthorized duplication. Technicians for the studios could disable the piracy prevention feature on the DVD players by pressing a sequence of numbers on the remote control, the studios said in a complaint filed on Friday in federal court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit demands a recall of all Samsung DVD players that allow copy-protection features to be disabled. Piracy cost the movie industry about US$5.4 billion in sales last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. The other studios bringing the lawsuit are Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios.
Evergreen lifts profit target
Evergreen Group (長榮集團) is targeting a record NT$15 billion (US$463 million) pre-tax profit this year, the Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times reported, citing company president Arnold Wang (王龍雄). The company raised shipment charges by more than US$100 per container from April and may raise them further in May should demand remain strong, the newspaper reported. Wang's comments are aimed at rebuffing a Morgan Stanley report saying it cut its recommendation and earning estimates for four Asia-based shipping lines including Evergreen, citing a decline in the fee for moving sea freight, the newspaper said.
TAITRA to throw light on EU
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) will invite experts with marketing experience in Europe to a seminar on Feb. 21 to help Taiwanese enterprises better understand European markets and the possible challenges, a TAITRA official said yesterday. As the EU's directives on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) will come into force on July 1, TAITRA will also invite an adviser from the Electric-Electronic and Environmental Technology Development Association and representatives of the French Geodis Group, which ranks among the top five European transport and logistic firms, to offer advice to local firms on how to comply with the ROHS directives and to boost their competitiveness.
Co-ops' loan ratio drops
The overdue loan ratio of the 278 credit cooperatives operated by farmers' and fishermen's associations nationwide declined to 10.92 percent as of the end of December last year, according to tallies released yesterday by the Council of Agriculture. The ratio was 0.94 percentage points lower than that registered at the end of the previous month and 3.54 percentage points lower than that of the same time the previous year, the tallies show. The overdue loans amounted to NT$65 billion (US$2 billion) as of the end of December last year, down NT$4.9 billion over the same time in 2004. As of the end of December, the assets of the credit cooperatives amounted to NT$1.57 trillion, down NT$5.4 billion over November last year. The net asset value amounted to NT$82.3 billion, down NT$2.8 billion from November. The deposit balance totaled NT$1.36 trillion, up NT$10.7 billion from the previous month, while the loan balance totalled NT$594.9 billion, up NT$5.9 billion from the previous month.