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Oscar's New Rules, Middle East Cell Phones, And More

Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 | 2:12 PM ET
Oscar Awards
AP
Oscar Awards

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences just approved some new rules for the 80th Academy Awards. The most notable change is a rule that states that nominees for Best Picture can only be "three or fewer producers who have performed the major portion of the producing functions."

The board approved the potential for exceptions to that limit, but it definitely sends a message about disputes over who claims awards to films like 'Crash' from Yari Films. A lawsuit about whether Bob Yari (who financed the film) deserved a gold statuette, continued for months.

And the definition of 'animated feature' was clarified in light of all the new technologies -- it must use a "frame by frame technique". And in light of the 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' genre of films--Disney has one coming out later this year--animation must figure in no less han 75 % of the movie's running time.

It's never too early to start planning your Oscar party. The nominations are announced on January 22 next year, and the awards will be broadcast on ABC (owned by Disney) on Sunday February 24.

And check out this new video conferencing site -- it allows you to talk with up to up to six people, anywhere in the world. They just need to have a webcam, and to use this site--www.oovoo.com.

The Middle East will have more than 150 million cellular connections this quarter according to

Wireless Intelligence. The region has a 50% mobile penetration rate, thanks mostly to the penetration in Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabi.

War seems to be "good" for the mobile business--Afganistan was the fastest growing mobile market in 2006 follwed by Iraq. And don't look for a lot of land lines--mobile phones are about 97% of the total connections in the area. And with a growth rate of 30%, the Middle East is the second-fastest growing region in the world for cellular markets. Thanks to Wireless Intelligence, a joint venture between Ovum and the GSM Association for the info.

Check Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.