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'The Venice Project' is now called 'Joost'

The duo that brought the world Skype and Kazaa, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom have chosen a name for their new online-video start-up. Company executives had referred to the new company for months by the codename "The Venice Project." ( my previous post )They chose Joost because they like the ring of it, according to a spokeswoman. The word doesn't have any meaning in Danish or Swedish--Friis' and Zennstrom's respective native tongues.

Most importantly, Joost has yet to strike any marquee partnerships with top film or TV producers. Without them, their challenge is a tough one: convincing studio executives and the like to turn over their content to Joost when the company has yet to attract a big audience. BitTorrent, the San Francisco-based distributor of a competing peer-to-peer company is also vying to license technology to Internet video companies.

Another threat could come from the growing number of sites that offer top cable and movie channels without permission.

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