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Activision

Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016; the company was founded as Activision, Inc. in October 1979 in Sunnyvale, California, by former Atari game developers, upset at how they were treated at Atari, to develop their own games for the popular Atari 2600 home video game console. Activision was the first third-party, console video game developer; the 1983 video game crash, in part created by too many new companies trying to follow in Activision's footsteps without the expertise of Activision's founders, hurt Activision's position in console games, forcing them to diversify into games for home computers, including the acquisition of Infocom. After a management shift, with CEO Jim Levy replaced by Bruce Davis, the company renamed itself as Mediagenic and branched out into business software applications.

Mediagenic fell into debt, the company was bought for around US$500,000 by Bobby Kotick and a small group of investors around 1991. Kotick instituted a full rework of the company to cover its debts: dismissing most of its staff, moving the company to Los Angeles, reverting to the Activision name. Building on existing assets, the Kotick-led Activision pursued more publishing opportunities and, after recovering from the former debt, started acquiring numerous studios and intellectual properties over the 1990s and 2000s, among these being the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero series. A holding company was formed as Activision's parent company to manage the internal and acquired studios. In 2008, this holding merged with Vivendi Games and formed Activision Blizzard, with Kotick as its CEO. Within this structure, Activision serves to manage numerous third-party studios and publish all of the parent company's games outside of those created by Blizzard. By 1979, Nolan Bushnell had sold Atari, Inc. to Warner Communications and left the company over several disagreements with the direction Warner wanted to take the company—particularly with the popular Atari 2600 game console.

Bushnell's replacement as CEO, Ray Kassar, showed little respect to developers, giving them no financial compensation for profitable games and refusing them public credit for fear they would be recruited by other game companies. David Crane, one of Atari's programmers, recalled a memo sent by Kassar that listed the best-selling cartridges from the previous year to help guide game ideas. Crane, along with Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead, became vocal about the lack of recognition within the company and became known as the "Gang of Four"; the group met with Kassar in May 1979 to demand that the company treat developers as record labels treated musicians, with royalties and their names on game boxes. Kaplan, who called the others "the best designers for the in the world", recalled that Kassar called the four men "towel designers" and claimed that "anybody can do a cartridge"; the four made the decision to soon leave Atari and start their own business, but were not sure how to go about it.

Some developers had left Atari, only to be hired back as contractors doubling their pay rate, but the four wanted something more ambitious. In 1979, the concept of third-party developers did not exist, as software for video game consoles were published by makers of the systems for which the games were designed; the four decided to create their own independent game development company. They were directed by their attorney to Jim Levy, at the time raising venture capital to manufacture cassette tape drives for early home computers. Levy listened to their plans, agreed with its direction, helped the four to secure about US$1 million in capital from Sutter Hill Ventures. By August and Miller had left Atari, with Whitehead and Kaplan joining them shortly after. Activision was formally founded on October 1, 1979, with Levy serving as CEO; the company was named "Computer Arts, Inc." while they considered a better title. The four founders had thought of the name VSync, Inc. but feared that the public would not understand or known how to say it.

Levy suggested combining "active" and "television" to come up with Activision. The four's departure from Atari created a major dent in Atari's developer staff, Atari pursued legal action from 1980 to 1982 to try to shut Activision down, claiming the four had stolen trade secrets; the lawsuit was settled by 1982, with Activision agreeing to pay royalties to Atari but otherwise legitimizing the third-party development model. The four's knowledge of the Atari 2600, as well as software tricks for the system, helped them make their own games visually distinct from Atari-produced games; each of the founders developed their own titles, about once a year, over the first few years of the company. To further distinguish themselves, Activision's boxes were brightly colored and featured an in-game screenshot on the back cover. Instruction manuals for games devoted a least one page to credit the developer. Additionally, for nearly all of Activision's games through 1983, the instruction manuals included instructions for sending the company a photograph of a player's high scores to receive an embroidered patch in return.

Activision's breakout title was 1982's Pitfall!, created by Crane. More than 4 million copies of the game were sold. Total revenues aro

Taxation in Finland

Taxation in Finland is carried out by the State of Finland through the Finnish Tax Administration, an agency of the Ministry of Finance. Finnish Customs and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi collect taxes. Taxes collected are distributed to the Government, municipalities and the Social Insurance Institution, Kela; the total Finnish income tax includes the income tax dependable on the net salary, employee unemployment payment, employer unemployment payment. The tax rate increases progressively at 13 ke/year and at 29 ke/year to 55% and rearches 67% at 83 ke/year, while little decreases at 127 ke/year to 65%, 2018; the middle-income person will get 44 euros from every 100 euros. The GP will again get from every extra 100 euros that the employer puts on the work only 33 euros; some sources do not include the employer unemployment payment, for instance Veronmaksajat -organisation. Earned gross income is taxed with a progressive state tax and proportional communal taxes paid to municipalities and parishes.

The permanent residents of Finland pay health insurance contributions, a medical care fee and a daily allowance contribution. There is an earned income tax credit for local taxes, making them progressive despite their fixed rate; the tax-like mandatory insurance fees are deducted from net pay. The employee's pension and unemployment insurance fees have rates varying according to the person's age but they are at 4.7% and 0.6%, respectively. Total income tax, including the mandatory insurance fees, was 29.8% for an average yearly income of 37,400 € in 2010. The tax authority collects income taxes from each paycheck, pays the difference between tax liability and taxes paid as tax rebate or collects as tax arrears afterward. There are indirect tax-like mandatory social security contributions and insurance fees paid by the employer in addition to the gross income; the social security contribution is 2.12% of gross income. The pension and unemployment insurance fees depend on the age of the employee and the size of the employer, they are 18.3% and 3.2% of gross income, respectively.

The income from dividends and capital gains are taxed with capital income tax. In 2017 the capital income is taxed at a fixed rate of 30% or 34% for income that exceeds 30,000 euro. Limited companies have a different taxation depending on. Public companies have 15% of their dividends tax-exempt; the effective dividend tax rate is thus 25.5% - 28.9%. However, taxation of the dividends from non-listed companies is much lower; as much as 75% of these dividends is tax-exempt up until 150,000 €. This still includes a condition that the dividend must be under or equal to 8% of the mathematical value of the stock. 75% of the part that exceeds the 8% boundary will be taxed instead as earned income. If an individual gets more than 150,000 € in dividends from non-listed limited companies, the tax-exempt percentage will only be 15% for the amount that exceeds 150,000 €; the effective tax rate for a dividend that does not exceed 8% of the value of a stock will be 7.5% - 8.5%. Due to the effect of net assets, dividends of debted private companies will have their dividends taxed as earned income.

The corporate income tax rate is 20.0%. The corporate tax was paid as dividend tax before 2004, but because of neutrality requirements of the EU, the tax credits allowed for dividends are now more complex. Corporate tax was lowered from 24.5% to 20.0% in January 2014. Municipal property taxes are low, since municipalities meet their funding needs via direct income taxes and state subsidies. Tax rates are higher for leisure properties like summer cottages. Property taxes are levied annually on present market value. General rates are 0.32-0.75 % on regular housing and 0.50-1.00 % on leisure properties. There is a 4% property transfer tax for property, 1.6% for stock and housing cooperative shares. First-time home buyers home are exempt. VAT is levied at a standard rate of 24%, two reduced rates of 14% on food, restaurant services, catering services and animal feed, 10% on books, pharmaceutical products, services creating opportunities for physical exercise, passenger transportation and accommodation.

Excise taxes are in place for alcohol, sweets, insurances, transport fuels and automobiles. The motor vehicle tax is substantial; as a rule, permanent residents cannot drive foreign-registered cars in Finland. Persons with permanent residence outside Finland may drive foreign-registered car in Finland for six months, or up to 18 months if residence abroad is separately proven to Customs. Pharmacies pay only the excise tax from their yearly income. There is a tax credit for pharmacies; the aim of this policy is to support keeping pharmacies in sparsely populated regions. The mandatory pension fees are paid directly to the pension insurance company selected by the employer or entrepreneur; the pension fees total 23% of the gross income 4.7% is deducted from gross income and the rest of the 23% is paid by the employer in addition to the gross income. The voluntary pension insurance fees or transfers to a personal pension account are credited in earned income taxation up to 5000 € per year. According to Finnwatch 60–70% of Finnish pension funds are invested in the tax havens.

Political parties have different agendas in respect to tax havens. Taxes are collected from members of the two official churches, Evangelical L

Edward Neumeier

Edward Neumeier is an American screenwriter and director best known for his work on the science fiction movies RoboCop and Starship Troopers. He wrote the latter's sequels Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder and Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars. Neumeier studied journalism at the University of California at Santa Cruz attended the School of Motion Picture and Television at University of California at Los Angeles. After completing his bachelor's degree at UCLA, Neumeier started work in the Hollywood film business, as a production assistant on the TV series Taxi, he went on to become a script reader in the Story Analyst's Union, working at Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures. During his time at Columbia, he advocated for putting Risky Business into production. Neumeier wrote his first outlines and film treatments for his first movie, RoboCop, as well as other spec scripts, he declined an offer of a vice-presidency at Universal Pictures, to develop the screenplay for RoboCop, with Michael Miner.

The rights to the screenplay were bought up by the Orion Pictures company, was granted a budget of just under $15 million. Paul Verhoeven was assigned to make the movie. Neumeier co-produced RoboCop, released in movie theaters in 1987 in North America and some other locations; this movie was a success, it drew just over 50 million dollars' worth of ticket sales in the United States alone. The success of RoboCop motivated the production of two sequels, RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3, two TV series, one live-action and one animated. Most of the creators of RoboCop had left before the production of these sequels. In January 2018, it was announced that Neumeier was writing a direct sequel to the 1987 film that would ignore the two previous sequels and the 2014 remake. “We’re not supposed to say too much. There’s been a bunch of other RoboCop movies and there was a remake and I would say this would be kind of going back to the old RoboCop we all love and starting there and going forward. So it’s a continuation of the first movie.

In my mind. So it’s a little bit more of the old school thing” Neumeier said; the first sequel to RoboCop, RoboCop 2, was planned to have its screenplay written by Neumeier and Miner. He and Miner had written a dated rough first draft of a screenplay for RoboCop 2 in 1988 called The Corporate Wars. However, due to the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike, Neumeier was unable to write any more of the screenplay; the Orion Pictures company next decided to hire the comic book artist Frank Miller to work on his own screenplay for RoboCop 2. A decade after the first RoboCop movie was produced, Neumeier rejoined Paul Verhoeven to work on Starship Troopers, adapted from the novel with the same name by Robert A. Heinlein in 1959. With violence and satire thrown into a story of efforts by the human race to ensure its survival, Starship Troopers was more successful in Europe, etc. than in North America where it drew gross ticket sales of about $54 million at theaters, although Artforum magazine selected this film as one of the "10 most artistic achievements of 1997".

Neumeier appeared in this film in the brief role of a man convicted of murder and sentenced to immediate execution. In January 2018 it was announced that Neumeier was writing a direct sequel to the 1987 classic film that would ignore both sequels and the 2014 remake. "We're not supposed to say too much. There's been a bunch of other RoboCop movies and there was a remake and I would say this would be kind of going back to the old RoboCop we all love and starting there and going forward. So it's a continuation of the first movie. In my mind. So it's a little bit more of the old school thing," Neumeier said.” In July 2018, it was confirmed a new film, titled RoboCop Returns, was in development, with Neill Blomkamp directing and Justin Rhodes rewriting an original script by Neumeier and Michael Miner. In 2019, Neumeier said that Blomkemp wanted RoboCop Returns to be as close to the 1987 film as possible saying that Blomkemp feels that "it should be the proper Verhoeven if Verhoeven had directed a movie right after RoboCop.

On June 29, 2019, Blomkamp confirmed that the original RoboCop suit would be used in this film saying "1 million% original" when answering a fan's question on Twitter. Blomkamp gave an update on the script saying "“Script is being written. Going well! Imagine watching Verhoeven do a follow up film.” Neumeier is father to two adult children, Casey Neumeier and autistic activist Shain Mahaffey Neumeier. RoboCop Starship Troopers Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Starship Troopers: Invasion Robocop Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars Edward Neumeier on IMDb