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Progress, Innovation and Regulation
April 22, 2015 | 12:25 pm

uberOne of the threats every emerging innovation seems to face this days is...well, it's being a threat. The status quo can be a comfortable place for those who are within its bubble, and when something comes along to challenge it, there is a trend to try and regulate it away. Whether it's Old-School Authors vs Amazon, Cable Television vs Netflix or Old-School Music vs iTunes, every time a new technology, app, business model or idea comes along, someone tries to squash it. Today's exhibit: Uber. The lift-sharing service is currently facing a lawsuit asserting that is violated the Americans with Disabilities...

Gen Con, other businesses displeased with new Indiana religious freedom law
March 26, 2015 | 2:36 pm

protestAs I’ve said before, Gen Con’s reputation as the largest gaming convention in North America eclipses its status as one of the largest writing conventions in North America, offering guidance on all aspects of writing and publishing. On Monday, March 23, Gen Con’s CEO sent a letter (PDF) to Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence, warning that a controversial religious freedom bill he was about to sign into law would affect Gen Con’s decision whether to stay in Indianapolis past the expiration of its contract in 2020. This morning, Governor Pence signed that bill. I covered the particulars in a post...

Wall Street Journal blasts Apple anti-trust monitor Michael Bromwich for overcharging, malfeasance
February 18, 2015 | 7:13 am

Well, there goes the Wall Street Journal again. In a paywalled opinion piece (just Google “All Along the Apple Watchtower” to read it), the Journal once again takes aim at Apple anti-trust monitor Michael Bromwich. The editorial complains, among other things, of Bromwich’s $1,100 per hour fee being too high, that he’s ranging farther afield than his mandate should allow, that he’s in bed with the Justice Department, and, of course, that he’s a close personal friend of Judge Cote. It really is a piece of work. For example, giving Bromwich’s rates in isolation, and the $2.35...

Appeals court judges ask probing questions in Apple e-book anti-trial case
December 16, 2014 | 7:56 pm

Yesterday, the appeals court heard testimony from Apple and the Department of Justice relating to the e-book anti-trust trial appeal. To my surprise, two of the three judges seemed amenable toward Apple’s point of view. They expressed concern over why the publisher collusion was such a bad thing when it was for the sake of stopping monopolist Amazon, and hinted that Judge Cote might have erred when she ruled that Apple’s behavior constituted a pro se anti-trust violation—a violation so obvious that it doesn’t need the “rule of reason” test applied to it. Apple attorney Theodore Boutros asked for...

Apple music DRM case wraps up with final witness
December 14, 2014 | 11:07 am

The Apple iTunes DRM case proceeds apace. After finding a replacement plaintiff to supplant those who were found not to have bought iPods during the required time period, the case moved forward, hearing reluctant testimony from a former iTunes engineer who worked on blocking the interoperability of competitors’ music DRM with iPods. (The engineer basically rehashed the same arguments Apple’s made all along: Apple had to lock out competitors because the music labels demanded it.) This was the case’s last witness; it will go to jury deliberations next week. As I’ve said before, this case could potentially have profound...

Judge Cote rules DRM removal for fair use is not copyright infringement
December 10, 2014 | 8:52 pm

The Apple anti-trust case continues to have some interesting fallout. The EFF today issued a press release concerning Judge Denise Cote last month dismissing some charges in a related case, trumpeting that Cote had ruled that stripping DRM for fair use purposes is legal. I’ve read the 20-page opinion, and I’m not so sure. Here’s what I know. The case pertains to Abbey House, the operator of the “BooksOnBoard” e-book store. In March, 2014, Abbey House (and two other defunct e-book store operators) filed suit against Apple and the Agency Five alleging that their implementation of agency pricing...

Connor Cochran rebuts Internet troll’s allegations over Conlan Press product delays
December 8, 2014 | 10:13 pm

connorUpdate: Cochran has determined the responsible party is not his former employee after all; said employee has contacted Cochran in such a way as to convince Cochran it wasn't him, and apologized for his prior behavior. Cochran reports that more evidence has emerged about who the responsible party actually is, and he has provided that information to his lawyers and instructed them to "go after him to the fullest extent of the law. It’s never easy to have to deal with trolls, and Connor Cochran, publisher of Conlan Press, best known for publishing works of Peter S. Beagle including The Last...

Apple iPod DRM case heats up, but might still fizzle
December 7, 2014 | 12:37 pm

The wheels of justice grind slowly, and sometimes a bit of grit gets stuck in the gears. This seems to be the case with the ten-year-old lawsuit against Apple over the DRM policies it used to enforce on iTunes Music Store music and iPods. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s started moving again, and the testimony and depositions have been interesting to follow. But now it looks as though, just as it’s getting started again, it may come to a complete halt. Locking Out Competitors At heart, the case has to do with the way Apple continually...

Your eyes can relax: Looking at stuff online is no longer patented
November 17, 2014 | 12:28 pm

patent_troll_thumb.jpgWell, that may be overstating the ... ahem ... case a little, but not by much. One of the most notorious instances of patent trolling, the claim by a company called Ultramercial that it has a valid patent for advertising on the internet, has finally been knocked (or gaveled) on the head by the U.S. Supreme Court, overcoming sustained resistance from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the top patent court, which took the case to the Supreme Court twice, only to be twice directed to take it back As the Electronic Frontier Foundation, itself involved in the case...

Latest Randall Rader developments suggest how broke the U.S. patent system is
November 17, 2014 | 10:26 am

The class action lawsuit filed against Amazon and other publishers misses the mark in a multitude of ways, writes TeleRead contributing writer Juli Monroe.Skeptics of the state of the U.S. patent and IP regime who regard the whole farrago as a happy hunting ground for trolls will feel even more vindicated by the latest developments following the resignation and subsequent retirement of Randall Rader, formerly chief justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the highest court in the patent law system. The Court of Appeals has just ordered a public reprimand for Edward Reines, a patent lawyer with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and recipient of some laudatory emails from Rader that led to the latter's resignation. "It is hereby ordered,...

UK prisoners no longer quite so screwed by government political games
November 10, 2014 | 4:25 pm

GraylingThe UK government's decision to crack down on reading material for prisoners has been showcased as one of the most conspicuous, damaging, and brutal exercises in political grandstanding through books in (admittedly, more and more congested) recent memory. Fortunately, as a result of across-the-board campaigns ranging from authors to prison governors, some of the relevant restrictions have been relaxed - although others remain very much in place. The Howard League for Penal Reform, the UK's most prominent and respected activist organization on this topic, shared a news release on the subject, explaining how: The Howard League Books For Prisoners campaign won an important...

Ellora’s Cave sues Dear Author over ‘defamatory’ blog post
September 26, 2014 | 9:59 pm

Ellora's Cave Well, that was unexpected. The saga of Ellora’s Cave has been chronicled over the last few months, and especially over the last few weeks, on various e-book blogs I read. For example, from The Passive Voice: Ellora’s Cave The mysterious case of the missing royalty checks from Ellora’s Cave More Ellora’s Cave troubles… Cat Grant Gives Away Her Unreverted Ellora’s Cave Titles And those are just from the last week or so. Authors...

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