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Posts tagged copyright

Another ‘Permission Culture’ Landmine
June 24, 2015 | 10:25 am

copyrightFrom our friends at Techdirt comes this insane story about yet another copyright landmine we all need to be worrying about falling into: the 'freedom of panorama' principle. As Tim Cushing explains: "Photographing public structures could soon become copyright infringement. At this point, there's no unified "freedom of panorama" across European countries. Some recognize this as a right inherent to citizens. Others feel any photographic reproductions of structures in public spaces are a violation of the creators' rights." Cushing goes on to comprehensively detail the ramifications a potential copyright reform to this law would have, including restricting the use of historical photographs...

Morning Links: Apple Receives Helen Keller Award. 1990s Guide to the Web
June 22, 2015 | 7:50 am

appleApple receives Helen Keller Award for its pioneering VoiceOver feature (Cult of Mac) Organized by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Apple was specifically praised for VoiceOver, the iOS feature which reads out descriptions of everything happening on a device’s display. TeleRead Take: Go Apple. What's not to like here? *** This 1990s Guide to Using the Web Is Delightful (Gizmodo) Once upon a time you didn’t just use the internet, you were a “nethead” who “surfed the web” and “sailed data streams.” This is how we talked about the internet. TeleRead Take: Yes, there was a time when we needed paper books to tell...

Morning Link: eBook Subscription Legal in France. Metadata Good For Book Sales
June 18, 2015 | 7:58 am

kindle unlimitedeBook Subscription Services Are Legal in France (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Kindle Unlimited and its local competitors Izneo, Youscribe, and Youboox were given five months to bring their services into compliance with the legal decision. I don't have news yet on Kindle Unlimited but I can report that Youboox, Izneo, and Youscribe are either now legal in France, or will be soon. TeleRead Take: Fixed price book laws lead to lots of unintended consequences. *** How A Simple Metadata Fix Can Double Book Sales (Publishing Perspective) Ronald Schild CEO of Germany’s MVB discusses how research shows simple metadata fixes, like putting the language of a...

American Library Association doesn’t welcome the CODE Act
June 13, 2015 | 9:29 am

copyrightThe American Library Association (ALA) has issued its response to the introduction of the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act (CODE Act), designed to reform the dysfunctional U.S. copyright system, and its evaluation is not a very positive one. “For more than 20 years, content creators, rights holders, legislators and public users alike have acknowledged that the U.S. Copyright Office needs to modernize its technological capabilities for the 21st century," said ALA president Courtney Young, in the ALA official statement on the CODE Act. "Unfortunately, the recently introduced Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act does little to address significant technology challenges...

Book review: Things that go Bump in the Night, selected by Douglas Draa and David A. Riley, Parallel Universe Publications
May 31, 2015 | 4:35 am

Bump coverIn these ebook days, compilations of public domain material can be a waste of money if they carry a price tag, or a great value add. Certainly, Things That go Bump in the Night: A Treasury of Classic Weird is one of those volumes of classic reprints whose contents you (mostly) could put together for free by looking at the contents list, and searching Project Gutenberg and other copyright-free sites for the stories inside. But it also brings some extra editorial value by unearthing some genuinely weird gems which will be new to many, including me. (Before we begin, note that David A....

Morning Links: Amazon killing it in subscriptions. Profitable comic book movies?
May 5, 2015 | 9:00 am

kindle unlimitedWhat Are the Most Profitable Comic Book Movie Franchises? (GalleyCat) Marvel’s Spider-Man is the top grossing movie franchise based on a comic book, according to 24/7 Wall Street. *** Amazon is Killing it in the Subscription eBook Market (Ink, Bits & Pixels) If you were hoping that new retailers in the subscription ebook market could grow large enough to balance Amazon, then you might want to look for a plan B. *** Why Are eReaders Great for Reading in the Sun? (GoodeReader) Serious readers often turn to their trusty Kindles or Nooks because E Ink enabled displays are easily readable even in direct sunlight because the electronic...

Morning Links: Sue for copyright infringement in advance? Post-Nepal Facebook checkins
May 1, 2015 | 10:13 am

copyrightiPad Still King of Declining(?) Tablet Market (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Apple may be going through several quarters of declining tablet sales, but they're not the only ones. *** Business Musings: Mush Brain (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) I treat my writing like a day job. I think: would I have shown up at my day job feeling as crummy as I do today? The answer is yes. *** Can You Sue For Copyright Infringement Before It's Actually Happened? (Techdirt) It appears that HBO and Showtime have decided to pre-sue two sites that it claims are planning to stream the big Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao boxing match. *** Seven Million...

UK Green Party digs itself in deeper over copyright
April 28, 2015 | 2:25 pm

logo@2x  In response to the earlier outcry from writers and other creatives against the UK Green Party's apparent proposal to reduce the duration of copyright to just 14 years - with also some initial ambiguity over whether this was 14 years after the creator's death or 14 years after the work's first appearance - the Greens have released a communique on their party website that only appears to make things worse. The UK Society of Authors said in response to the original furore: Our stance is that copyright needs ‎strengthening, not weakening. Authors and other creators make their livelihood from their intellectual creations and...

UK Green Party copyright limit proposal repels authors, artists
April 27, 2015 | 10:25 am

The UK Green Party, with just two weeks to go to the General Election, appears to have screwed its support with one influential constituency, writers and artists, through an ill-founded and poorly discussed policy proposal on copyright terms. The draft commitment to press for a shorter copyright term of just 14 years - versus the current UK norm of 70 years after the death of the author - apparently caught the entire creative community by surprise, and provoked a backlash when it did break cover. First tweeted by UK author Linda Grant (see the illustration), the Green Party proposal, with "to reduce the...

The Erosion of National Autonomy in Copyright
April 23, 2015 | 1:25 pm

copyrightThe fantastic and informative Michael Geist has a great analysis in today's Morning Links about the latest gambit in the copyright wars: a term extension which will protect sound recordings for an additional 20 years. Geist cites numerous reports done in other countries which suggest the benefit to artists from this extension will be extremely minimal. One report he cites---and a Canadian one, at that---says this: "Adding 20 years of protection would contribute 2.3% to the present value of royalties under a 7% discount rate, assuming that the flow of royalties remains unchanged during the whole period. Under identical assumptions, extending...

Morning Links: Freelance Scramble. Blueprint for digital afterlife
April 23, 2015 | 9:00 am

digital afterlifeThe Freelance Scramble Part Three: The Unthinkable (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) The freelance scramble happens when the cash doesn’t flow the way that a writer expects it too. Longtime freelancers have learned the dance that I call the freelance scramble, which is mostly about replacing expected income with something else. *** How My TV Obsession Got Me Reading Book Series (Book Riot) There were probably a number of factors, but if I had to pin down one thing that sparked my newfound (or rather, refound) enjoyment of serial reading, I’d probably say that it was the precedent set by my obsession with television, beginning a...

Morning Links: Kobo Glo HD worth upgrading? Crowd-funding challenges
April 20, 2015 | 9:00 am

kobo glo hdIs the Kobo Glo HD Worth the Upgrade? (GoodeReader) Today, we ask the question, is the upcoming Kobo Glo HD a must buy? *** So You Want to Read Up on Hillary Clinton (Book Riot) Consider this your Hillary Clinton roundup source. *** Australia Considers New Copyright Law That Could Be Interpreted To Ban VPNs (Techdirt) Only this time, the industry lobbyists are going right to the Australian legislature to act as their bullies with the Copyright Amendment Bill 2015. *** The Challenges of Publishing and Crowd-Funding (Comics Alliance) When I finally decided to pull the trigger at the end of 2014, I had no real idea just how much...

Should Copyright Live Forever?
March 25, 2015 | 2:25 pm

cpoyrightWe've probably all seen that little graph which was making the rounds last year, which showed that longer copyright terms---thought to protect authors and make them more money---can actually make authors LESS money by keeping legitimate works out of the marketplace. Techdirt has a fascinating case study up this week which illustrates how this happens. The short version is that a company called Night Dive has made a business out of sourcing obsolete computer games, cleaning them up for modern devices and then releasing them for sale in today's marketplace. This is not a shady operation, though---they do their legwork to...

Morning Links: Amazon friend or foe? It’s complicated. Worst ebook cover art
March 16, 2015 | 9:00 am

amazonThe Worst eBook Cover Art- March 2015 (GoodeReader) Self-published authors normally forgo the expense of hiring a professional graphics designer to do their e-book cover art and elect to do it themselves. Sometimes it works out, but most of the time the end result can make you shake your head in disdain. *** Copyright and Open Textbooks: The Case of Boundless (The Scholarly Kitchen) Third, whether Boundless is successful as a company in the long run doesn’t matter very much. What does matter is whether this model proves out in concept—meaning whether Boundless books prove popular with students. *** Asking Whether Amazon is Friend or Foe...

Weekend Links: Harper Lee’s agent disputes elder abuse claim. Publishers posted solid 2014 gains
March 15, 2015 | 11:18 am

harper leePublishers Posted Solid 2014 Sales Gains (PW) Driven by gains in the children’s/young adult and K–12 instructional materials segments, publishers’ sales hit $15.72 billion in 2014, up 4.9% over the previous year, according to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. *** Self-Publishing Erotica: If You Write It, There is an Audience for It (GoodeReader) Yes, this is the world of self-published erotica, and in the race to garner readers’ attention (and their money), authors are writing more and more fantastical tales starring some of the most bizarre main characters ever written. *** Harper Lee's Agent Disputes Claims of Elder Abuse (GalleyCat) Alabama state officials opened...

Morning Links: Reading slump? Dealing with modern stress more than unplugging
March 12, 2015 | 9:00 am

unpluggingMy Annual Winter Reading Slump (Book Riot) To be more accurate, I should say that it is a post-holiday reading slump. It has happened, to varying degrees, for several years now. *** Why it Takes More Than Unplugging to Solve Modern Stress (Media Shift) Survey after survey finds that we believe ourselves to be simultaneously overwhelmed by and addicted to our devices. *** What We Got Wrong About Books (The Scholarly Kitchen) It is one of the cruel truisms of the book business that publishers rarely have much insight into how their products are actually used. *** More Copyright Trolls Rushing In To Take Advantage Of Canadian...

Tales from the ‘Whacky Copyright Stories’ Crypt
March 11, 2015 | 10:25 am

copyrightOur friends at Techdirt have a great write-up about yet another bizarre little copyright story: musical group Hall & Oates is suing a health food company over their granola cereal, branded as 'Haulin' Oats.' The granola, a maple-flavoured cereal, is being challenged because it is 'obvious play upon Plaintiff’s well-known Hall & Oates mark, and was selected by defendant in an effort to trade off of the fame and notoriety associated with the artist’s and plaintiff’s well-known marks.' I have heard of stories like this before, and it's easy to chuckle and say, for instance, that nobody would confuse a dry-cleaner...

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