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Posts tagged legal

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...

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...

The poet, the pipeline, and the punitive lawsuit
November 13, 2014 | 8:25 pm

Poetry, that harmless, airy-fairy, abstruse pursuit ... that you get slapped with a $5.6 million lawsuit for. Come again? Yes, this is exactly what happens in Stephen Harper's Canada, where Vancouver poet and professor at Simon Fraser University Stephen Collis is one of six defendants being sued for $5.6 million by Texas-headquartered energy giant Kinder Morgan (slogan: "A Different Kind of Energy Company") “for their part in opposing the Trans Mountain pipeline and terminal expansion” at Burnaby Mountain. This follows a move by the city of Burnaby to appeal against a decision by Canada's National Energy Board to allow Kinder Morgan...

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...

Weekend Links: Lawsuit against Harlequin confirmed as class action. Amazon stock plunges
October 26, 2014 | 10:23 am

harlequinWhich Authors Have Quit Writing Who You Wish Would Return? (Book Riot) As a reader I often view authors as writing until they die, their fingers curled over their keyboard or the pen still clutched in the hand. But even if they don’t formally announce their retirement as Spencer did, many authors do stop writing. ** Author Lawsuit Against Harlequin Certified as Class Action (The Digital Reader) Originally filed in July 2012, Keiler et al v. Harlequin Enterprises Limited et al was brought by a group of authors who allege that Harlequin had cheated them out of their royalties. *** Amazon Stock Plunges as Record Loss...

Morning Links: Ellora’s Cave vs Dear Author removed to Federal Court. Kindle vs. Kindle
October 23, 2014 | 9:00 am

kindleEllora's Cave vs Dear Author Suit Removed to Federal Court (The Passive Voice) Dear Author has just removed the case from the Ohio state court where it was originally filed to the relevant U.S. District Court in Ohio claiming diversity jurisdiction is present in the case. *** How Piracy Benefits Companies, Even if They Don't Admit it (Lifehacker) We've talked a lot about the legality of piracy a lot here at Lifehacker, but really, you're probably breaking the law everyday anyway. However, piracy can sometimes have its benefits. Even to the companies who own the copyrights. *** Ten Things I've Learned About Life from Blogging (Design...

John Grisham speaks out – for pedophiles?
October 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

johngrisham.jpgJohn Grisham, hawklike legal eagle, millionaire bestselling author, spokesperson for middle-aged white pedophiles ... oops. How did that one slip through the publicist's net? Through Grisham's own mouth, it seems, relayed via the UK's Daily Telegraph in an interview taped for your enjoyment and judicial edification. And the legal opinions vouchsafed therein are interesting to say the least... Grisham complains about the harsh sentences meted out to consumers of pornography, even child pornography, and bemoans the fact that: "we have prisons now filled with guys my age, 60-year-old white men in prison who've never harmed anybody, would never touch a child, but...

Morning Roundup: eBay and PayPal to part ways. Update on Ellora’s Cave vs. Dear Author
September 30, 2014 | 9:00 am

dear author logoeBay and PayPal to Part Ways in 2015 (GigaOM) Thanks to pressure from activist investors, eBay and PayPal will be separate entities next year, ending 12 years of togetherness. *** Stephen King Predicts That Physical Books Are Here to Stay (GalleyCat) Author Stephen King predicts that the physical book will “be here for a long, long time.” *** Update on the Ellora's Cave vs. Dear Author Defamation Suit (The Digital Reader) Much has changed in the three days since I brought you news that Ellora’s Cave was suing well-known romance book blog Dear Author for defamation, and few of the changes favor Ellora’s Cave. *** Four Methods for Choosing...

Aereo loses, cell phone privacy wins at Supreme Court today
June 25, 2014 | 11:22 am

A pair of important Supreme Court decisions came down today—one disappointing and one critically important to anyone who uses mobile devices. The disappointing one is a 6-3 decision killing Aereo. The service that used dedicated individual miniature antennas to stream broadcast TV service to people’s computers over the Internet has been ruled to appear too much like a cable company, even as it scrupulously followed the letter of existing case law (while nonetheless skirting its spirit). Aereo could try to license content from the networks going forward, but would have to pass the costs on to consumers—and as Gizmodo...

Another bad idea: Charging news aggregators for snippets
May 13, 2014 | 4:25 pm

news aggregatorsGoogle is the bad guy yet again. Well, not just Google but other news aggregators. Spain is attempting to pass a law to force aggregators to pay for the content they collect. The argument for the law is that most people don't click through headlines and snippets to get to the "real" site. So since the news site isn't getting their page views from the aggregators, they want to charge for the links. From the article: Under the new law, the original publisher will be compensated even for the reproduction of headlines and snippets of text. Written permission and a greater fee...

UK Inspector of Prisons condemns political interference in book ban policy
March 28, 2014 | 12:25 pm

inspector of prisonsThe storm of criticism that greeted the UK Government's new policy of stopping anyone sending books to prisoners has gone beyond writers and left-wing politicians to professionals in the prisons system. Now, in an interview with The Independent, the UK Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, has condemned the ban as "not sensible,” with individual prison governors best placed to decide what prisoners should and shouldn't receive. "The problem in this case… is trying to micro-manage this from the centre, with the centre describing very detailed lists of what prisoners can and can't have,” he said in The Independent. “I think...

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