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Posts tagged Mike Masnick

Is ‘Happy Birthday’ Still Under Copyright?
June 14, 2013 | 9:59 pm

happy birthday[caption id="attachment_86884" align="aligncenter" width="553"] Photo by Emma Glover |[/caption] Mike Masnick has a great write-up about a pending lawsuit that finally challenges the copyright claim Warner/Chappell Music has been enforcing for decades over the 'Happy Birthday' song. I remember first hearing about this odd little copyright issue during an episode of the late but great sitcom, "Sports Night." The main characters were two sports newscasters, and in one episode, one of them sings "Happy Birthday to You," briefly, to his co-worker on air. He is later visited by a dour rep from legal who advises him that the station was fined by...

More on the Death of Google Reader
March 14, 2013 | 10:56 am

Google ReaderWe've all heard by now about the upcoming death of Google Reader. Our own Chris Meadows, in his write-up, has even thoughtfully offered some alternatives for those who, like me, are suddenly scrambling to fill the void. But to my surprise, reactions around the Web have been decidedly mixed. Many, like me, had that first 'OMG!' reaction, but then on second thought, weren't too sad at all. Some even saw it coming ... For instance, in this write-up at GigaOM, one of Google Reader's own creators says the writing was on the wall from day one: 'When they replaced sharing with +1 on...

Schools: The Next Frontier for Battles Over Copyright?
February 4, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Techdirt is one of many who have picked up this story about a copyright battle that's brewing in a Maryland school district over who owns work done by teachers—and students—during school time. The Prince George district is trying to pass a policy that would give it ownership over all materials that teachers create for use in the classroom—and over all work that students produce as a consequence. There are a number of things which are wrong with this theory. Firstly, as this write-up in The Washington Post points out: "It’s not unusual for a company to hold the rights to an employee’s...

Mike Shatzkin thinks publishers should protect paper books
October 16, 2010 | 12:37 pm

shatzkin1[1] Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin has another interesting post on his blog. I don’t know that I entirely agree with this one, but he does raise some good points that are worth thinking about. Unlike a number of pundits we’ve heard from in the past, Shatzkin holds that it is logical for publishers to try to keep e-book prices high to protect the print market. He feels that publishers should stick to doing what they do best, and what they do best is putting books on shelves. From that point of view, “the fate of the big publishers is...

Blogs respond to Sargent’s pricing post; ‘a premium on impatience’
March 4, 2010 | 9:15 am

I’ve found some good blog responses to John Sargent’s post about Macmillan’s agency pricing model, which we reprinted the other day. In his Kindle Nation Daily blog, Stephen Windwalker praises Sargent for at last addressing the general public rather than just the industry insiders at whom his earlier entries were pitched—even as he remains critical of Sargent’s message. I had been critical of Sargent previously for addressing his earlier comments only to authors and literary agents, and consequently trying to position them to speak up on his and his company's behalf, and this new...

Quick Notes: Author Solutions, Random House, junk shops, the UK
March 1, 2010 | 10:45 am

A few days ago I mentioned that independent book publisher Author Solutions had announced an e-book distribution deal with Scribd. Today it comes out they have announced a similar deal with Barnes & Noble for the Nook. As with the Scribd deal, AS e-books will be set at a default price of $9.99, but authors may choose to set their own prices instead. Erin Cox at Publishing Perspectives notes with some amusement that, shortly after Nintendo announced a classic e-books cartridge, Random House has now announced it will be making video games. The Wall Street Journal article is fairly sparse...

‘Possum Living’ and ‘Radiohead journalism’: The story of an article about frugal naturalist Dolly Freed
February 20, 2010 | 8:00 am

Dolly FreedMike Masnick at TechDirt links to a Wired story by Paige Wiliams. Williams is a journalist who published a lengthy article using the “Radiohead model”—placing it on her website and inviting donations—after the New York Times decided it did not want to publish the article itself. The Wired story suggests that it may be possible to self-publish articles and earn back the expenses that went into writing them, if you properly leverage social networks to call them to enough peoples’ attention—but the thing that really interested me was the self-published article the Wired story was about. That...

Do we ‘resent’ content creators?
February 19, 2010 | 11:12 pm

image Mike Masnick at TechDirt links to an article by Martin Bosworth, the managing editor of, entitled “The Creative Class War”. (Sadly, Bosworth passed away the day after writing this piece.) After discussing a novel set in a dark future world, which involves a copyright enforcer hunting down and killing copyright violators, Bosworth puts forward the thesis that “there’s a long-simmering resentment of people that actually make art, and the Internet has brought it to the surface in a way we’ve never seen before.” (On reading this, I couldn’t help but think of the title of...

Why do e-magazines need a tablet?
February 19, 2010 | 9:45 am

Apropos of the article I blogged yesterday about the opportunities the iPad presents for publishing, now Mike Masnick at TechDirt looks at plans to put Sports Illustrated and Wired on tablets such as the iPad and asks the question, “Why wouldn’t these forms of content also work on the web?” As Masnick points out, there is nothing inherent to the idea of an electronic version of a magazine that would prevent it from working on a plain desktop or laptop PC. But it does seem that a lot of magazine and newspaper publishers have gone “tablet crazy” lately,...

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