It\'s that old story, once again:
Guy gets publisher for book version of website.
Guy gets publisher\'s competitor to sponsor website.
Guy gets taken to court by publisher.
Website gets taken down.
Will there be a happy ending? \"
Wired has a Story on the company Gemstar-TV Guide International, which licenses the technology for e-books to Thomson Mulitmedia, appling to trademark the stand-alone word \"EBOOK\" as well as the name \"Gemstar EBOOK\". I think I\'ll trademark the word book.
\"The term e-book has a generic meaning in the industry and to the general public, said trademark lawyer Laura Hein of the Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant Mooty. She said a fundamental principle of trademark law is that in order to qualify, the word one chooses needs to identify the source of the product or the services rather than the product or the service itself. \"
Wired has an Interview with Representative Howard Berman who is the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee on courts and intellectual property. He talks about the important issues in this area today.
\"The original vision of copyright law that is specifically referenced in our Constitution was designed to create a system that creators of tangible property, of books and other art forms, have a period of time where they can get compensated for that effort. They are given a property right in their creation on the theory that if that didn\'t happen, nobody would have the incentive to create anymore. It was just a simple recognition of the need to have some protection as an incentive to creators.
This is a very interesting piece indeed, every time I read something about the DMCA I just want to cry.
\"Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an evil legislative bludgeon rammed through Congress by the Clinton administration, that prevents access to anything that\'s copyrighted unless you have the explicit permission of the owner. This essentially guts \"fair use\" of the material, and outlaws any attempt to break copy protection or encryption, or even reverse engineer anything.\" -- Read More
This week, Library Juice issued a pathfinder on copyright issues as a supplement. It inludes links to numerous articles and sites you may not have seen if you are interested in copyright, and a full article by Mark Anderson from EXTRA!, which I am copying here, with permission: -- Read More
Speaking of linking lawsuits and the like, I\'ve been focusing on the general phenomenon of content aggregators this week. My take is that history smiles on the aggregator even if courts don\'t in the short term.
Ron Force writes \"The San Francisco Chronicle has astory about free-lance authors suing Northern Lights, Gale Group, and ProQuest for payment of royalities on full text articles sold by publishers without permission. A similar group in New York has used the above, plus Reed-Elsevier. UnCover settled with the authors for $7.5 milion in back royalities. \"
\"Technology is forcing us to re-evaluate the legal notion of intellectual property. The original compromise struck for the good of society has become unbalanced, and the reactions from the situation\'s current beneficiaries to counter this unrest have only disturbed the situation more. Copyright as it now stands has outlived its original purpose, and is no longer clearly beneficial to society as a whole. New business models must emerge, and are already emerging, to replace the old. \" -- Read More
Against intellectual property is an interesting chapter out of the book Information Liberation by Brian Martin. This chapter is interesting in that he makes a strong case against IP. It\'s a long and well argued chapter.
\"There is a strong case for opposing intellectual property. Among other things, it often retards innovation and exploits Third World peoples. Most of the usual arguments for intellectual property do not hold up under scrutiny. -- Read More
The Salt Lake Tribune has this article on computers programmers picketing at the U.S. Copyright office. It includes a complete breakdown on the current issues surrounding copyright.
\"For 103 years, this niche of the Library of Congress has overseen the registration and cataloging of books, music, movies, architectural drawings and any other creative works that can be copyrighted. Its staff toiled in obscurity, with controversies rare and protests unheard of.
Then came the Internet... -- Read More