Intellectual Property

It's J.K. Rowling's Turn to Get Sued

J.K. Rowling has been named in a lawsuit alleging she stole ideas for her wildly popular and lucrative "Harry Potter" books from another British author reports The Huffington Post.

The estate of the late Adrian Jacobs on Wednesday added Rowling as a defendant in a lawsuit it filed in June against Bloomsbury Publishing PLC for alleged copyright infringement, according to a statement released by the estate's representatives, who are based in Australia.

The lawsuit, filed in a London court, claims Rowling's book "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" copied substantial parts of Jacobs' 1987 book, "The Adventures of Willy the Wizard – No. 1 Livid Land." Jacobs' estate also claims that many other ideas from "Willy the Wizard" were copied into the "Harry Potter" books. Jacobs died in London in 1997.

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is the fourth book in Rowling's series and was published in July 2000.

The Fight over the Google of All Libraries

An (Updated) FAQ on the Google Books Project and the fight over a settlement. Federal judge Denny Chin will have the difficult job of sorting that out Thursday, as he gives the second version of the Google settlement a “fairness hearing.”

The New World of Copyright?

A novel by a 17-year-old in Berlin has risen high on the best-seller list and become a finalist for a major book prize, but the author has also received scathing criticism because she lifted some passages from someone else’s book. She even admits having copied an entire page with only a few changes. Although she has apologized for not being more open about her sources, she has also defended herself as the representative of a different generation, one that freely mixes and matches from the whirring flood of information across new and old media, to create something new. "There's no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity," she said.

Google, copyright, and our future.

Google, copyright, and our future: Lawrence Lessig

The deal constructs a world in which control can be exercised at the level of a page, and maybe even a quote. It is a world in which every bit, every published word, could be licensed. It is the opposite of the old slogan about nuclear power: every bit gets metered, because metering is so cheap. We begin to sell access to knowledge the way we sell access to a movie theater, or a candy store, or a baseball stadium. We create not digital libraries, but digital bookstores: a Barnes & Noble without the Starbucks.

Why Even the Most Pirated E-Books of 2010 Won't Bring Down Publishing

Why Even the Most Pirated E-Books of 2010 Won't Bring Down Publishing
O’Leary’s conversations with execs at digital rights firms suggest that content with smaller markets (selling fewer than 12,000 to 15,000 total units) priced at $100+ are most likely to feel the economic impact of piracy. He adds, “Books that have much wider audiences or that sell for much lower prices may be pirated more often, but the overall impact of piracy (revenue lost as a share of total sales) is not as great for these books.”

Putting the "Public" In Publicly-Funded Research

Putting the "Public" In Publicly-Funded Research

Now, the public has an opportunity to show support for this innovative, common sense idea. Since December, the OSTP has been hosting an involved discussion on their blog, asking for input on every angle of public access, including which federal agencies should adopt public access policies, which file formats could help solve compliance and archival issues, and what the ongoing role of the government should be.

Fahrenheit 451 Book burning as done by lawyers

Fahrenheit 451… Book burning as done by lawyers

For Bradbury’s book, this means that the reading public, the braille printer, the budding playwright, the school library face either higher prices, or legal restrictions on reuse or both. And they get no benefit from it. Clearly, the incentive of 28 + 28 years was enough to encourage him to write the book and the publisher to publish it. The evidence is that.. it happened. Retrospectively extending copyright is deadweight social loss — harm without benefit. But at least the book is available.

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #101

(Yes, the air staff knows the episode is earlier than usual. We have our reasons...)

This week's episode is the first one for 2010. In this episode we discuss why LISTen will not be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yet again and also get into a miscellany of briefs from allied fields. Unusually enough a musical number performed by a member of the board of directors of the Guitar Society of Las Vegas, Erie Looking Productions western engineer Mike Kellat, is also included in this episode.

Related links:
Discussion of the TWiT Network presence at CES 2010
ALA Mid-Winter 2010
Matt Asay talking about Canonical & focus
Alan Pope on an Ubuntu sighting on Doctor Who
Virginia Postrel on media company exploitation of workers
Radio New Zealand National on French anti-piracy efforts relative to the Internet
The Register discussing the French agency known as HADOPI
The Digital Economy Bill before the United Kingdom Parliament presently
Section 44 of the Digital Economy Bill relative to UK public lending right and how library loans of books will be codified as not being copyright infringments
The Register on UK ISP rage over the Digital Economy Bill relaying Agence France-Press about electricity rationing in Venezuela
Information about the Guitar Society of Las Vegas

14:36 minutes (5.85 MB)

Google Loses in French Copyright Case

Google was ordered to stop putting scanned French books in its database and to pay about $430,000 in damages.

Story in the NYT

An opportunity missed to apply 'fair use' to file sharing

Opinion piece in the LA Times about the Tenenbaum case.

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