Antipiracy bill gains new ally is reporting that the U.S. Register of Copyrights is planning on endorsing the Induce Act Thursday. Also, here’s a previous LISNEWS story about the Induce Act.

The endorsement of the nonpartisan Copyright Office complicates what is shaping up to be yet another high-stakes tussle over copyright between hardware firms and e-commerce companies, which worry about legal liability if their products are used for copyright violations, and large copyright holders who fret about rampant copying on peer-to-peer networks. The Induce Act says “whoever intentionally induces any violation” of copyright law would be legally liable for those violations.

In an opinion article for the Wall Street Journal published Wednesday, Les Vadasz, who retired last year as an Intel executive vice president, denounced the Induce Act as having a wealth of undesirable side effects. “The chilling effect that a law like this would have on innovation cannot be underestimated,” Vadasz said.

Update: Books for Baghdad

Here’s an update to a previous LISNEWS story about the Jacksonville State professor who asked for donations of books to help Baghdad University.

Books have been coming in from all over the country spurred on by email and national news stories. Now money is needed to ship the books to Baghdad. The estimated cost is $3000.

Al-Hamandi said he’s been floored by the support from around the country and from his colleagues at JSU. “I don’t know these people,” he said. “I never met them and I probably never will. It just makes you feel you’re in a civilized place and there are a lot of good people.”

Books or checks made payable to Books for Baghdad may be sent to Dr. Al-Hamdani in care of the Department of Biology, Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602.

Fire department bars book-burning has a story about the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Fire Department banning a planned book-burning by the Jesus Church.

“We don’t want a situation where people are burning rubbish as a recreational fire,” said Brad Brenneman, the fire department’s district chief.

[Rev.] Breedlove said a city fire inspector suggested shredding the offending material, but Breedlove said that wouldn’t seem biblical.

The new plan calls for members of the church to throw materials into garbage cans and then light candles to symbolically “burn” the material.

New Yorker Fiction, by the Numbers

The NY Times has a story about a student at Princeton, Katherine L. Milkman, who used her senior thesis to analyze the selection of short fiction published in the New Yorker. I am absoultely shocked at her findings below.

Ms. Milkman, who has a minor in American studies, read 442 stories printed in The New Yorker from Oct. 5, 1992, to Sept. 17, 2001, and built a substantial database. She then constructed a series of rococo mathematical tests to discern, among other things, whether certain fiction editors at the magazine had a specific impact on the type of fiction that was published, the sex of authors and the race of characters. The study was long on statistics and short on epiphanies: one main conclusion was that male editors generally publish male authors who write about male characters who are supported by female characters.

Electronic newspapers need design overhaul

Slate has a story about the electronic editions of the New York Times, Washington Post, and the LA Times which are only available to paid subscribers.

That these editions induce claustrophobia, even when displayed on a large flat-panel monitor, cannot be denied. For a sense of how poorly the facsimile of a broadsheet newspaper translates onto a computer screen, imagine reading a newspaper through a six-pane colonial window in which five of the panes have been blacked out. I haven’t had this sort of tunnel vision while reading since the last time I endured newspaper microfilm at the city library.

‘Poop fiction’ big hit with kids

CNN has a
into the recent phenomenon of “Poop fiction.” Books such as “Walter the Farting Dog,” the Captain Underpants series, The Day My Butt Went Psycho,” and its sequel, “Zombie Butts from Uranus!” have become a big hit with kids (Can’t imagine why). Some quotes below:

Glenn Murray blushes a hearty shade of red when a cashier at a Chicago deli recognizes him: “Heyyyyyy!” the young man shouts gleefully — and loudly. “You’re the fart-man!”

“For many, many kids, this is the first book they read that starts them on a path of reading,” says Barbara Marcus, president of Scholastic’s children’s books division.

Librarians call such stories “book hooks,” says Barbara Genco, immediate past president of Association of Library Services to Children.

Gail Glover, a mom from Port Crane, New York, bought the latter book for 9-year-old son Robbie, but later wondered if she’d made a mistake.
Among her objections were “descriptions of bodily functions that made my hair curl.”
“But of course, they solicited howls of laughter from my son,” Glover says, chalking it up to “a rite of passage in the development of his sense of humor.”

Buffy raises money for the library

Anonymous Patron writes “Chandler Arizona Library raises money by celebrating the life and times of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Here’s the

More from the article:
[Craig] Younger said the free event will include a costume and look-alike contest, trivia contests and viewings of favorite episodes. He said raffle tickets and food and beverages will be sold, with proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Library and the Chandler Public Libraries.

School reaps profits from corporate naming rights

CNN has a disturbing story about a New Jersey elementary school which is selling naming rights to just about every thing you can think of. The library is the “Flowers Library and Media Center” and the gym is the “ShopRite of Brooklawn Center.” What I find especially disturbing is this quote:

The sponsorship deals have been ridiculed on talk radio and in other media. But Bruce Darrow, school board president, said he is not deterred by bad publicity.

Darrow has some other ideas, such as placing ads on the sport teams’ jerseys or company logos in the basketball court’s free-throw lanes. He doesn’t like the idea of requiring school uniforms, though if ads could be put on them, he’ll listen.

Yahoo launches soul search engine

The always great Onion reports that Yahoo is launching a search engine to help people find their destiny in life.

“Capable of navigating the billions of thoughts, experiences, and emotions that make up the human psyche, the new Yahoo soul-search engine helps users find what’s deep inside them quickly and easily,” Yahoo CEO Terry Semel said. “All those long, difficult nights of pondering your place in this world are a thing of the past.”

“As the amount of information on the web increases, individuals want a search engine to provide them with results that are personally meaningful,” Semel said. “Enter the Yahoo Soul Search—a powerful new tool that reveals what’s deep inside your heart, using the user-friendly interface already familiar to Yahoo fans.”

Judy Blume, Girls’ Friend, Makes a Move to the Movies

The NY Times is reporting that after many years of starts and stops that Judy Blume’s novel, “Deenie” will be made into a movie.

The Judy Blume faithful are surprised only that it has taken this long for such a movie deal. “She perfectly identified emotions and created stories around them that validated your emotions and taught you the fundamentals of life, when your mother just brought out the box and the brochure, which is so scary,” said Terri Minsky, creator of the “Lizzie McGuire” series, whose 9-year-old daughter listens to Blume books for younger readers on tape. “Judy Blume does it in a story, and it’s like a gift. Why must we be subjected to `Agent Cody Banks’ when there are Judy Blume books out there? It’s not right.”