Intellectual Property

Beyond "Harry Potter": 5 interesting tales of plagiarism

Beyond "Harry Potter": 5 interesting tales of plagiarism
Rowling is hardly the first well-known writer to face plagiarism charges. The results of such charges tend to vary widely. Some end up dismissed as without merit, others ruin careers, and yet others seem simply to disappear.

Secret Agent

Who controls the internet? Well, at the moment a trade agreement known as ACTA is being negotiated by the U.S., Japan, the European Union, Canada and more than a dozen other countries, and, if ratified, would significantly regulate what you can and can’t do online. ACTA’s rules will supersede each country’s local laws. Oh, and the whole affair is secret. Danny O'Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains the possible impact on net users worldwide. Listen using embedded player above on download MP3 file here.

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) <a href=""> FAQ</a> on the <a href="">Google Books Project</a> and the fight over a settlement.

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.

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


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