Category Archives: Rights

France’s Writers Sold Down The River

Google’s e-book deal could slow rise of Amazon Kindle in Europe

While it’s too early to say when (or if) the French e-book scheme will take off, there does appear to be one early loser in the deal. According to reports in Le Figaro and publishing site ActuaLitté, the agreement does not allow the publishers to distribute the digital books through Google’s direct competitors — read: Amazon.

What this means in practice is that Amazon may be excluded from a significant volume of content at a time when it is expanding its push into Europe with the Kindle and app store (there are also reports the company may launch the Kindle Fire too). If the Google e-books take off, Amazon will be the odd one out as the e-books can be read directly on devices made by Sony or Barnes & Noble or through the Google Play app on Apple devices.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

No mention of how the writers have been sold down the river.

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All Your Books Are Belong To Pirate Translators

How Three Germans Are Cloning the Web

Bamarang is the creation of Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer, a trio of German brothers who have a wildly successful business model: Find a promising Internet business, in the U.S., and clone it internationally. Since starting their first dot-clone in 1999, a German version of EBay, they’ve duplicated Airbnb, eHarmony, Pinterest, and other high-profile businesses. In total, they’ve launched more than 100 companies. Their Zappos clone, Zalando, now dominates six European markets and is estimated to be worth $1 billion by Financial Times Deutschland. Through their venture capital firm, the European Founders Fund, they also invested in European knockoffs of Facebook and YouTube, which sold for $112 million and $36 million, respectively.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Do they have a book business too?

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Filed under eBooks: General, Rights

France’s Book Grab: Worse Than Google Books

France: All your books are belong to us

Last week France passed a law that permits the state to seize authors’ rights on books published before 2001.

France Guillotines Copyright

No burden of proof is to be laid on the publisher. This overturns the basic principle of copyright, under which the rights are assumed to remain with the author unless someone else can prove that the rights have been assigned to them or they hold an exclusive licence that has not terminated.

Google English: [Politics] unavailable Books: Pirates of the amendments to defend the authors!

“Waking up one morning, go online, see a publisher with whom one has cut ties 30 years [ago, now advertising and selling] your book, and learn that we can do anything about it, this is what awaits many contemporary authors of books with this law … And they call us pirates?” Said Marcel Baptiste, secretary of the Pirate Party.

This is an absolute outrage.

That any State would even dream of trying to do this is astonishing and beyond belief.

While writers are hamstrung left and right in opting-out, dig this: A publisher assigned by the State gets a ten-year exclusive license for an eBook edition and has up to three years to stall before issuing one! Three years!!

If this is not beaten down aggressively, there is no hope anywhere in the world for any of us.

Can you imagine the outrage in the tech world if France passed a similar law for software and tried to claim all rights, say, for pre-2001 editions of Windows or the pre-OS X Macintosh OS and all software that ran on them?

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A Copyright War In 1917


Click = big

There is missing material in the original. I did my best to at least align the two pieces.

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Unglue.it Could Save Public Libraries

Unglue.it Crowdfunds Unlimited Licenses for Beloved E-books

This, for example, is what he means by “unglue,” the concept that lies at the heart of Gluejar: “unglue (v.t.) For an author or publisher to accept a fixed amount of money from the public for its unlimited use of an e-book.”

Hellman wants us to consider, in other words, a world in which those who hold the rights to books agree to license them through a Creative Commons arrangement that protects author/publisher copyrights, enables the rights holders to maintain or pursue additional licensing agreements, and at the same time creates an environment in which public funding helps “unglue” the books for digital distribution.

Crowdfunding — something already in play within organizations as diverse as the Nature Conservancy, NPR, and Kickstarter — provides the fiscal fuel, making sure that both the creators of the book and Gluejar get compensated for their efforts.

1) Print publishing now has a cash-out Exit Strategy if this comes to pass.

2) Writers dumped by their publishers could have a new way to reach new readers. Think of their books so freely available, not locked into any one format, free from all public libraries too.

3) What if all public libraries pooled into one fund each year 1-2% of their budgets for this? They could compile a list of books they’d like to get and have their patrons vote for them. Also, patrons could also add to the fund out of their own pockets. Such active participation in public libraries could save them.

4) Those who hold rights to currently not-in-e and out-of-print books could have a way to bring them back to life by having the market decide their value up-front.

There are many, many more implications to this. Those are off the top of my head. But this has to be the most exciting books-related proposal I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s the first thing that has given me hope for both books and especially for public libraries.

I’d like to see this happen.

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Filed under Books: Internet, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Public Libraries, Rights, Writers

George Lucas Loses UK Copyright Battle

Lucas loses Star Wars copyright case at Supreme Court

A Lucasfilm spokeswoman said: “We believe the imaginative characters, props, costumes, and other visual assets that go into making a film deserve protection in Britain. The UK should not allow itself to become a safe haven for piracy.”

What “piracy”? The court ruled the legal Copyright had expired.

George Lucas and his Hollywood supporters also argued the ruling posed a “significant threat” to the UK film industry as film-makers would be deterred from using UK propmakers for fear of copyright infringement.

What FUD. Next time, Lucas, get a fully-vetted contract on paper signed by everyone involved. You lacked the paperwork and left it all wide open for the court to rule on what was being covered, not a contract.

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Quote Of The Day: Anonymous/LulzSec

Anonymous & Lulz Security Statement

Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea.

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Judge Chin Has Great Timing!

Frustrated judge pushes Google digital book deal

A Manhattan federal judge set a September 15 deadline for Google Inc, authors and publishers to come up with a legal plan to create the world’s largest digital library, expressing frustration that the six-year-old dispute has not been resolved.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

What happened on that date in 2008? Let’s see one headline that appeared on September 16th:

Nice timing, Judge Chin. How very apt.

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Filed under Books: General, Collapse, eBooks: General, Google, Pottersville, Rights, Writers

When Japan Whines About Copyright, Show Them This!

From time to time there are stories from Japanese companies whining about how their movies, TV shows, and manga are being “stolen” by Americans and fansubbed and Boo-hoo-hoo.

Whenever they open their yap, shove this right down their throats!

It’s a story from composer John Scott and how Japan ripped off his Copyright for his Final Countdown movie score.

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Filed under Digital Overthrow, Movie, Music, Reference, Rights

Countdown To Sony Being Stupid And Busting Me

Sony Removes its ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Trailer From the Web

Before it was removed, though, that particular YouTube posting had been viewed more than 1.4 million times as of noon PDT on Tuesday.

So, the video I embedded in this post is now gone.

Note that I didn’t upload it to YouTube. I found out about it from everyone talking about it on the Internet.

Isn’t that the damn purpose of a movie trailer?

Since Sony clearly can’t see the value of fan-driven word-of-mouth, I expect them to make my other post disappear: Shot By Shot: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Red Band Trailer.

Because, you know, crappy lo-res snaps helping to spread the word for free about their major 2011 movie will threaten all of Sony’s income!

I’m making this a sticky so we can all play this game at home. This sticky is posted June 1st, let’s see how long that post stays up.

Update June 5, 2011: I’ve unstuck this post from the front page. Unless Sony is planning a full-blown lawsuit — doubtful — they would have DMCAed WordPress by now. It didn’t take that long for them to do that with YouTube.

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