Food and copyrights don’t mix

By Chris Meadows
August 28, 2015 // 1 Comment

It’s lunchtime in the central and eastern US, so this is a good time to post a couple of interesting copyright cases relating to food. First of all, in Germany it is now possible for chefs to copyright the presentation of their food—that is to say, they can treat their food as edible art, and [...]

Sadder Puppies: Chinese SF novel wins 2015 Hugo

By David Rothman
August 23, 2015 // 8 Comments

Hugo Awards judges have resisted the the Sad Puppies movement, which allegedly gamed the nomination process for one of science fiction’s most respected competitions. In a ceremony last night in Spokane, Washington, the judges refused to give out awards in such categories as Best Novella and Best [...]

What’s in a word? The new ‘sharing economy’

By Chris Meadows
August 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Sharing is good, right? What about when you charge for it? A New York Times piece on the new “sharing economy” looks at the way services like Uber, Lyft, and AirBNB characterize themselves as being all about “sharing” while at the same time charging you money for using them (and sometimes [...]

‘Happy Birthday’ may turn unhappy for Warner Brothers

By Chris Meadows
August 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

We’ve looked at the legal effort to clarify the copyright status of the “Happy Birthday” song a couple of times—in 2013 when it launched, and again last week. But Boing Boing has posted an extensive look at the key evidence in the case, and at the history of the song’s writers. The [...]

Belgian collection agency attempts to levy multifunction printers

By Chris Meadows
August 7, 2015 // 2 Comments

Techdirt has an interesting piece on an attempt by a Belgian collection society to impose levies on Hewlett-Packard’s multifunction printers—computer printers that include a built-in scanner and photocopying functionality. After negotiations between collection society Reprobel and [...]

Intellectual property ABCs: Read this fun guide and take the quizzes. Can the Wicked Witch sue you?

By David Rothman
August 1, 2015 // 0 Comments

“The Wicked Witch sells Jack a book on how to build Gingerbread houses for $15.99. Later, Jack enrolls in an online course on how to build Gingerbread houses and so he does not need the book any more. He turns around and sells the book to Jill for $10.00. The Wicked Witch complains that Jack is [...]

‘Happy Birthday to You’ copyright trolling: An end in sight?

By David Rothman
July 31, 2015 // 0 Comments

The folk song “Happy Birthday to You” has been a prime example of America’s flawed copyright system. Its origins date back to the middle of the 19th century. Yet a Warner Music Group subsidiary collect $2 million a year from enforcing the copyright. But what if evidence surfaced  [...]

TeleRead Links: International pricing, knuckle dragging, revising copyright, and more

By Chris Meadows
July 27, 2015 // 1 Comment

When Selling Virtual Products Abroad, Don’t Put Prices On Autopilot (TechCrunch) For our experiment, we selected six different currencies — Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, British pound, Mexican peso, Malaysian ringgit and Saudi riyal. Over six months, we charged various prices for the app [...]

TeleRead Links: Amazonopoly, AlphaSmart, libraries and the Internet, and more

By Chris Meadows
July 26, 2015 // 6 Comments

Why Amazon monopoly accusations deserve a closer look (Fortune) As with other one-time high-tech leaders (IBM, Microsoft, Google) Amazon’s dominant market share suddenly seems too much. In letters to the Justice Department, the authors’ and retailers’ groups claim that Amazon is squeezing [...]

Orphan works copyright law controversy: Don’t panic!

By Chris Meadows
July 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

It seemed important to lead with those two words, in large, friendly headline letters, based on the breathless “everybody panic!” takes that have been spreading around this matter lately. I’ve seen them popping up in my Facebook friends lists, and otherwise sensible people have been taken [...]

TeleRead Links: E-books by phone and candle? Apple Siri and music hassles. Streaming vs. ripping.

By Chris Meadows
July 18, 2015 // 2 Comments

Indoor candle device is designed to keep phones charged ( An emergency generator for your phone at time of power outages? That’s an offer in the form of a crowdfunded-campaign item called Candle Charger. It offers USB power when you need it, designed to keep phones souped up when the [...]

TeleRead Links: Google fights spam but patents obvious AI techniques, ALA and copyright, Paradise Lost, and more

By Chris Meadows
July 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

Gmail is finding smarter ways to keep spam out of your inbox (Mashable) In 2012 Gmail missed 1% of spam messages, according to Google. Now, it only misses 0.1% of spam and only 0.05% of email ends up in the spam folder when it shouldn’t, but the company thinks it can improve on those figures. [...]

Unauthorized Mass Effect RPG temporarily nominated for three ENnie Awards

By Chris Meadows
July 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

Here’s an odd little self-e-publishing story that hits unexpectedly close to home for me—in the literal sense. Over the last few days, ENWorld announced the list of ENnie Award nominees for 2015—the yearly role-playing-game-industry fan-based awards that are given out at Gen Con here in [...]

Another ‘Permission Culture’ Landmine

By Joanna Cabot
June 24, 2015 // 1 Comment

From our friends at Techdirt comes this insane story about yet another copyright landmine we all need to be worrying about falling into: the ‘freedom of panorama’ principle. As Tim Cushing explains: "Photographing public structures could soon become copyright infringement. At this [...]

Morning Links: Orphan works. Fighting the bad guys. WiFi-powered cameras and Big Brother.

By Joanna Cabot
June 5, 2015 // 2 Comments

U.S. Copyright Office Releases Report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization (InfoDocket) The Report documents the legal and business challenges faced by good faith users who seek to use orphan works and/or engage in mass digitization projects. The TeleRead Take: Slow progress on this issue, but [...]

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