SFWA to participate in Copyright Office orphan works roundtables

By Chris Meadows
March 9, 2014 // 5 Comments

The SFWA actually can do some useful things when it’s not getting embroiled in scandals. A press release on its web site notes that former SFWA President Michael Capobianco will be attending some US Copyright Office roundtables on the problem of orphan works on March 10th and 11th. The problem [...]

Commercial drone use apparently legal in US after all…for now

By Chris Meadows
March 7, 2014 // 1 Comment

Remember that story I wrote the other day about the FAA’s restrictions against commercial use of drones? Motherboard reports that a federal judge has dismissed the FAA’s first (and only) case against someone making commercial use of a drone. 29-year-old Raphael Pirker, fined for filming a [...]

Effect of Government Shutdown on Libraries, e-Publishing and the Stuff We Write About

By libertyc
October 1, 2013 // 7 Comments

Since I live in a suburb of Washington, D.C., there was little to no rejoicing when I woke up this morning. My Facebook feed was full of angry, disgusted people. My “hometown” newspaper, The Washington Post had news about little else. So naturally, my curiosity was sparked, and I began [...]

Ex-copyright czar Victoria Espinel becomes head of Software Alliance

By libertyc
August 30, 2013 // 1 Comment

Remember “copyright czar” Victoria Espinel? We mentioned her a couple of times back in 2010—when she called for public comments on the state of IP law,, when the comments came in. and then when they were made public. Some interesting stuff on the state of intellectual property law there, and [...]

Renting Textbooks from Amazon? Better Not Cross State Lines…

By libertyc
August 18, 2013 // 7 Comments

A poster at Mobile Read alerted me to this shocking story from Inside Higher Ed, about a new textbook rental program. The article warns of a clause in the textbook rental fine print that restricts users renting through Amazon’s Warehouse Deals, Inc, from moving the textbook out of the state [...]

Amazon discontinues associate referral program in Missouri

By libertyc
August 15, 2013 // 1 Comment

Sometimes the news happens to you when you least expect it. I drove up from Springfield, Missouri to my brother’s house in St. Charles, on the way to GenCon in Indianapolis. As I was rolling through Rolla, I pulled off into a parking lot to check my email via convenient hotel wifi and found this [...]

FBI Can Activate Android Microphones, Record Secretly

By Stanley Goodner
August 3, 2013 // 0 Comments

It’s no big secret that the U.S. government can use some extreme methods in order to maintain justice and security for the nation by gathering information on suspects. Even before Snowden leaked all the NSA data, most of us had a pretty decent idea that the U.S. government has always been keeping [...]

BREAKING: Online Pornography To Be Blocked In All UK Households

By libertyc
July 22, 2013 // 12 Comments

The BBC is reporting that prime minister David Cameron is introducing new measures that will block all ‘online pornography’ from UK households. The block will initiate at the level of the Internet service provider (ISP), and will be a default setting unless customers specifically opt [...]

Judge Cote: Apple Did Conspire to Raise E-Book Prices

By libertyc
July 10, 2013 // 3 Comments

Judge Denise Cote has ruled on the Apple e-book case. And the verdict? “The plaintiffs have shown that the publisher defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing [...]

FAA investigation into allowing in-flight gadget use continues

By libertyc
June 23, 2013 // 0 Comments

The FAA might soon permit limited use of electronic devices even during take-off and landing. We reported on the study earlier this year (and even last year), but The Wall Street Journal reports the FAA has been circulating a set of draft proposals that would allow for devices such as tablets, [...]

Post-PRISM "Nineteen Eighty-Four" sales spike points up Orwell’s split position

By libertyc
June 15, 2013 // 3 Comments

One off-the-wall consequence of the sudden disclosures regarding the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM digital surveillance program earlier this week was the much-reported spike in sales of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”—with Penguin Plume’s recent Centennial [...]

On privacy, and the use of our personal information

By libertyc
June 12, 2013 // 0 Comments

There’s been lots in the news recently about this issue. The latest article I’ve seen was from All Things D about Google wanting permission to reveal how many FISA requests its received. I think this is a good time for us to be thinking about our information, how it’s collected and what [...]

Is anyone still paying attention to the DOJ/ebook antitrust case?

By Brian Howard
May 18, 2013 // 5 Comments

I guess I’d forgotten. Now that all the the publishing players have settled, abandoning agency pricing and returning to the wholesale slums, the DOJ/e-book antitrust case, which popped up again in everyone’s news feeds this week, feels a little anticlimactic. The DOJ, perhaps simply [...]

US government signs $16.5 million contract for Amazon Kindles

By libertyc
June 11, 2012 // 6 Comments

PaidContent reportat that the US government has signed a $16.5 million no-bid contract with Amazon to provide Kindle Touch units pre-loaded with 50 e-book titles each for use in its overseas language-education program. It starts with an order of 2,500 devices, but could include more over the next [...]

Why sue the publishers and Apple instead of Amazon? The DoJ may not have had much choice

By libertyc
April 23, 2012 // 5 Comments

In the publisher/Apple antitrust suit, one criticism that has emerged from the publisher partisan camp is that the DoJ is picking on them for trying to defend themselves against Amazon’s growing monopoly, while turning a blind eye to what Amazon is doing. However, the Wall Street Journal is [...]

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