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Wednesday News: Harper Collins wins copyright case against Open Road, app warns users not to make defamatory comments, campaign for gender-netural toys gains support, Beastie Boys settles with Goldiblox in fair use suit

Wednesday News: Harper Collins wins copyright case against Open Road, app...

Judge Rules for HarperCollins in Open Road E-Book Dispute – In a copyright dispute between Open Road and Harper Collins publishers, Harper Collins has been awarded a judgment against Open Road for copyright infringement. The book in question, Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George, was published in digital by Open Road, upon the granting of digital rights by George, based on belief that the 1971 contract between George and Harper Collins did not grant the publisher electronic rights. It is unclear whether this case is of limited influence, in part because of the age of the original contract, or whether it follows 2001′s Rosetta v. Random House.

The suit was filed by HarperCollins in December of 2011, after George had agreed to publish an e-book edition of her 1973 Newbery Award-winning book with Open Road. HarperCollins argued that two clauses in its contract (signed in 1971) gave it the exclusive right to license an electronic edition—albeit, only to be executed with the permission of George.

Open Road, however, believed there to be no explicit grant of e-book rights in the contract, and offered to publish the digital edition, even agreeing to indemnify George and her agency, Curtis Brown. –Publishers Weekly

Secret Now Warning Users Not To “Defame” Others – Speaking of legal issues, Secret, the so-called “confessional app” is providing users with a pre-emptive warning not to write defamatory comments. Apparently the warning is triggered by the use of someone’s first name. Another facet of the anonymity argument, and an interesting form of moderation (is it chilling speech, for example?).

The move to (lightly) police the content appearing on Secret comes at a time when a number of public figures in the tech industry have seen their names appear on the network, often with some not-so-friendly commentary attached. For some, Secret has given users an outlet to speak their mind about what so-and-so is really like, without being associated with their remarks. –Tech Crunch

Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex – A UK campaign called Let Toys Be Toys is gaining steam, garnering support from some members of Parliament and at least one newspaper, the Independent, which has indicated it will no longer review gender-specific children’s books:

There are those who will say that insisting on gender-neutral books and toys for children is a bizarre experiment in social engineering by radical lefties and paranoid “femininazis” who won’t allow boys to be boys, and girls to be girls. (Because, by the way, seeking equality of rights and opportunities was a key plank of Nazi ideology, was it?) But the “experiment” is nothing new. When I grew up in the 1970s, and when my parents grew up in the 1950s, brothers and sisters shared the same toys, books and games, which came in many more colours than just pink and blue, and there was no obvious disintegration of society as a result. Publishers and toy companies like to say that they are offering parents more “choice” these days by billing some of their products as just for boys and others as just for girls. What they’re actually doing, by convincing children that boys and girls can’t play with each other’s stuff, is forcing parents to buy twice as much stuff  –The Independent

Beastie Boys reach settlement with GoldieBlox over “Girls” parody – Remember the Beastie Boys – GoldiBlox controversy, in which GoldiBlox used the song “Girls” in an advertising parody? Although Goldiblox backed down from its own suit against the Beastie Boys when the Beastie Boys objected to its use of the song without permission (GoldiBlox claimed fair use), Beastie Boys went ahead with suit against GoldiBlox. The suit has now settled, a judge dismissing the case “without prejudice,” and without further fair use clarification.

Shortly thereafter, GoldieBox responded to Beastie Boys with their own open letter, writing, “We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans. Though the company still believes the parody falls under fair use, it has removed the advertisement from the Internet. We are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.” However, Beastie Boys still filed a countersuit, alleging GoldieBlox “acted intentionally and despicably with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Beastie Boys Parties”, citing a history of previous parody jingles from Queen and Daft Punk songs. –Consequence of Sound

Daily Deals: Icy wastelands, missed connections, and love triangles

Daily Deals: Icy wastelands, missed connections, and love triangles

Ice Forged by Gail Z. MartinIce Forged by Gail Matin. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.
Now, as the world’s magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate …

From Gail Z. Martin, author of the beloved series THE CHRONICLES OF THE NECROMANCER and THE FALLEN KINGS CYCLE, comes a new fantasy adventure for the ages.

Welcome to the end of the world.
Welcome to the beginning of THE ASCENDANT KINGDOMS SAGA.

Sounds like the pacing was uneven. There were parts that were boring and parts that were really exciting  but no terrible cliffhanger.

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Black Box by Cassia LeoBlack Box by Cassia Leo. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Three fateful encounters….
Two heart-breaking tragedies….
One last chance to get it right.
From New York Times best selling author Cassia Leo, comes an epic love story about rewriting destiny.

Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on three separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki’s life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.

Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she’s tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.

Twenty-one-year-old Crush has always channeled his blackest thoughts into his music, but he’s never had great aspirations. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he’s never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn’t even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he’s never felt like his life had any purpose… until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.

When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.

The negative review said it was too dark for her.

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The Death Factory: A Penn Cage Novella by Greg IlesThe Death Factory by Greg Iles. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Death is the end, and if a man doesn’t speak before it silences him, then his deepest secrets go with him.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes an e-original novella featuring former prosecutor Penn Cage, a story of family secrets and justice denied, plus an excerpt from his new novel, Natchez Burning.

When a heart attack sends Penn’s father, Tom Cage, to the ER, Tom begs that his son be brought to his side to hear a dying declaration. But when Penn arrives, Tom denies ever making the request—keeping his secrets for another day.

The emergency hurls Penn back to a chilling case in Houston, where he worked in a DA’s office known as the “death factory,” which sent more killers to death row than any other in America. While Penn cares for his ailing wife, a tormented forensic technician brings him evidence of a crime lab in chaos, throwing past convictions into doubt and begging Penn to prevent an imminent travesty of justice. With the desperation of a man fighting death in his own home, Penn must find a way to bring the machinery of the death factory to a halt.

Included here is an extended sneak preview of Natchez Burning, the first installment in an epic trilogy featuring Penn Cage.

This is a 100 page novella with a pub date of March 18. It has no reviews.

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Who Do I Run To?  by Anna BlackWho Do I Run To? by Anna Black. $ Free.

From the Jacket Copy:

Janiece Hawkins never thought she’d find herself facing a love triangle. More than that; a love triangle with a married man. KP, the man of her dreams swept her completely off her feet before telling her he was married with two kids. Too deep in love to let go, she became accustom to being KP’s other woman and didn’t have a problem with her role as KP’s mistress until she met Isaiah. Isaiah ready to commit and make Janiece his, he stops at nothing to win her over, even though Janiece is stuck on KP. Things spiral out of control when KP decides it’s time to leave Kimberly, his wife to be with Janiece. Drama kicks into high gear when Isaiah fights to have Janiece and Kimberly also fights to keep KP. The ultimate decision has to be made by Janiece. Who will she run to when she is ready to love?

Reviews say predictable and apparently characters appeared in a previous book. The heroine is criticized for being weak.

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