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Friday News: Conan Doyle estate smacked by SCOTUS, Rupert Murdoch pursuing...

There is a case to be made for the aggressive protection of an author’s intellectual property rights by their estate. However, it must also be remembered the the US Constitution guaranteed those rights for only a “limited time,” and that the whole of the copyright clause is related to the “Progress of Science and useful Arts.” And this progress necessitates the public’s interest in copyright, in the sense that works in the public domain provide inspiration and fodder for other works. That the Conan Doyle estate seems content to collect licensing fees raises my cynical left eyebrow (that one gets a lot more upward movement than the right one these days), and I doubt this is their final move.

Doyle has been dead for eighty-four years, but because of extensions of copyright terms, ten of his fifty-six short stories continue to be protected from copying. All of the short stories and four novels were published between 1887 and 1927, but all of the collection except ten short stories have entered into the public domain as copyrights expired.

The Doyle estate, though, is pressing a quite unusual copyright theory. It contends that, since Doyle continued to develop the characters of Holmes and Watson throughout all of the stories, the characters themselves cannot be copied even for what Doyle wrote about them in the works that are now part of the public domain and thus ordinarily would be fair game for use by others. –Scotus Blog

Combine their international cable footprints and its uber-huge with Fox revenue 44% of total and strong in Europe while TW 36% and well penetrated in Latin America. Murdoch’s resultant international cable scale would create synergies on ad sales, affiliate fees, and pay-TV penetration, according to the analysts. That’s good for the companies.

What this also means is that, just as a time when a wealth of new buyers like Goggle, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, Yahoo and Netflix for scripted professional TV programming have appeared, it’s entirely possibly that 2 of the biggest traditional buyers will become one combined entity to better control over how content is sold to these new online players. That’s bad for you. A merged Fox/Time Warner company would negotiate digital rights more effectively and create an even more formidable rival to these still fledgling programmers and distributors. That’s good for the companies. –Nikke Finke

Why did a series that for so long revolved around malt shops and the virtues of blondes versus brunettes take such a dark and political turn? Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, told the Associated Press they “wanted to do something that was impactful” and that would “resonate with the world.”

“That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin,” Goldwater said. “He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.” –MSNBC

I did not finish this book because I did not like the direction that the relationship between the Coach and Shea was going. I wrote on Emily Giffin’s Facebook page that I loved all of her previous books, but I wasn’t comfortable with the direction this book was going in, my comments were deleted by her staff. I then wrote to her organization only to have her husband, Buddy Blaha wrote back to me with some “poor Emily” type stuff. –Amazon, Goodreads

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Lostshadows
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 08:36:16

    I’d missed the EG thing, and that whole thing looks pretty awful, but why would you contact an author directly about not liking their book after they deleted your comment on their facebook page? Even if this wasn’t an author with an ABB history it seems kind of like fishing for drama.

  2. Lada
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 13:02:50

    I’m not a Griffin reader and recall the hubbub around the last book but I have to agree with @Lostshadows:. Why contact an author about a book you don’t like? I’m 100% for the freedom to share your reviews/opinions about why a book doesn’t work for you but think there are plenty of options to do that without contacting the author directly. Would it really make you feel better for an author to say “sorry this one didn’t work for you”? If you’re so offended by the book you want your money back, I’d think you’d need to take that up with the seller. This behavior baffles me as much as spouses who feel the need to vitriolically defend their partner and go after readers.

  3. Ridley
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 13:52:01

    Whatever. If you want all the knob-slathering praise fans offer via Facebook, you should buck up and deal with the criticism gracefully.

    This is why authors on Facebook repel me. All the uncritical adoration goes to their heads and they buy their own hype.

  4. Maria D.
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 17:42:35

    I don’t think Rupert Murdoch should be allowed to purchase Time Warner…just my thoughts …isn’t his freaking empire big enough already? Sigh…

  5. SonomaLass
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 22:23:37

    Time Warner already has too much power, IMO. Ask any Los Angeles baseball fan who can’t watch their team play, because Time Warner owns SportsNet LA and “can’t” get a deal done for other cable and satellite channels to distribute it. Many angry fans. I can only imagine the kind of pressure a combined TW-Murdoch would be able to exert.

  6. AlexaB
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 09:25:45


    Time Warner Cable is no longer owned by Time Warner. They spun it off in 2009; the cable company uses the name under a license. Nor does 21st Century Fox/News Corp own cable/satellite services at the moment, after buying and divesting DirectTV. There are no monopoly concerns in that area.

    But Nikki Finke is correct that this deal would fuck oh so many, from Hollywood creatives to consumers.

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