Author’s Guild v Hathi Trust: A Win for Copyright’s Public Interest Purpose – Nancy Sims has a really fantastic write up of the Hathi Trust Fair Use win from yesterday. Hathi Trust is a consortium of five majority universities who built a digital library of over 10 million books, over 76% that are still in copyright. This digital library was built, in part, by Google’s scanning efforts that are being sued separately. The Authors’ Guild and others sued Hathi Trust for copyright violation, bringing up many of the same claims that they use toward Google including security violations and fair use.
Yesterday, Judge Baer ruled in favor of the Hathi Trust, finding that as a matter of law, defendants’ actions were all considered fair use. Judge Baer is a federal judge with the Southern District of NY where the Google Book search is set. They are not exactly comparable as Google is a commercial entity and the Hathi Trust is a consortium of higher education and some of the pro Hathi Trust findings are based on a specific educational exception to the copyright law. HOWEVER, some of the findings are explicitly applicable to the Google Books case and suggests that the court (same jurisdiction) would find in favor of fair use for Google. Copyright Librarian
The 10 Best McDonald’s Meals You Won’t Find in the U.S. – By Sulome Anderson – I’m not sure what kind of site Foreign Policy is despite its serious name because I was directed to this piece via digg and noticed that one of its more popular posts was on the meme of the hot Syrian soldier. But I did enjoy the rundown of the deliciousness that is McDonald’s in other countries. An all vegetarian McDonalds? Why can’t we have those in the US? Foreign Policy
Excelsior! ComiXology begins accepting self-published comics (exclusive) – Genre fiction is enjoying a self publishing explosion and now comics are getting into the mix. Generally, so long as the submission is of “print-quality”, ComiXology says it will allow the self published items into the digital store to be sold next to the Marvel and DC Comics. ComiXology will take 50% off the net revenue.
Steinberger said the company has a small team of reviewers in place, each of whom are well versed in independent comics. The company plans on notifying creators about the status of their submissions soon after they’ve been reviewed. Eventually the company would like to provide some form of feedback for submissions that didn’t get approved for sale in the store, and what they might do differently in the future. I’m guessing this is closer to Apple’s App Store approval process and less like editorial oversight. VentureBeat
BookShout pulls users’ Kindle, Nook books onto other platforms – BookShout is like iTunes match except for books. iTunes match works like this. iTunes scans your music harddrive and places a copy of that song in the cloud so that you can access it at anytime. You pay a yearly $24.99 fee for this service. (http://www.apple.com/itunes/itunes-match/) BookShout uses your credentials from BN and Amazon, scans your account and then serves up their own copy of that book in their cloud which you access through the BookShout app. BookShout is working with mainstream publishers to provide this service. BookShout will also sell books directly. As one of the commenters noted, by handing BookShout your username and password to Amazon or B&N, BookShout also has access to your entire purchasing account, your credit card information, and your personal documents. For Amazon, that can include the music you purchased, the gifts you sent, as well as highlights and so forth. Essentially you are giving BookShout permission to rifle through your Amazon account. No thanks. paidContent
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos admits Kindles are sold at cost – Bezos told a BBC interviewer that the Kindle devices are sold at cost. CNET points out, in comparison, Apple “reportedly makes around a 40 percent margin on its WiFi-based iPad, which is priced higher than a similarly configured and less feature-rich Amazon Kindle.” Internet & Media – CNET News