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Archie

Friday News: Conan Doyle estate smacked by SCOTUS, Rupert Murdoch pursuing Time Warner, future-world Archie dies, and new Emily Giffin review drama

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

Thursday News: Death comes to Archie Comics, Comcast’s anti-trust challenge, Kobo’s new president, and Denmark’s Yahya Hassan

Thursday News: Death comes to Archie Comics, Comcast’s anti-trust challenge, Kobo’s...

Comic book icon Archie to ‘die heroically’ – I have to admit that this is pretty clever, although I’m guessing it’s going to make some readers feel manipulated. Although the Archie comics that continue to feature Archie, Veronica, and Betty as teenagers continue to keep all its main characters alive, the series “Life with Archie,” which represents Archie’s grown-up life, will be portraying his death this July. Pretty tricky, Archie Comics.

“Archie dies as he lived — heroically. He dies saving the life of a friend, and does it in his usual selfless way. Archie has always been a representation of us — the best of us. Our strengths and our faults,” Goldwater said. –New York Post

Antitrust issues abound as Comcast explains Time Warner Cable deal in the Senate – This is a really interesting analysis of the case Comcast is trying to make to Congress about why it should be allowed to purchase Time Warner. Comcast is currently the largest cable tv company in the US, and Time Warner is the second largest. Comcast claims that horizontal competition will not be affected by the merger, and the government is interested in making the harder-to-support case that there are vertical antitrust issues that weight against the merger. However, as this piece points out, the issue is much larger than that of cable tv providers — it goes back to that fundamental question of who controls the broadband market. This potential deal also directly implicates net neutrality.

As my colleague Stacey Higginbotham explained yesterday, this deal isn’t really about cable, but about broadband services. It is not about a choice of cable company, but instead about deciding who will control the the pipe of information that comes into our home alongside our gas and electricity.

And it is on this front that the antitrust issues are most profound. If Comcast and Time Warner Cable merge, the combined company could control at least 40 percent of the country’s broadband market. –Gigaom

London Book Fair 2014: PW Talks with Kobo President Michael Tamblyn – This interview with Kobo’s new President and CCO Michael Tamblyn may be of particular interest to those whose content was transferred from the now-defunct Sony Reader Store to the Kobo Store, who lays out some of his strategy for Kobo and his perceptions of the ebook and e-device market. Not surprisingly, Kobo is looking at the self-publishing market, which Tamblyn claims account for about 10% of daily unit sales. He also seems to be pretty focused on keeping Kobo centered in the e-reader business, not branching out to tablets.

If you look at the development of Kobo over time, we started as an apps only company which then figured out that devices were a great way to acquire customers, so we succeeded in building a lot of devices and released them into a lot of markets, and then figured out how to get partners selling those devices, in a lot of different territories. Now, we’re coming back with a greater focus on the content side of the business. Now that we have all of our partners putting devices on shelves and putting them in customers hands, how do we get those partners more engaged in the promotion of the digital titles that go on those devices? How do we get bricks and mortar locations promoting more digital in more ways? So I’ve been spending a lot of my time looking at the publisher, author, and title side of the business. –Publishers Weekly

Lashing Out in Verse – I have to admit that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with this story for the past week, seeking out videos of Hassan’s poetry readings, even though I don’t understand much Danish, the language in which he produces his work. For despite Denmark’s reputation as the happiest country in the world, Hassan provides a much different view, one that suggests much more complexity and social stratification than is often perceived by or presented to outsiders. At only 18 years of age, the Danish-Palestinian poet is making a controversial name for himself as both an artist to be reckoned with, and a force of political and social rebellion that has earned him both substantial popularity and criticism.

A rapper before he became a poet, Mr. Hassan caught the attention of Johannes Riis, the literary director of the Gyldendal publishing house, who met him through other Danish literary figures. Mr. Hassan then wrote some 170 pages of poetry over the course of several months before publishing the first 800 copies of “Yahya Hassan” on Oct. 19. Sales took off after an interview in the Danish daily Politiken whose headline, containing an expletive, quoting him on his hate for his parents’ generation. He describes a disciplinarian father who hits him and his siblings and eventually leaves to marry a second Muslim wife, and he criticizes his mother and other relatives.

He finds particular fault with the ways their lives in Denmark are circumscribed — as are those of so many modern immigrants — by clinging to the remote control that brings satellite TV, in this case Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera, to their living rooms. The images of life in the poorer parts of Aarhus, the port city where Mr. Hassan lived with his family, are bare and dirty. The language used to describe his various brushes with state institutions is rife with expletives. –New York Times