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Monday News: YouTube targets slow ISPs, Scarlett Johansson wins limited judgment, “considering” books for review, and new DA submission forms

Monday News: YouTube targets slow ISPs, Scarlett Johansson wins limited judgment,...

YouTube, following Netflix, is now publicly shaming internet providers for slow video – This is pretty interesting. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is posting these messages on videos that have streaming issues due to insufficient ISP speeds. Netflix had been doing something similar, and Verizon apparently threatened to sue them, so they quit, but I’ve recently seen the YouTube message, so I know it’s still in use. At the same time, Quartz points out that there seems to be an awful lot of Silicon Valley silence about the proposed Net Neutrality rules, which is pretty frustrating, especially since the changes extend far past speed to the way Internet Service Providers are treated under the law.

Curiously, though, Google and other technology companies have been relatively quiet as the US Federal Communications Commission moves closer to rules that would explicitly allow those fast lanes. That’s a stark contrast to four years ago, when Google played a central—and controversial—role in drafting net neutrality regulations.

Rather than intensely lobbying the government this time around, Google and Netflix seem to be focused on a public relations campaign. Both now regularly report how well their services work on a wide range of internet providers. Netflix’s ISP Index covers 20 countries; Google’s Video Quality Report is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Google has also started labeling some ISPs as “YouTube HD Verified,” a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal for streaming video. –Quartz

Scarlett Johansson wins defamation case against French novelist – The title of this article is slightly misleading, as are articles like this one in Vogue UK,  which somewhat overstate the actual scope of the verdict by a French judge in Johansson’s suit. The fraudulent exploitation aspect was dismissed, based on the fact that she had not kept her private life private, and has spoken publicly about it. Consequently, she was awarded only €2,500, plus €2,500 in legal costs, and prevailed only on the alleged claim of two romantic relationships that never existed.

I doubt this case would have gotten very far in the United States, especially because public figures have to prove actual malice, but this case may have served as an informal precedent of sorts had she prevailed more broadly.

Emmanuelle Allibert of the publishers J-C Lattès said they and Delacourt were happy with the judgment. “All of Scarlett Johansson’s demands were rejected except one thing that was seen to be an attack in her private life over two relations that she never had.

“All her other demands, including damages of €50,000, were rejected, notably that there should be a ban on the book being translated or made into a film. We just have to cut out the bit about the affairs, which is just four lines,” Allibert told the Guardian. –The Guardian

“For Review” Vs. “For Review Consideration” – An interesting discussion on an SFF blog about the difference between reviewing every book a blogger accepts and considering for review every book the blogger accepts. I think this notion of a contract or an obligation between book blogger and author cultivates a really problematic reviewing environment, in part because it can create an environment where resentment or guilt can find their way into the reviewing process. Moreover, ARCs have historically been considered promotional items, and the more obligations that become attached to that process, the less independence of opinion you may end up with.

The main thrust of the article is that book bloggers as a whole seem to think that receiving books in exchange for a review (even an honest one) is a fair verbal contract. However, (and I didn’t know this previously) editorial media does not enter into this sort of tit-for-tat, book-for-review agreement with publishers, even when a reviewer specifically requests a book from the publisher. –On Starships and Dragonwings

Two new forms for submitting news and deal items to Dear Author – Jane has asked me to post links to two new forms, which are also available in the drop down Contact Us menu.

First, here’s a form for submitting any current book deal you think we should post.

And here’s a form for submitting and news story you think we should post.

In regard to news posts, when someone sends me a prospective item, I don’t generally reference the sender, because not everyone wants to be recognized in that way. But if you’d like a shout out, please let me know; I’m happy to oblige and always appreciate the heads up on articles I might otherwise have missed. –Dear Author

Wednesday News: Free access from Oxford U Press this week, the state of digital journalism, Shakespeare’s plays as webcomics, and  celebrating librarians

Wednesday News: Free access from Oxford U Press this week, the...

Oxford University Press Gives You Free Access to Books, Dictionaries & More During National Library Week – So while you can’t access Oxford academic journals, in honor of National Library Week, Oxford University Press is offering free access to a number of its texts, including its dictionaries. So if you’ve ever wanted to peruse the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) but don’t have access, now is the time.

Access will be open until the end of Saturday, the 19th. You will be able to read Oxford’s online dictionaries, online scholarly editions, extensive reference materials, and the popular series of Very Short Introductions,. . . (To access the texts, type “libraryweek” as the username and password in the Subscriber Login area. It appears halfway down the page, on the left.) –Open Culture

Digital journalism: we’re still waiting for the third model of news publishing – A provocative blog entry considering the way in which the “studio system” model of journalism is perceived to be more likely to succeed than a “publishing monolith.” Can a platform that seeks to serve many through journalistic content succeed? Emily Bell is not convinced, and her discussion of what she calls “entrepreneurial journalism” is both depressing and engaging.

Long-term commitment and availability of capital are changing how we think about digital journalism. Baron’s conviction that the world won’t end with Klein’s departure is as likely to be right as the idea that Vox will be successful. We are still waiting, though, for a third model of news publishing to emerge. A news organisation that holds institutional strengths, beliefs and resources at its core but allows the rise of the independently oriented journalist some freedom to succeed or fail is still at the drawing board stage. –The Guardian

All of Shakespeare’s Plays, Converted to 3-Panel Webcomics – This might be better than when the plays were converted to graphic novels. Although they’re not ALL three panels. Although Titus Andronicus’s single panel might be my favorite, Henry VI Part 3 in five panels is pretty great, too. –i09

9 Reasons Why Librarians Are Awesome – A cute piece celebrating librarians. –Buzzfeed