Thursday News: Stephen King sued over Dark Tower, repealing online privacy rules, Match Book, and 12 books that shaped Jeff Bezos
STEPHEN KING SUEDYOU TOOK MY GUNSLINGER TO ‘THE DARK TOWER’ – So apparently Stephen King has admitted to reading the comic book series featuring Restin Dane, who appeared between 1977 and 1983. And if you look at the covers and even the names of the two characters, there does seem to be some inspiration. Of course, characters are not automatically copyrightable, and the seemingly obvious connections may give rise to a work protected under fair use (or one that is sufficiently transformative to be distinct from the inspiration). Apparently The Rook‘s creator is suing King for upwards of $500 million, but not having seen the docs I don’t know how, uh, serious the claim is.
The creator of “The Rook” comics claims King’s protagonist, Roland Deschain, is based on his main character, Restin Dane. He says Deschain has striking similarities to Dane other than just their initials — both are “time-traveling, monster-fighting, quasi-immortal, romantic adventure heroes.”
“The Rook” creator also points out King’s Deschain dresses like a cowboy despite not being from the Old West — just like Restin Dane — and the towers in both books look the same. – TMZ
Repealing Broadband Privacy Rules, Congress Sides with the Cable and Telephone Industry – So you’ve probably already heard that Congress doesn’t think those pesky privacy protections consumers were just starting to get were a good idea. No, not when Facebook and Google get more privileges! Why shouldn’t all of your information be tracked, stored, and sold by telecom/internet companies, stripping you of any pretense of privacy as you browse and search online? Because, you know, corporate competition. Just wait, because net neutrality is probably next to hit the bowl.
Should President Donald Trump sign S.J. Res. 34 into law, big Internet providers will be given new powers to harvest your personal information in extraordinarily creepy ways. They will watch your every action online and create highly personalized and sensitive profiles for the highest bidder. All without your consent. This breaks with the decades long legal tradition that your communications provider is never allowed to monetize your personal information without asking for your permission first. This will harm our cybersecurity as these companies become giant repositories of personal data. It won’t be long before the government begins demanding access to the treasure trove of private information Internet providers will collect and store. – EFF
Introducing Match Book, a New Literary Advice Column – In theory, this seems like a good idea – part hand selling, part bloggish intimacy, and part community building, if it’s not driven by relationships and marketing agreements with publishers, it may help the NYT deliver on its promise to broaden its book coverage. I guess we’ll see. Anyone want to email them (firstname.lastname@example.org) “with details about your reading habits” to see how far from the literary mainstream they will go?
Each column will offer personalized suggestions to one reader. Match Book will field queries from readers looking for books for any reason: for themselves, for research, for work, to give as gifts — for adults and kids — and for members of book groups looking for their next big read. All letters from all stripes of passionate readers are welcome: Lovers of fiction, thrillers, memoirs, essays, cozies, art books, biographies, children’s books, history, audiobooks, graphic novels. – New York Times
The 12 books that helped form billionaire Jeff Bezos’ leadership style – I’m not sure this list is conventional, especially since it begins with Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, but it is interesting to see where people like Bezos get their literary mentorship. Not surprisingly, a lot of focus innovation, ‘leanness’, “data-driven marketing,” and efficiency (as well as “frugality” – e.g. Walmart founder Sam Walton’s autobiography). And I’m curious now to read The Mythical Man-Month.
In [the] biography “The Everything Store,” author Brad Stone describes how books shaped Bezos’ leadership style and way of thinking. In fact, according to the book, there is a list of books Amazon employees refer to as “Jeff’s Reading List.”
It includes autobiographies, business and technology reads and even a novel, and according to Stone, many Amazon executives have made their way through these volumes. – CNBC