Wednesday News: Instagram, copyright, #GiveaBook, and Murakami vending machine
How Instagram Became the New Oprah’s Book Club – Forget Twitter – Instagram is now the best, most influential platform for books. The fact that you can see a book in a pretty little picture is apparently far superior to the 140-character Twitter blurb (even though you can have pictures on Twitter), and did you know that Reese Witherspoon has twice as many Instagram followers as the New York Times Book Review?!
As #eeeats and #feastagram are to the donut and burger-photographing foodies on Insta, Instagram’s bookworms congregate via #bookstagram, which boasts more than 1.7 million posts from bibliophiles, many of whom are young women, according to Instagram, dedicating their feeds entirely to the books they’re reading. With #coverbuybooks, users note when they buy books based, at least initially, on gorgeous covers. (YA authors Rainbow Rowell and Jandy Nelson are bright, popular choices.) – Vogue
More Evidence Of How Copyright Makes Culture Disappear In A Giant Black Hole – The traditional wisdom suggests that copyright is essential to keep books protected and published, even though a growing body of research indicates that the longer the copyright term, the more likely that a book is to go out of publication. Books in the public domain are more likely to circulate through publication and re-publication, serving the myriad benefits of public access to creative works. Further, the new TPP agreement raises the copyright term to life of the author + 70 years (rather than life + 50 years), while “for most types of works the copyright is clearly worth basically nothing after 28 years.” The system is well and truly broken, except for certain corporate interests (coughDisneycough) that benefit commercially, to hell with the cultural damage.
All of this should raise serious questions about why we have copyright terms that are so long when the vast majority of content doesn’t value that protection and (more importantly) the clearly visible harm to culture and public knowledge created by such long copyright term lengths. And, again, it raises the question of why we don’t move to a system whereby copyright holders should be required to renew their copyright at specific intervals, to make sure that such monopoly rights are still more valuable than the public interest in those works. – TechDirt
How will you #GiveaBook this year? – Yesterday marked the first day of #GiveaBook 2015, sponsored by Penguin Random House, which promises a donated book for every use of the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook. You can check out the promotion’s Facebook page for updates on the campaign, and PRH has also created a Giving Map, which features the locations of local book drives, for those who wish to donate a book themselves. In the meantime, you can get PRH to donate to a good cause with very little effort. I suspect they’re going to reach their goal very quickly, so hopefully, in the spirit of the holiday season, they will increase the limit (they are, after all, in the book business).
GiveaBook is an online campaign to promote books as gifts and to give back to children in need. For every use of the hashtag #GiveaBook on Twitter and Facebook between November 16th and December 24th, Penguin Random House will donate one book to the literacy charity First Book, up to 35,000 books. – #GiveaBook
Haruki Murakami Novels Sold in Polish Vending Machines – Speaking of Penguin Random House and book promotion, check out this Haruki Murakami vending machine (Murakami is published by Vintage, an imprint of PRH). And it’s in an airport, which is genius. Now this strikes me as much cooler than Twitter, although I could definitely see myself almost missing my flight while trying to decide between a book vending machine and a Benefit Cosmetics vending machine. – Open Culture