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Clash Over Copyrights June 14, 2010

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This article in USA Today: (Neil Gaiman, Todd McFarlane clash over copyrights – USATODAY.com.) covers a copyright dispute between comic book artists who may or may not have “co-created” characters that one of the artists has continued to use.

Copyrights are a tough area of the law, even when situations seem pretty clear, but in comics cases – things are always murky. Interesting piece, and interesting topic.

By the way, I finished Gaiman’s American Gods this weekend, so look for a review later today!  We’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, but we’re coming back, and look for guest posts!  If you’re interested in writing something, or have a topic you’d like to see us share, let us know!

The Music Industry and Online Piracy: Infographic April 15, 2010

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Oddee.com, one of my favorite list-loving sites (but rarely safe for work), has produced this interesting and well-organized infographic on the changing state of music and how it has affected the music industry. This graphic is definitely worth mulling over. Click on the picture for a large (and complete) view of the infographic.

From Oddee.com

Publishers Put Up a Fight November 30, 2009

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It’s nice, for a change, to see publishers attempt to innovate and meet the changing demands of their tech-savvy readers instead of complaining about decreasing sales and demands for free content. This article by the New York Times discusses the attempts of powerhouse publishers like Conde Nast to create a centralized portal where both electronic and print copies of publications can be bought. This model, which the consortium plans to reveal in early December, will be loosely modeled on the iTunes store.

While I laud the attempts of these companies to keep payroll up and their writers employed, I cannot help but to believe that people will find a way, once again, to circumvent payment. If anything, this development is just another reminder that libraries are not doing outreach correctly (or at all). Most public libraries (and all public libraries in New York State) already provide free access to these publications through databases provided by their own tax money! Is it our job as librarians to spread the word about this amazing access to information, or should we keep in on the DL? Is being overlooked what has kept us in business? Is our biggest downfall our secret savior?

Google Books Blah Blah Blah November 30, 2009

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If you are as sick as we are of hearing about Google Books settlement updates then just scroll past this post. BUT if you just found yourself saying, “huh?”, “what?”, or (astoundingly) “that sounds interesting!”, then you should check out this guide created by the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries that explains the revisions to the proposed settlement, and with particular emphasis on the parts that will most affect libraries. Have a Red Bull before this one!

Guilty Until Proven Innocent November 4, 2009

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A section of the internet portion of a secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has leaked onto the web (how ironic) and basically states that the rules governing copyright on the internet will deem you (and your family and anyone else using your ISP) guilty immediately upon suspected infringement of copyright and cut off all access to the web. As access to the web is increasingly considered a legal right (Finland goes as far to consider broadband a legal right) I think this agreement is clearly in violation of our rights as Americans! Check out what exactly this entails in the words of Cory Doctorow.

Ubiquitous web=ubiquitous music October 29, 2009

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A new service is attempting to change the nature of online music, again. Playdar is an organization that is trying to take all the music (not downloadable, but stream-able) on the web, on personal hard drives, and from anywhere else you might digitally store music and make it immediately available. What does this mean? It means that a song you write about, suggest, or mention in your blog, Facebook page, tweet, etc. will be immediately available for play. An article by New Scientist explains this service with better clarity.

This is all hypothetical speak, of course. While Playdar is up and running, the instant gratification promised above will only be available should social networking sites choose to opt into this service.

Like many of the web’s musical services designed to let netizens listen but not download (Last.fm, Pandora, etc.) this concept raises a whole host of copyright issues. While both New Scientist and the Playdar page explain that this service does no more than the aforementioned seasoned music-playing sites do, Playdar, if widely adopted, has the ability to make any song playable, on demand, which is not something other sites offer. And while the songs may not be downloadable, who needs to download anymore as the web continues to grow ever more portable in the form of smartphones and netbooks? While musicians and streaming sites are silent on the nascent service as of yet, this infomaven predicts a violent backlash.

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