Category Archives: Copyrights

Used eBook Website Faces Lawsuit in Europe

tom kabinet used ebook marketplaceThe used ebook marketplace Tom Kabinet is only a week old but it is already facing legal challenges to its business model.

eReaders.nl reported this morning that the Groep Algemene Uitgevers (GAU), the Dutch Trade Publishers Association, has already sent a warning letter to Tom Kabinet, demanding that the site cease operations. Continue reading

German Publishers Sue Google, Demand Google Pay for Giving them Free Advertising

google-is-evil-300x270-1314103412[1]Not satisfied with simply getting free advertising from search engines like Google, media companies in one country after another have tried time after time to force Google to pay for all the visitors that Google sends to their  websites.

This idea has been tried in Germany, Belgium, and France, and it is currently being considered in Spain. So far none of the attempts have had much success (although the French media did squeeze a token payment out of Google), and today I learned that a newspaper cooperative in Germany is going to mount a second attempt to force Google to pay for the free advertising it gives them. Continue reading

Appeals Court Rules Sherlock Holmes is in the Public Domain

3089213278_25309b7794_b[1]The Conan Doyle estate suffered another defeat today in their efforts to profit off of the work of the long dead author.

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that Conan Doyle’s earlier works, including most of the stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, are in the public domain. Writing for a three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote “When a story falls into the public domain, story elements – including characters covered by the expired copyright – become fair game for follow-on author.” Continue reading

Dynamite Comics Settles Bogus Trademark Lawsuit Over John Carter of Mars

Princess_of_Mars_large[1]The Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate’s 2-year-old trademark lawsuit against Dynamite Comics came to a surprising conclusion earlier this week.

In 2012 the Burroughs estate, upset over Dynamite Comics publishing graphic novels based on Burroughs ‘s Barsoom stories which had already fallen into the public domain, filed a legally questionable trademark infringement lawsuit: Continue reading

Spain Wants to Kill off Spanish News Sites via a “Google Tax”

google-is-evil-300x270-1314103412[1]Ask any news site and they’ll tell you that Google’s search engine and Google News are two of the best sources of website traffic.

Google doesn’t charge websites anything for all the free advertising, but rather than count themselves lucky every so often someone comes up with the idea that Google should pay for the privilege of providing free advertising. Continue reading

Textbook Publisher Backs Down, Won’t Force Students to Return Paper Textbook

An email 3472576304_5457d43eb3_b[1]was making the rounds last week from Aspen publishers, a Wolters Kluwer Law imprint.

This publisher sent the email to law professors to tell them about changes that were coming with the new edition of  certain casebooks, including both a new website and the requirement that students return the casebook at the end of the semester (a violation of the First Sale Doctrine). Continue reading

Textbook Publisher Claims License on New Edition, Demands Students Return the Paper Textbook

No publisher 41Sx9dh9WoL[1]hates the first sale doctrine more than textbook publishers. Over the years they have tried numerous tricks to stop students from reselling their books, including releasing new editions containing minimal revisions, bundling licensed digital content, and convincing professors to create custom editions.

Wolters Kluwer, via their law publisher subsidiary Aspen, has come up with a new scheme to discourage law students from reselling their legal casebooks. According to Josh Blackman, a law professor in Texas, they are attaching a license to the sale of paper books: Continue reading

New Copyright Law in Japan Expands the Publishing Right to Include eBooks

The upper 286649390_8afccb7784_m[1]house of the National Diet of Japan passed a new law this week which expanded certain parts of Japanese copyright law to include ebooks.

At Friday’s plenary meeting, the House of Councillors approved a bill which revised Japanese copyright law to recognize that publishing rights cover ebooks. The House of Representatives had passed the bill earlier. Continue reading

The Authors Guild Forgets They Lost the Google Books Case, Proposes an ASCAP-like Agency to Solve the Issue

When The the authors guildAuthors Guild lost first the HaithiTrust case and then the Google Books case, I knew that they would not rest until they had successfully countered these two fair use decisions.

I was expecting to report on appeals filed by The Authors Guild, but it now seems that they are pursuing a legislative effort to overturn and erase both court rulings. Continue reading