Live in the US? Ever wonder what your taxes are spent on, exactly? The US government set up a site that gives citizens an individual, detailed tax receipt. Wow!
A lawsuit has been filed over a 3D imaging tool called Transmagic whose demo came bundled with a DRM program called Sheriff, produced by Licensing Technologies Limited. The suit alleges after Miguel Pimentel, a Boston-area architect, installed and then deleted Transmagic, Sheriff remained on his computer, and that it scoured his computer for his personal details, then phoned home to a copyright shakedown company called ITCA (IT Compliance Association), and that subsequently, a rep from ITCA called Pimentel and accused him of pirating Transmagic. The ITCA rep demanded an immediate $10,000 license fee payment, and threatened a $150,000 copyright lawsuit if he didn’t cough up.
If you’ve been to college in the last decade, you’ve probably dealt with “e-reserves”—book chapters and articles made available electronically to students in particular classes, usually through the university library. But how much material can a professor upload before having to pay a licensing fee?
The issue is notoriously murky; many schools require that printed “course packs” be licensed, though uploading those pieces separately to an e-reserves site doesn’t always trigger licensing. Professors we know have resorted to various tricks—if limited to five e-reserves before having to take a license, they will upload five documents, wait until students have read them, then delete the first five and upload five more. It’s not just about the money, which students would have to cover; it’s about the hassle. E-reserve and course pack licensing can require several months of lead time, and not all professors are (*cough*) ready for an entire semester that far in advance.
This makes publishers unhappy, and some have sued.
On this date in 1828 Noah Webster copyrighted one of the most influential books in American history, some descendant of which most of us consult every day: An American Dictionary of the English Language.
Yesterday MobyLives reported that ads are coming to the cheapest Kindle. A scary prospect to be sure–and probably the first small step in the direction of a fundamental shift– but as Jennifer Schuessler pointed out in an Artsbeat post on the New York Times website yesterday, Amazon’s move is the latest in a long tradition of selling ads in books.