This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, Amazon found itself in a bit of a bind this past week over its Kindle product. Two books which had been uploaded over the Kindle’s self-serve tool, which lets publishers upload their own books for others to purchase, were found to be unauthorized by their publisher. Amazon then went in to the accounts of those who had purchased the books, deleted the work and refunded the money.
Unfortunately though, the books were “1984” and “Animal Farm”, two books in large part about totalitarian imaginary governments and the control of information.
This caused a controversy to explode as many likened it to breaking into the homes of book buyers, stealing a book back and leaving the money they paid for the book in its place. Reportedly hundreds of customers were affected by this move and Amazon has promised that, in the future, it will not delete any books from Kindle accounts.
However, Amazon has not said how it will deal with future copyright infringements, should they arise.
Next up today, Canada is looking to take another crack at revising its copyright law. It’s last attempt was was killed in October of last year as new elections swept the old party out of power. The bill then would have reduced the amount companies could have sought for non-commercial infringers, such as file sharers, to $500, would have allowed users to port media to different devices and forbidden users from breaking digital locks.
The new government has begun the process of creating its own revision of copyright law and is seeking feedback from all interested parties. However, this process too risks being swept up by an election as the current party to control the government has a rather tenuous grasp on power and more elections are slated for later this year.
Finally today, RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said in an interview with SCMagazine, “DRM is dead, isn’t it?”
It is a short sentence stating what, to many, is obvious, but it is the first time that the RIAA has gone on record saying that DRM (Digital Rights Management) is no more. DRM, which restricts the user’s ability to copy and port music to other devices, as well as make pirated copies available, has proved to be a public relations disaster for the record labels as every DRM system has been broken and many have felt that it has encouraged piracy by giving pirates features and freedoms that legitimate purchasers did not have.
This comes shortly after the RIAA had predicted a renaissance of DRm sometime in the near future, but also after both iTunes and Amazon MP3 removed all DRM from their stores.
That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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