3 Count: Copyright Kindling

This is the first in a new 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 above or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: New Kindle Audio Feature Causes a Stir

Publishers are expressing concern that a new feature of the Kindle 2, which reads eBooks aloud using a text-to-speech converter may be infringing. According to Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, the new feature is a derivative work under copyright law and that “They (Amazon) don’t have the right to read a book out loud.”

Others have been quick to point out that the new Kindle does not actually make a new copy of the work to read it aloud, just simply presents the information in audio format, similar to what screen readers do now on the Web for the visually impaired. Others have asked questions about whether or not a person reading a book aloud to themselves could be considered an infringement.

It is unclear what, if any, action the Authors Guild plans on taking over the Kindle at this time.

2: Shepard Fairey: OBEY my lawyers

In a story that has been somewhat slow to trickle out, accusations are that Fairey has been somewhat hypocritical on his views of copyright have begun to trickle out. The embattled artist, still embroiled in a legal tangle with the Associated Press over his Obama “Hope” poster, allegedly sent a cease and desist letter to at least one artist, Baxter Orr, who tried to repurpose Fairey’s work.

Orr had made a parody of Fairey’s famous “Obey” giant poster by putting a SARS mask over the mouth and writing “Protect Yourself” underneath it. Fairey responded, according to Orr, by having his legal team send a cease and desist letter.

Though this may not affect the legal issues in his current battle, this has caused many to question whether Fairey is as pure-intentioned as some have been lead to believe.

3: DRM’s demise clears way for home audio innovation

Finally today, gadget gurus are hoping that the demise of DRM on music may herald a new renaissance for home audio, especially “whole home” audio systems that allow listeners to hear music in any room and control it with a remote.

Since the systems required both a networked home, something an increasing number of homes are becoming, and access to the music, the removal of DRM may mean that the final barrier of entry is gone, paving the way for innovation and freeing users from the hassle of blaring a stereo in one room just to hear it in another.


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 below or send me an email using the contact form above. I hope to hear from you.

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