3 Count: Impure Michigan

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1: Canadian Columnist Accused of Plagiarism

First off Today, Roy Greenslade of The Guardian reports that Canadian columnist Margaret Wente is now facing accusations of plagiarism. Wente, who writes for The Globe and Mail, has been accused by bloggers of reproducing works in several of her columns and the accusations have led to an investigation by the paper’s public editor, Sylvia Stead, who said that there is “some truth” to the concerns but “not on every count.” Stead has responded by appending a footnote to the column online, prompting others to criticize both the investigation and response, calling it “shockingly inadequate.” Wente is one of the nation’s best-known columnists and writes three columns per week for the paper, which is the country’s largest selling.

2: Viral Pure Michigan Singalong Video Removed from YouTube, Copyright Violation Claimed

Next up today, Todd chance at Mlive.com reports that a viral Pure Michigan singalong video has been removed from YouTube after receiving 2 million views in just two weeks. The Video was a part of a project for Pure Michigan, a tourism promotion campaign, and was prepared by a Grand Rapids marketing firm Status Creative. It featured people from 50 cities in the state singing new lyrics to “Good Time”, a song by Owl City and Carly Rae Jespen. Though they had received permission to use the song, a secondary rights claim has caused the video to be pulled offline. The producers of the video said that they are working to resolve the issue and hope to have the video back up soon.

3: Romney Campaign Looking Into Copyright Claim

Finally today, Benjamin Jackson at Buzzfeed writes that the campaign for Mitt Romney is now addressing another copyright issue. James T. Edmonson created a font named Wisdom Script, which was used on T-shirts sold on Romney’s website. However, according to Edmonson, the campaign did not buy a commercial license for the font, which is licensed under a “pay what you want” license for non-commercial use. The Romney campaign has pulled the shirt down and has said they are looking into it. However, this didn’t prevent the issue from catching some fire on Twitter, where Edmonson originally tweeted abou the dispute, only to have other graphic designers offer their support. Though a typeface is not copyrightable, a computer font is considered software as per one court ruling, meaning it can be protected.


That’s it for the three count today. We will 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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