Jessica Grose gathered five writing tips from Carl Hiaasen; Jason Diamond considers the strange afterlife of Zelda Fitzgerald; the Faulkner estate lost its lawsuit against the makers of the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris; and other news.
Ending a seven-year legal stand-off, Google and the Association of American Publishers have settled their differences over Google's digitization of copyrighted books and journals.
In the first major overseas legal challenge to its massive book-scanning project, Google’s French division was hit last week with a copyright infringement lawsuit. Publishing group La Martinière, backed by the editors association Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE) and the writers union Société des gens de lettres (SGDL), is asking a Paris court to force the Internet giant to halt its digitization of protected works and to levy a fine of eighteen million euros (about $26 million) as well as a per diem fine of one hundred thousand euros ($146,000).
A court in New York City is considering whether the U.S. publication of Fredrik Colting’s 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, originally billed as an “unauthorized sequel” to The Catcher in the Rye, could cause irreparable harm to author J. D. Salinger. During oral arguments at the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, two members of the three-judge panel questioned whether a lower court had collected enough evidence before issuing a preliminary injunction against Colting in July.
Both opponents and supporters of the Google Book settlement are closing ranks as the September 4 deadline for court filings approaches. This week saw attacks on the deal from the Open Book Alliance—a group comprising Amazon, Microsoft, and Yahoo, among others—as well as sharp criticism from the Urban Libraries Council. Meanwhile, Sony filed documents on Wednesday praising Google’s massive book-scanning venture as a boon for consumers.
Google kicked off a new program yesterday that will allow authors who have released their books under the Creative Commons license to distribute them free through Google Books. Participants will be able to select from among seven versions of the Creative Commons agreement, which lets rightsholders make works openly available while still specifying how they may be used or altered.
As the extended deadline for the Google book settlement approaches, industry professionals still disagree about how the massive book-scanning project will affect authors. After one of the country’s largest agencies issued a memo last week advising its clients to opt out of the deal, the Authors Guild, which supports the settlement, released a rebuttal on Monday. The Guild will host an open conference call tomorrow afternoon to address what it calls “a series of erroneous conclusions” drawn by the agency.
A federal judge in New York City has issued a ten-day restraining order blocking the U.S. publication of Fredrik Colting’s 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. In her Wednesday ruling, judge Deborah Batts said she needed more time to determine whether the unauthorized sequel to The Catcher in the Rye was allowable under “fair use” provisions.
J. D. Salinger is taking legal action against the writer of an alleged sequel to The Catcher in the Rye.
Best-selling novelist Jonathan Lethem has stepped into the copyright spotlight with an unusual proposal that he hopes will make the industry think differently about copyright protection and how it's used.