Amazon Secretly Removes 1984 From the Kindle

Amazon Secretly Removes 1984 From the Kindle (2009)


“Thousands of people last week [back in 2009] discovered that Amazon had quietly removed electronic copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from their Kindle e-book readers. In the process, Amazon revealed how easy censorship will be in the Kindle age. In this case, the mass e-book removals were motivated by copyright. A company called MobileReference, who did not own the copyrights to the books 1984 and Animal Farm, uploaded both books to the Kindle store and started selling them. When the rights owner heard about this, they contacted Amazon and asked that the e-books be removed. And Amazon decided to erase them not just from the store, but from all the Kindles where they’d been downloaded. Amazon operators used the Kindle wireless network, called WhisperNet, to quietly delete the books from peoples devices and refund them the money they’d paid.”

Read more via Amazon Secretly Removes “1984” From the Kindle.

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Warning of piracy in France

Warning to any and all writers who’ve had a story published in France.
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) has launched a doubtful venture reminiscent of the one Google tried to launch a few years ago. They’ve decided that if a book published in the 20th century is out of print, they have a right to publish it as an ebook and reap the profits (a pittance is due to the original publisher, and, oh, yeah, to the author, too). Despite the protests of French writers, the thing has been launched this week, with the creation of a website featuring a database of approx. 60,000 books liable to get the pirate ebook treatment (State approved, that is) unless the author or legal representative files a formal complaint.
Yeah, you say, but this is only for French writers, right?
Wrong.
They’ve done such a botched job listing the books they feel they can steal that they’ve included anthologies edited by French editors but featuring British and American writers.
A case in point: “De sang et d’encre“, edited by Léa Silhol and published by Naturellement in 1999 (the publisher has gone bankrupt since). With stories by Neil Gaiman, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Lawrence Schimel, Brian Stableford, Brian Lumley, Charles de Lint, S. P. Somtow, Brian Hodge, Nancy Kilpatrick, Nancy Holder, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Freda Warrington, Bob Weinberg.
Writers, check out the site and contact your agent to put a stop to this act of piracy.
You have six months to act.

More info here (French): http://relire.bnf.fr/projet-relire-cadre-legal

~Courtesy of Scott M. Goriscak

Anne R. Allen’s Blog: Beware the Seven Deadly Writing Scams

Courtesy of Anne R. Allen’s blog:

“Seven Deadly Scams by Lila Moore

These days, writers face a range of scams from mildly annoying to lethal. Deadly scams are ones which can destroy your bank account, your credibility, or your ability to profit from your work. Not all of these scams are perpetrated solely by malicious outsiders: some of these scams only work because the authors themselves are complicit and some of these scams are perpetrated by the authors themselves.Here are the Seven Deadly Scams– and how to avoid them.”

Read more via Anne R. Allens Blog: Beware the Seven Deadly Writing Scams.

Used Ebooks, the Ridiculous Idea that Could Also Destroy the Publishing Industry | Motherboard

“Amazon has a patent to sell used ebooks. When I first scanned that headline, I thought it must be some Onion-esque gag, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Used e-books? As in, rumpled up, dog-eared pdfs? Faded black-and-white Kindle cover art, Calibri notes typed in the margins that you cant erase? Barely-amusing image aside, used ebooks are for real. Or at least have a very real potential to become real. See, Amazon just cleared a patent for technology that would allow it to create an online marketplace for used ebooks–essentially, if you own an ebook, you would theoretically be able to put it up for sale on a secondary market.The approved patent describes the process:”

via Used Ebooks, the Ridiculous Idea that Could Also Destroy the Publishing Industry | Motherboard.

To DRM or not to DRM?

I had a very enlightening conversation today with a small publisher who shall remain nameless for the time being. More on their secrecy in a moment… They’re thinking of going DRM-free but with a couple of twists.

First of all, they’re thinking of only going DRM-free with their direct sales on their website. They’ll instruct Amazon and all the other retailers to keep using their DRM model. This publisher figures they can use this  as a way to make the direct sale more appealing to customers. They’ll also give direct customers all formats. So the selling proposition is, “Buy from Amazon and be stuck with their DRM limitations; buy direct from us to get all formats for all devices and avoid vendor lock-in.”

VIA:
Tools of Change for Publishing (http://s.tt/1qNHT)

A novel approach to going DRM-free – Tools of Change for Publishing.

Copyright stuck in horse and buggy era

“This hostile regulatory regime is one of the reasons why so many Australian start-ups head straight for Silicon Valley.”

Copyright law experts say in some areas the law is too strict and stifles innovation while preventing the public from enjoying creative works. Recent court battles have sparked debate on some of these issues including Larrikin Records’ victory over Men at Work and the Optus stoush with the AFL and NRL.

Google’s search engine uses automated web crawlers to find and copy sites on the internet. The copies are indexed and stored in its cache so users can more quickly access search results.

However, the ALRC’s paper said that because there are no exceptions in the Copyright Act allowing caching, indexing and other internet-related technical functions, Google’s search engine “may infringe copyright”. Further when it displays results to users this could be considered “communicating copyright material to the public”, another breach of the Act.

“If Google had been started in Australia, it could well have been sued out of existence,” said Dr Rebecca Giblin, copyright law expert at Monash University.

via Copyright stuck in horse and buggy era.