Google has released 500,000 books for use in Sony’s eBook reader. The non-copyrighted works (all with expired copyrights) will vault Sony to the head of the pack when it comes to what is available on an eBook reader, giving Sony users access to about 600,000 books. All 500,000 books are free. By comparison, Amazon only has 245,000 books available, the majority of which cost at least something to buy.
Google has simply offered its current stock of scanned books in a format that electronic text readers can use. The same library has already been available for free through Google as PDF’s, which don’t work with most electronic book readers, but work well on computer screens.
“Really our vision is: any book, anywhere, any time and on any device,” Google spokesman Jennie Johnson said. “We want to partner with anybody who shares our vision of making them more accessible.”
Amazon continues to lock down their format so that it can only be used on the Kindle, while Sony has subscribed to policy of more openness when it comes to what can be put on its reader. The electronic book publishing industry, for the most part,uses EPUB for the format of electronic books. Unlocked EPUB files can be used on the Kindle, but only with a bit of a workaround. In Sony’s case, locked and unlocked EPUB files are both easily used on their reader.
The cost for the Sony eBook reader is priced between $300 and $350 depending on the model chosen.
Todd had the story in the podcast last week about California charging citizens to download or get paper copies of laws. One patriotic guy was distributing them online for free. This guy is a hero and will have to go court to be vindicated in some people’s eyes but not mine. Just because some government says something is illegal like this guy giving away information on laws & state codes does not make it wrong. You would think the courts will rule in his favor but I would not bet on it. You see the court’s judges are part of the same government that is responsible for this stuff. This is the most egregious abuse of authority (ask yourself where authority comes from & you will be close to freeing your mind) I have seen in a while. The state is using copyright to keep their little monopoly going. They say they are “doing it to raise money for the people of California”. The “people” are the ones paying! They pay if they break a law or a commit a code violation. But they have to pay first to see if they are about to do something wrong. Ignorance of the law is supposedly no excuse for breaking it. But to charge people just to see the laws is criminal. California has a huge economy so their “public servants” cannot keep their hands off all that money. His website is here.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported this week that 36 million Americans, 27 percent of internet users, report having downloaded music or video files. Half of this group have skirted the traditional peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and commercial online distribution services (i.e. Napster, iTunes). This is a significant number of digital media users whose sharing of digital media is untraceable by the recording industry and copyright holders.
Continue reading Pew Report States That 27 Percent of Users Download Digital Music and Video
Parvin Dhaliwal,18, a student at the University of Arizona (UA), is the first person in country to be convicted of a crime under state law for downloading music and movies. Dhaliwal pleaded guilty to possession of counterfeit marks, or unauthorized copies of intellectual property, and was sentenced to a three-month deferred jail sentence, three years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a $5,400 fine. Dhaliwal must also take a copyright class at UA and stop using file-sharing applications. What makes this conviction notable is that copyright protection is normally a federal matter.
Continue reading UA Student Convicted for Downloading Music & Movies
The U.S. Copyright Office ruled this week that a manufacturer of low-cost, third-party printer ink cartridges can continue to make and sell cartridges for Lexmark printers. This ruling will have broad impact on the printer consumable market as alternative brands of ink cartridges may now move from the black market to retail store shelves.
Lexmark International sued Static Control Components (SCC) for copyright infringement of computer code contained in Lexmark’s printer ink cartridges, charging SCC with violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) ban on circumventing digital technology that protects copyrighted material. SCC had reverse engineered Lexmark’s software and created it’s own brand of ink cartridges for Lexmark’s printers.
The Copyright Office took an tack, rather than considering whether SCC had violated Lexmark’s intellectual property protection, the office ruled that the DMCA does not restrict SCC’s actions. This means that software developers may not be free to reverse engineer code if the intention is to create interoperability with another’s computer application.
With this ruling in hand, I expect that there will be a flood of third-party ink cartridges for both Lexmark and Epson printers, the two manufacturers who are most frequently faulted for imbedding chips in their ink cartridges and forcing users to buy the more expensive primary brand consumables.
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U.S. Copyright Office Ruling (the interesting details start on page 172)
Static Control Components