Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amazon Kindle / Orwell Fiasco and the Authors' Class Actions ... today at Beyond Chron

Last week brought one of those quirky stories, combining legal confusion and Big Brother overtones – the kind technology journalists love to bat around. Amazon.com, whose Kindle appliance is taking the book industry by storm, discovered that it hadn’t acquired the electronic rights to George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, which Amazon was already marketing on Kindle. Amazon immediately pulled the books out of its e-catalogue and remotely expunged them from the Kindle accounts of customers who had purchased them. The New York Times retailed the anecdote with a cheeky and predictable headline, highlighting the irony of invading privacy in the name of the master literary chronicler of totalitarianism.

As lead respondent in a writers’ rights dispute now before the U.S. Supreme Court, I have a dog in this fight. Some of the issues of Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick dovetail with questions about a proposed settlement in federal district court of a class action sparked by Google’s project to scan and market books online.

FULL TEXT at "Amazon’s Orwell Fiasco Proves Congress Must Design Information Age Solutions," http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/Amazon_s_Orwell_Fiasco_Proves_Congress_Must_Design_Information_Age_Solutions_7158.html


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your website as a consequence of debating the Kindle issue. I find all of this fascinating, but I lack a comprehensive background article that lays it all out. Is there such a thing that provides an overview of all the issues? Thanks much!

5:52 PM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

Thanks for your comment. For comprehensive background, I suggest that you browse the entire history of this blog. The issue of how the historical record is turning into "Swiss cheese" is discussed in the item "Value of Electronic Databases Is in Their Integrity" -- see http://freelancerights.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html (second item from the top, March 17, 2009).


7:01 AM  

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