Friday, October 06, 2006

Book sales boost from Google book search

Reuters are reporting that book sales have received a boost from Google's book search project.

Google to Subpoena Yahoo, Microsoft on Book Scanning

From Bloomberg Google to Subpoena Yahoo, Microsoft on Book Scanning In its dispute with publishers Google is looking for information from Yahoo and Microsoft to help fight the case.

Chitty Chitty sue sue

Part of chapter 2 of my book covers some copyright disputes over children's literature and I often look out for any news of these kinds of cases. The latest in a long line of cases has just been heard in the US in a dispute over the rights to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang film. The judge has said the issues are substantive and told the two sides to prepare for trial. It will be an interesting one to watch.

Incidentally if you do have children I highly recommend Ian Flemming's original book, which is significantly different to the film.

Update: By coincidence the trustees of the Great Ormond Street Hospital have just launched the official sequel to Peter Pan, Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean. The Peter Pan copyright disputes, such as that surrounding Emily Somma's unauthorised sequel, After the Rain, have been amongst the most interesting.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Who wrote that song

Interesting essay by lawyer, Pete Gutmann, Who Really Wrote that Song? (A tale of copyrights and Wrongs) about the legal dispute between Chuck Berry and Johnnie Johnson.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Unlawful play

From the excellent folks at ARCH:

"Liberal England quotes Professor Armstrong on the need to get children more active, rather than restricting their food intake.

We're looking at police retention of children's DNA at the moment, and came across a story about 3 children arrested for criminal damage when they were trying to build a treehouse. In the summer, there was another one about children in trouble for making the pavement messy when they played hopscotch. We've mentioned the York 'Nipper' database before - amongst other things it collects details of children's 'inconsiderate' behaviour such as 'playing ball games in the street'. There's plenty more stories, but you get the picture.

Maybe it's not children's behaviour that needs to change."

House vote to expand electronic spying

Anne Broache at CNet reports that the House of Representatives have voted to expand electronic sureveillance without a warrant. President Bush will be pleased.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Text of the Law Profs' Letter v Torture Bill

Michael Froomkin has posted the text of an open letter against the impending Bush-McCain Torture Bill. Recommended reading, as is the Lord Chancellor's suggestions that the US and the UK may be diverging in their approach to torture and the war on terror. Lord Falcolner has launched a campaign to defend the Human Rights Act against critics.

PNR data, the EU, the US and the Beeb

I was surprised one evening last week when I saw the top story on the BBC Ten O'Clock news was the negotiations between the US and EU over the technical difficulties - the slight matter of the European Court of Justice declaring the activity illegal, following a challenge by the EU parliament - the EU now have with airlines handing over passenger details to the US security services.

They got all the details wrong, misunderstood what the whole thing was about and painted it as a 'complete breakdown' between the EU and the US. But that the Beeb's TV news had it billed as a top story, which is fairly unusual for one of such technical and legal complexity, was almost enough to forgive the errors. The Register has a short piece on the story today.