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[NB: This post was written by Professor Don Herzog, the Edson R. Sunderland Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. Professor Herzog’s Household Politics: Conflict in Early Modern England was published by Yale University Press in 2013. Prior to publication, it was made freely available via Deep Blue, the University of Michigan’s institutional repository.] Let’s face it: most of us don’t write for derisory royalties. We write for readers, and we hope our work…

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Yes, that’s pi as in 3.14. One of the frequent questions that comes up in my work involves confusion over whether facts and data are subject to US Copyright: they are not. Original expressions or arrangements of facts can, however, be subject to copyright protection. A recent case helps make the distinction clear – and also shows how the same facts can result in completely different and wonderful expressions. In  Erickson v. Blake  a composer created…

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This post was written by Emily Hamstra, Learning Librarian at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, in celebration of Banned Books Week. During Banned Books Week, we spend a lot of time talking about organizations and individuals who pull books from the shelves of schools, libraries, bookstores, and homes. We don’t spend a lot of time talking about the role of publishing in censorship. Banned Books Week allows us to reflect on the effects of censorship, and…

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In honor of @FakeElsevier hitting the benchmark of having more followers than the real Elsevier Twitter account, here’s a selection of “fake publisher” tweets to enjoy. View the story “Publishing Lulz” on Storify [<a href=”http://storify.com/M_Publishing/publishing-lulz” target=”_blank”>View the story “Publishing Lulz” on Storify</a>]


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For the moment, SOPA (HR 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act) is on hold in the wake of a remarkable response from the blogosphere, organizations, and private citizens. The bill is dense, opaque, overreaching, and probably unenforceable. It manages to put a crimp on civil liberties and fail to actually help copyright holders who really do face problems with infringement. The timing of all this is worth examination as SOPA (and its counterpart in the Senate,…

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Ah, MLA. Your reputation for pre-interview angst, post-interview binging, self-important Q&A sessions, obtuseness and obscurantism has put you on many scholars’ non-grata list (at least those not professionally obligated to attend). This year, however, avoiders missed what felt like the stirrings of a sea change: the MLA’s heart (like a post-holiday Grinch) grew at least three sizes over the four days of the 2012 conference. (Luckily, anyone who missed the convention could follow sessions on…

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You saw Maurizio Cattelan: All at the Guggenheim. You loved it. Did you know you can get the exhibition catalogue as an e-book? And there’s an app, too! The Guggenheim recently announced the e-book version of the Cattelan catalogue, as well as an effort to make out-of-print catalogues available online. Exciting news for e-book reading art lovers! The Cattelan catalogue is available for iPad, Kindle, and Kobo at the moment, with releases for other platforms forthcoming….

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Today the House Judiciary Committee is debating SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act (also known as H.R. 3261). The bill would allow rights holders and the US Department of Justice to take legal action against websites alleged to be facilitating copyright infringement. Here are a two recent opinion pieces on SOPA and its potential effect on content producers and consumers: Marvin Ammori, “Should Copyright Be Allowed to Override Speech Rights?,” The Atlantic …Congress is considering…

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