Round up #311: Orwell, Open Road
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Getting comfortable with the 7″ Fire tablet
I’ve had the
for about a week now, and I feel like I have a pretty good sense of it.
I would describe the device itself as serviceable, and the Fire OS 5 (which will come to some older models) as superior.
I certainly miss having dictation for the keyboard, and trace typing (like Swype…you drag your finger around to make words). I use both of those a lot on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7 (which is still what I’ve been using most of the time.
The biggest problem I’ve had with it, and I called Kindle Support to check it with them (no almost instant onscreen Mayday help), is that I can’t use it as a nightstand clock.
My Kindle Fire HDX is my nightstand clock. I have it (unplugged, just running on battery) next to the bed. The native clock app has a nightstand mode. The numbers are red, it’s dim, and it stays on all night. It takes about half the battery charge, which is fine…it charges up quickly enough in the morning.
With the new Fire, the clock app has a Night Mode…but it doesn’t override the autosleep timing! In other words, when I’m sleeping, it’s sleeping, too: no display. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able wake up groggily in the middle of the night, glance over, see what time it is….and decide if it’s appropriate to wake up the rest of the way and get out of bed. I don’t want to have to wake up the tablet to decide that.
One issue is that you can’t set the autosleep on the device to “Never”, which is my preferred setting. I’ll put my devices to sleep when I choose. :)
It’s a minor irritation, and I’m still using my KFHDX7 next to the bed.
Outside of that, it’s pretty good. I’d feel fine with having it for a guest or in doctor’s waiting room. We don’t call them that any more, by the way…it’s a negative connotation.. They probably say you are “in the lobby”, in the “reception area”, or just “out front”. I loved a cartoon that I saw years ago which has a patient saying to the doctor, “If you want me to be more active, why have I been sitting in your waiting room for forty-five minutes?” ;)
Jane Friedman sounds like someone I would like to know
Jane Friedman is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Open Road Media.
That’s been one of the best publishers for e-books. They typically publish backlist titles (older titles…the books that aren’t in the front of the catalog), and they secured the e-book rights for those when the bigger tradpubs (traditional publishers) were still hadn’t really awakened to the need.
Friedman talks about the philosophy of the company.
I agree with a lot of it!
It’s definitely worth a read: this is a company that is still “…chasing profitability”. It has a clear-eyed view of the glory of resurrecting p-books (paperbooks) for the digital era. Plus, the good-humored CEO has close to 10,000 p-books at home…I can empathize. ;)
One of the most infamous incidents for Amazon and the Kindle was when they removed copies of a certain edition of George Orwell from customers’ Kindles.
No doubt, the irony of it being George Orwell added to the coverage of it.
Amazon apologized, compensated customers, and even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos called it “stupid”. They said they wouldn’t do the same thing in the same circumstances again, and to my knowledge, they haven’t.
Now, my understanding is that what happened was that a publisher had this book in the Kindle store, but specifically for the Australian market where the books are in the public domain (no longer under copyright protection, so no permission is needed). Amazon apparently accidentally made them available in the USA, where they were (again as I understand it, unintentionally on the publisher’s part) infringing on the rights of the estate.
In trying to rectify that, Amazon reached into customer’s devices, and deleted the unauthorized file.
Possessing that file on your Kindle, by the way, was not illegal. In
the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. found that possession of infringing copies of a copyrighted work was not the same as possession of stolen goods (despite people commonly conflating the terms “theft” and “infringement”, they are different…that’s not to say that one is less “bad” than the other, but they aren’t the same).
One of my first posts, more than six years ago, was a parody about this situation:
Well, recently, there’s been another story involving Orwell’s works and alleged infringement.
it’s reported that “internet radio host Josh Hadley” had some designed removed from an online retailer (one I’ve used) because of a complaint supposedly from the Orwell estate.
The design had the number 1984 prominently, and I think most people would see it as a clear allusion to the Orwell book.
However, allusions are not illegal…and you can’t copyright a title.
You can trademark it, but that doesn’t seem to me to be what’s being suggested here.
On the basis of the limited information in this article, it does appear to have been an overreach…the kind for which Disney has been famous.
The retailer is within their rights (and may be wise) to remove an item when they receive a legitimate looking claim of infringement.
They are under no obligation to carry anything. If they did continue to distribute something after having been told it was infringing, and that did turn out to be the case, they could be liable.
So, irritating as it might be, someone can make a claim of infringement, and most retailers would, I think, remove the item.
I’ve made a claim like that myself to Amazon, and a work (which was infringing) was removed.
I did have to attest that I was the copyright holder, and I had to send them evidence. Amazon could have hypothetically gone after me if I had lied to them (and I didn’t and I don’t). :)
Just based on what I’ve seen, Hadley was probably within rights to make the design.
The retailer was within rights not to carry it.
If the estate did not file the complaint in good faith…I’m not sure what the legal ramifications could possibly be. Restraint of trade?
I’ve had the same sort of thing happen to me a couple of times when I was reasonably sure I wasn’t infringing.
One was a t-shirt design where I used a public domain illustration. Somebody complained, I guess, and it doesn’t even have to have been the rightsholder.
I basically shrugged about it.
The other one was more amusing.
We did a t-shirt that said, “Frickin’ panda heads”. Yes, that was a reference to playing on the Wii Fit. I don’t think that’s an infringement…but, oh well.
It might be different if I was designing t-shirts for a living…if my family depended on it. Then, it might be worth fighting for it.
For me, it wasn’t.
Supergirl and Pat Savage
I know some of my readers are fans of Doc Savage, who is one of my fictional heroes. If you are, you might be interested in a piece I recently wrote in The Measured Circle:
What do you think? Should I have fought the takedown notices, in order to defend people who do rely on it? What should retailers do with infringement claims? Do you use a tablet a nightstand clock? Do you have an app you like that overrides the global sleep setting? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.