MIT Press sought to clear one-line excerpts from twelve songs that are quoted in a forthcoming novel. Faced with ten forms that had to filled out before proceeding, one demand of $10,000, and a flat refusal, they decided to hell with it, one-line excerpts are fair goddamned use, and decided to just print 'em
. Lessig points out that risk-averse publishers try to minimize their lawyer-hours by essentially publishing no fair-use material, and MIT's doing the right thing here could very well loosen up some of that fearful tightness.
That is rare in this business. Publishers are among the most conservative “fair users” – not because they don’t believe in free speech, but because they understand the burden of non-free lawyers. If a lawsuit is filed against a publisher for copyright infringement, the cost of answering the complaint can suck up the total profit from the book. Thus, however generous the Supreme Court thinks it is when it defends “fair use,” the relevant “fair use” is the freedom publishers permit.
It is a great thing that publishers like MIT can help set the standard. The law should make it easier for others to do the same.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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