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SF Tidbits for 10/16/07

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on SF Tidbits for 10/16/07

  1. I admit, I’m having trouble seeing Le Guin’s side in her row with Doctorow. I think he acted in good faith in believing he acted within the bounds of fair use, and as he said, he’s consulted copyright scholars to double-check. Some of her complaints (such as not having her copyright notice reproduced exactly) seem to make little legal sense. And I don’t see the point in further objections after he changed his post to quote a portion of the story, since supposedly her complaint was based on his having quoted the entire thing. Given that it seems his taking down the objected-to post was certainly legally unnecessary and entirely based on his respect for her and a desire to make her happy, her rather grudging acceptance of his apology serves only to make her look unreasonable.

  2. What it comes down to, really, is that Cory Doctorow is a douchebag. Everything else in this situation is purely circumstantial. UKL could have been upset with him for donating to orphans and I’d side with her.

  3. Thanks again for the link :). I keep getting new ideas to write about :).

    Doctorow does seem to be pissing a lot of people off. I’ve noticed that he does tend to overreact a bit, especially since that SFWA issue. SFWA did apologize, which takes a lot of guts.

  4. Josh, your stock with me has gone up by “eleventy billionz!”

    Anyone calling Cory a “douche” is welcome at my house for beers, because he’s… well… a douche!

    To prove it, I offer a “chop” of Cory and the the “definition of a douchebag” image.

    As a side note: This was a tougher chop than I thought it would be. Cory is a pasty white skinned nerd, and the “douche” from the original image is a “well tanned douche.” The coloring of the skin was a challenge. :-@

  5. Cory’s arrogance aside – Ursala does seem a bit hard to fathom here. It seems to her that the doctrine of ‘fair use’ does not exist when she doesn’t wish it to. And Cory is wrong about it being defined by judges. It is quite clearly part of the Copyright Act of 1976. Sure, the courts have further interpreted it, but it isn’t as if the idea is purely a result of case law.

    I am allowed me to post a commentary on written works and to quote liberally from them to do so. Cory is too. Even if Ursala doesn’t like the way he misrepresented it or were to criticize it, she doesn’t have the legal right to demand a quote be removed.

    I applaud her diligence in enforcing her rights, but she stepped over the line on this one.

  6. As an aside (and thus in a sepereate comment): what would have happened if Cory hadn’t reproduced her text at all, but instead sourced the contents of Ansible into an iFrame? The data was sourced from Ansible (and I’ll even suggest the full page is there – just scrolled to the right spot) and not reproduced on BoingBoing except when you (with your browser) pulled the data.

    And if you assume that is OK, what if Cory applied the style sheet from his site to the Ansible page (so it would look right)? Again, all the data was fine and the decision to render made by you – with your browser sourcing data and style sheet and rendering the page.

    And then I can use Javascript to drop the iFrame borders and change the look so nobody really notices it’s not from the main site at all.

    I understand how somebody might be upset by this and claim theft, but would it be? There isn’t any case law on this yet that I know of…

  7. I just want to say “thanks” for posting the tidbit about the Cory Doctorow-Ursula K. LeGuin controversy; whether or not UKL has too thin a skin about someone ripping her work, it was fun to have a direct link to her website for the chance to read “On Serious Literature”. (Frankly, this brings to mind the old saw about there being no such thing as bad publicity; at least people are made aware that UKL is still writing — even if the item at issue is just a clever little pastiche. Visitors to her site get to see that she has just published yet another well-received YA fantasy series.)

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