Here’s an excerpt from today’s press release:
The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of the AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Info on the settlement here and here.
Today’s Times has an article on Johnny Chung Lee, who came up with a way to use a Nintendo Wii remote with a video display to give a more interactive experience. When you move around the room, the view on the screen changes. This is unbelievably cool and I hope it’s used in video games and other technologies soon. Also interesting is how Lee used YouTube to publicize his ideas. As the Times notes:
He might have published a paper that only a few dozen specialists would have read. A talk at a conference would have brought a slightly larger audience. In either case, it would have taken months for his ideas to reach others.
Small wonder, then, that he maintains that posting to YouTube has been an essential part of his success as an inventor. “Sharing an idea the right way is just as important as doing the work itself,” he says. “If you create something but nobody knows, it’s as if it never happened.”
The video, viewed over 6 million times, is a must-see:
In conjunction with its endorsement of Senator Obama for President, today’s New York Times website has a great graphic illustrating its endorsements since 1860, alongside the winners for each year. For example, in 1888, the Times endorsed Grover Cleveland, who was defeated by Benjamin Harrison. Four years later, the Times again endorsed Cleveland, who won. The graphic also allows you to pull up the original published endorsements. Here’s an excerpt from the Times’ 1860 endorsement of Abraham Lincoln:
As a historical document, this is fascinating. But note the claim of copyright at the bottom, asserting copyright to something published in 1860. Say what!? The Times needs to read copyright laws a little more closely before asserting copyright to an editorial published 148 years ago. Even with Congress’ expansion of copyright terms, an editorial published in 1860 is not still copyrighted. (For more “recent” examples, see Lincoln’s 1864 endorsement, Grant’s 1868 endorsement, etc., also containing copyright notices).