Yesterday I had the extraordinary opportunity to formally testify before the general counsel of the Copyright Office to obtain a DMCA exemption permitting the Fair Use embedding of video clips in ebooks. This followed on written testimony that was submitted to the Copyright Office. Our panel was led by Professor Jack Lerner of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic.
The right to this testimony is enshrined in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which makes breaking “technical protection measures” (or DRM) on digital content unlawful, even if the use of such content is Fair Use. Fair Uses would include cases where authors or filmmakers embed segments for teaching, education, or entertainment. The DMCA provides an escape provision whereby the “Librarian of Congress may designate certain classes of works as exempt from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works when such circumvention is done to engage in non-infringing uses of works … .” In order to assist the Librarian, the Copyright Office, which is housed administratively in the Library, holds hearings on applications for exemptions. Permitted exemptions are granted for a period of three years and must be renewed. Exemptions that have been granted in the past include support for jail-breaking phones, allowing the blind to have access to protected ebooks, and support for the use of video clips from protected media such as DVDs.
Our session on ebooks proposed that it should be permissible to “break” the DRM on DVD video sources in order to embed brief video segments into multimedia ebooks; we didn’t apply for the higher-quality Blu-Ray, seeking a relatively low threshold. Nonetheless, this exemption would be useful in a wide number of situations: travel books, cooking, cinema and performance arts, and a wide array of other cases could easily take advantage of an exemption. I was joined in my testimony by Bobette Buster, a famous film scholar at USC, who is seeking to make an ebook that permits her teachings on cinema to reach tens of thousands of individuals, as opposed to the mere tens or hundreds who might be able to attend her classes in person. As multimedia ebooks are expected to see tremendous growth within the next few years, our request seems both necessary and urgent. Continue reading →
Every three years, the Library of Congress requests proposals for exemptions to the anti-DRM provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Among its many sections, the DMCA prohibits the circumvention of technical protection measures (TPM) securing content. The most infamous TPM is CSS (Content Scramble System) on DVDs, a technically weak protection scheme that was cracked as early as 1999, but whose presence legally prevents the copying of movies for millions of consumers in ways that were never present for analog materials such as VHS video tapes.
The Library solicits entries by publishing a “Notice of Inquiry,” and submitted exemption proposals are subsequently published in the Federal Register for public notice and requests for additional comment. Approved requests are sustained over the three year period, but must be re-approved in succeeding certification cycles. In prior rounds, the Library delivered rulings that permitted the jailbreaking of mobile phones, and in a belated approval in 2010, the circumvention of CSS that permits the use of video from DVDs by documentary filmmakers.
Shteyngart and Felix brave Brooklyn in this new book trailer.
Gary Shteyngart has taken the art of the book trailer to a whole new level–with a sequel! Remember Shteyngart’s hilarious book trailer for Super Sad True Love Story, featuring a cameo by the ubiquitous James Franco and an amazing performance by a former PW staffer? Well, the paperback for the book is out, and Shteyngart is back with another super funny video, this time featuring an extended performance by none other than Paul Giamatti starring as Shteyngart’s roommate. There’s also a brilliant performance by Felix the Dog. The hapless trio make a trip into the wilds of Brooklyn, where the illiterate Shteyngart has been asked to speak at a book club in one of Brooklyn’s famous “brownhouses.” The book itself makes only the briefest appearance.
This stunning short film/ book trailer for If You Knew Then What I Know Now, an essay collection by Ryan Van Meter, published by Sarabande books, is just beautiful and arresting, at least as far as this blogger can see. It was made by filmmaker Tucker Capps with Van Meter doing the voice over, and it’s just a lovely example of how a text can interact with film to create something that’s not merely a commercial for the book, but a piece of art in itself. Wish more book trailers were like this, instead of cheesy attempts at movie previews.
Comics legend Alan Moore (author of The Watchmen and countless other books) spoke out on behalf of libraries this past weekend at the St. James Library in Northampton, England, for Save Our Libraries Day. He recorded the video above, in which he said, “If my work means anything to anybody out there, they shouldn’t thank me for it, they should thank the institution of libraries.” What an incredible voice!
To be fair, this isn’t really a book trailer at all, but it is being used to promote an upcoming book. Noelle Kocot, a beloved poet who was the subject of PW’s poetry profile two years ago, is about to publish her new collection of poems, The Bigger World (PW review forthcoming) with Wave Books. Kocot’s friend Liz Whiteside filmed Kocot tearing open the FedEx package containing the first advance copy of the book. Click through to watch the whole happy moment caught on tape. This is what all author videos should be–no more ridiculous things that look like snippets from cheesy horror movies, just happiness about books!
Maybe I’m just a sucker for tearjerkers and movies about kids, but this trailer, for The Other Woman starring Black Swan‘s Natalie Portman in another intense dramatic role, and featuring Lisa Kudrow of ‘Friends’ fame, tugged hard at my heartstrings.
The movie is based on Ayelet Waldman’s 2006 novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, which PW called an “honest, brutal, bitterly funny slice of life” in our review. Watch the trailer below. What do you think? Does it move you, too, or does it seem like another cheesy flick about guilt and redemption, etc.
We know you’ve been chomping at the bit these past few months since we told you that Snooki, of Jersey Shore fame, was hard at work on a novel. Well, guess what? It’s coming out tomorrow. Here’s everything you ever would or wouldn’t want to know about it from publishers Simon & Schuster. And click pas the break to see Snooki’s book trailer.
Here’s how S&S describes the book:
Giovanna “Gia” Spumanti and her cousin Isabella “Bella” Rizzoli are going to have the sexiest summer ever. While they couldn’t be more different—pint-size Gia is a carefree, outspoken party girl and Bella is a tall, slender athlete who always holds her tongue—for the next month they’re ready to pouf up their hair, put on their stilettos, and soak up all that Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has to offer: hot guidos, cool clubs, fried Oreos, and lots of tequila.