The Chicago Board of Education responded to protestors in writing, defending its right to limit access to Persepolis for students. However, no matter what ultimately happens in the Chicago school system, it seems like this attempted banning has backfired quite nicely.
We’ve also reported a few times on the growing possibility that ebooks, mp3s, and other digital files may have a second life in “used” sales, with digital file retail giants Apple and Amazon both looking to get in on the game. A Supreme Court decision published last week may provide future support for this idea. The Supreme Court case centered around a Thai student who came to the U.S. to attend college. When he noticed that many U.S. textbooks were available in Thai book shops for much less, he asked his family and friends in Thailand to buy them and ship them overseas, where he then sold them for a very nice profit. The publisher (John Wiley & Sons) sued for copyright infringement and initially won. However, the Supreme Court ultimately decided in favor of the student, citing (in part) the doctrine of “first sale” in its decision. NPR has a great article about first sale and how the decision could impact the legality of digital file resale. They write, in part:
“The ruling was a key moment in something called the "first sale" doctrine, which says that, if you buy something that's copyrighted, you're allowed to "sell or otherwise dispose" of it without the permission of the copyright owner.”
Jane Goodall faced some intense scrutiny and censure this week when it was revealed that her latest book borrowed heavily from a whole slew of internet sources, without citing any of them. Apparently the bulk of the plagiarism occurred in the more instructive passages about plants/plant biology, in which Jane Goodall admits she’s not an expert. Read more (and see some of the borrowed sections) over at The Washington Post.
I really enjoyed this article about the evolution of the bodice ripper over at The Atlantic. The article examines many of the more positive trends explored in the modern day romance novel but also acknowledges that many modern day romances still contain what I would consider troubling, antiquated themes. Still, I agree with author Jessica Luther when she writes:
“In a society that often wants to boil women's sexual experiences into the polar opposites of purity or sluttiness, romance novels, even when we may as individuals judge their plots to be problematic, are the largest cultural space available for women to read about and imagine their own sexual fantasies.”
And now for the fun news!
- Publisher’s Weekly’s Rights Report had some interesting news last week: a new middle grade fantasy trilogy for Anne Ursu (author of Breadcrumbs) and Trish Doller fans will be excited to learn that she will have a third book published in the fall of 2014. Where The Stars Still Shine will reportedly be about “…a small-town Florida girl who impulsively agrees to join a pair of boys on a road trip that goes tragically wrong.”
- Some casting decisions were revealed last week for the upcoming film adaptations of Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars – and apparently these films will both feature the same young woman in their starring roles! Shailene Woodley had already been cast in the lead for Divergent, but it was announced last week that she will play John Green’s Hazel Grace as well. (She also appeared in the film version of The Spectacular Now, which I still really want to see.)
- The Atlantic Wire has an interview with Gayle Forman about her character development techniques.
- Flannery’s BFF Maureen led us to this tumblr which features film posters and other imagery inspired by Infinite Jest (yes, we’re still reading it!).
- Jimmy Fallon rounds up some books that you should probably avoid, unless you’re into creepy dolls or masturbation as a professional tool.
- And finally, does anyone else find this nerdily interesting? A group of researchers performed a statistical analysis of the frequencies in the usage of “mood words” in both American and British English over the past century. Apparently, American usage of “mood words” has increased while British usage has decreased – but what does this mean? Are we Americans more emotional as a society? Or are we actually less so? There are no definitive answers of course, but the authors’ theories are interesting nonetheless. Check out the paper!