More on copyright, Canadian edition

Using small amounts of text as a part of a commentary is a long-standing exception to U.S. copyright law. The particulars of each instance are always subject to court review. The copyright holder doesn’t surrender rights by allowing these excerpts.
A few years ago, the Associated Press created a real problem for itself when it contracted with a company to charge $12.50 for using five words of text. The company eventually sued AP for bungling the contract.
Now it’s Canada’s turn, National Post, specifically. Michael Geist noted that merely selecting text to use a quote for another piece triggers a new content licensing scheme.
For example, let’s look at a story about the priciest house on Prince Edward Island. It’s a nice place on the north shore for $12M CAD.

If select a paragraph of text that I’d like to include in my review, I am presented with this pop-up .

Following through the options, I learn two things. It’s going to cost me up to $100 to quote 100 words and 50ยข for each additional word.
Next, I find that I cannot comply. When I selected the text, the pop-up prevented me from copying the words that I need to paste into this box to calculate how much I must finally pay.
Oh, the company that National Post is using to stand on guard for thee, iCopyright, is the same company that the AP used and was sued by. 

One of an occasional series.
A bunch of years ago, I worked for a software company. It was hard work for long hours. At one point, senior management made the pronouncement that the development team needed to focus more on a particular aspect of the product. The QA manager and I agreed that we’d be Focused More-ons.

More on sacred texts

Sandra’s father’s family hails from a red-clayed corner of the Great White North. To the folks of  Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables is a sacred text. To many Japanese girls, the Anne stories are an inspiration beyond words. These stories tell of an orphan girl who is a adopted by an aging brother and sister and who thrives by wit, pluck, and imagination. There was a mix-up in the request to the Halifax orphanage. The couple was looking for a boy to help around the farm while the person arranging the adoption thought that they were looking for a girl about 11.
At the core of the story is the girl’s determination to survive life as a red-head. On first meeting,  Matthew Cuthbert remarks that her hair is red.

“Yes, it’s red,” she said resignedly. “Now you see why I can’t be perfectly happy. Nobody could who has red hair. I don’t mind the other things so much–the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, `Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven’s wing.’ But all the time I know it is just plain red and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow. I read of a girl once in a novel who had a lifelong sorrow but it wasn’t red hair. Her hair was pure gold rippling back from her alabaster brow. What is an alabaster brow? I never could find out. Can you tell me?

Because the Anne books are in the public domain, anyone can publish a new edition and publish they do. There are innumerable print and electronic editions as well as movie, television, and cartoon remixes. What’s newsworthy about another edition of a book about an 11-year-old, red-haired girl?
Here’s what:

Cover photo via Techdirt

As you’d expect, this edition, its cover since removed from the Amazon listing, unleashed a torrent of vitriol comparable to what might happen if a favorite sports hero appeared in a porn flick.
One takeaway message from all this is that, through our copyright laws and freedoms of press and speech, we can bring to market pretty much any full-tilt bozo idea of our choosing.