Defamation, Right of Publicity, and Celebrities Portrayed in Fiction

One question I keep getting asked – and I’m increasingly unsure of the answer – is why we don’t see more litigation or threats of litigation when popular fiction authors utilize fictional versions of real-life celebrities in their books. One example that springs to mind is “Old School” by Tobias Wolff in which the author creates a central role in the narrative for fictional versions of writers including Robert Frost,…

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Digital Book Distribution Models

Thinking more about the Apple e-book litigation, I couldn’t help but feel a little sympathetic to the book publishers who, at least on a first read of the facts, didn’t seem to have the first clue how to deal with Amazon or Apple when e-book readers started taking off commercially. I wonder if part of the problem for the publishing industry was that prior to digitization (and the release of…

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The Archaeology of Creativity

The March 2013 Scientific American contains an interesting article about the origins of human creativity.  Archaeologists have discovered evidence of human ingenuity in making tools and art 50,000 years earlier than originally believed.  It’s also interesting from the intellectual property perspective to be reminded of how the evolution of science and art are so inextricably intertwined.

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