In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article New Kindle Audio Feature Causes a Stir Fowler and Trachtenberg reported an incredible claim from the ED of the Authors Guild:
“They don’t have the right to read a book out loud,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.”
Hot on the heals of (and perhaps influenced by) this announcement now comes word that Zondervan, publisher of the popular New International Version of the Bible, is suing Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren for copyright infringement.
“He reads passage after passage from the book every week, verbatim,” said a source at Zondervan speaking on condition of anonymity. “This is clearly a public performance of our copyrighted work, and this public performance is done for pay, week in and week out. Mr. Warren is building himself quite the little financial empire atop our intellectual property, and we want a piece of the action.”
Word of the lawsuit has sent shockwaves through the megachurch community. Sects which rely on the public domain King James Version were reportedly disappointed but smug.
In equally fabricated news, Random House has notified my oldest daughter that a court date has been set for April 11 in Random House versus Wiley, regarding an incident in which she read aloud The Cat in the Hat, Go Dog, Go!, and Are You My Mother? to our youngest son in the front yard in late autumn 2008. Even though she’s not yet 10, I must admit to being keenly disappointed in her failure to understand my repeated lectures about what constitutes a public performance. As an expression of my dissatisfaction, I’ve told her she’s on her own at the trial.