3 Count: Permanent Twilight

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: MediaDefender Founders Leave Sinking Ship

According to a recent SEC filing, MediaDefender’s founders, Randy Saaf and Octavio Herrera, are no longer working for the company. After they were paid $43 million for their anti-piracy services company in 2005, the company began to have trouble just a few years later, first after a hacker leaked internal emails and later as many of their clients abandoned them in favor of other services.

The company now has its stock trade at about two cents per share and most are predicting it will close shortly.

MediaDefender previously made much of its reputation by uploading fake bittorrents and seeding them on unmonitored torrent trackers, making it harder and harder for users to find movies and other items to download.

2: Ubisoft Goes DRM-Free for Old Games

Game maker Ubisoft has announced that they are putting many of their older titles, including Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on Good Old Games (GOG) for download. What makes this interesting is that GOG downloads do not come with any DRM.

Ubisoft has historically had a troublesome relationship with DRM, including blunders that made games unplayable for legitimate downloaders, and has been forgoing DRM in more recent months. This seems to be a continuation of that strategy.

3: What It’s Like to Be Delusional

Finally today, a story that will make the copyright gurus facepalm. Author and webmistress LadySybilla produced an unauthorized fan-created sequel to the popular vampire novel saga Twilight.

However, where most fan fiction authors are content on posting their works in forums and sharing them on fan sites (and authors, despite clear copyright issues, usually tolerate this behavior), LadySybilla decided to attempt to sell her work on eBay.

When pressed on the copyright issues, she issued a second press release saying, in part that, “Copyright laws protect writers from unauthorized reproductions of their work, but such reproductions only include verbatim copying. Characters are only copyrightable if their creator draws them or hires an artist to draw them.”

The publishers of the Twilight books obviously understood the correct definition of “derivative works” and managed to get the work pulled from eBay before it could be sold. LadySybilla is now running a poll to decide whether she should simply publish the work online for free or pull the plug altogether. She has promised to refund all pre-orders.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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