It’s been a news-heavy month. Here are a few more tidbits:
- Yesterday, Tor/Forge announced that it will make all of its ebooks completely free of DRM by early July 2012. This is a momentous and welcome change. Tor/Forge is a genre imprint of Macmillan, one of the Big Six publishers. It’s the first of these publishers to cave to author and cusotmer pressure on DRM. It may have helped that Macmillan is not a publicly traded company. Cory Doctorow believes more Big Six publishers are sure to follow; he’s “had contact with very highly placed execs at two more of the big six publishers.”
- Last month, James Cameron promoted private deep-sea exploration. He’s also partnered with Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Ross Perot Jr., to back private space company Planetary Resources. Immediate plans are to design and build low-cost robotic spacecraft for survey missions. The firm, founded and chaired by Peter Diamondis (creator of the X-Prize Foundation) and Eric Anderson, hopes to then build on this technology and begin mining Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) within the next ten years. For an extended explanation of how and why Planetary Resources can succeed, read Phil Plait’s post on the Bad Astronomy blog. We live in exciting times for the exploration and exploitation of space.
- Mike Masnick of techdirt has the story of some obscure author suing the developers of the game Assassin’s Creed for allegedly stealing his idea. What idea, you ask? Why, genetic memory, of course! This is such an old trope, it’s like those clueless people accusing Disney’s John Carter (of Mars) of ripping off Avatar and Dances with Wolves. Genre tropes are not covered by copyright, and even if they were — screw copyright. (Not that the illegitimacy of copyright somehow greenlights plagiarism.)