And in the world of legal stuff....

HarperCollins is suing Open Road over e-book rights. (That link is worth clicking on if only to see the graphic representing e-book sales over the past three years. Wow. Unfortunately, it's the Wall Street Journal, so it may be that you can't see it.*) Now, I clearly have no love for Open Road, but HarperCollins is basically claiming that it obtained rights to e-books in the early 1970s, waaaaay back before e-books actually existed.

Passive Guy is, of course, all over this (he's even quoted in the WSJ article), with a great post about the legal motion here. It's not necessarily a slam-dunk, but it's fairly well established that you can't license copyright to a technology that doesn't exist.

Of course, legal precedent doesn't necessarily stop large corporations from filing frivolous suits in order to intimidate people into doing what they want. But just be aware that these types of lawsuits fall into that official category known by journalists as "Mostly Bullshit."


* OK, I couldn't find a graphic, but the data they used was from BookStats, and it looks like this, "e-books have grown from 0.6% of the total Trade market share in 2008 to 6.4% in 2010. While that represents a small amount in the total market for formats, it translates to 1274.1% in publisher net sales revenue year-over-year with total net revenue for 2010 at $878 Million." So imagine a bar graph showing 1,274.1% annual growth in revenues, with most of that growth happening between 2009 and 2010.