The Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway: Why Copyright Term Extension for Sound Recordings Could Cost Consumers Millions | Michael Geist #copyright

Despite no study, no public demands, and the potential cost to the public of millions of dollars, the government announced that it will extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performances from 50 to 70 years…

…Canada will extend term without any public discussion or consultation, yet other studies have found that retroactive extension does not lead to increased creation and that the optimal term length should enable performers and record labels to recoup their investment, not extend into near-unlimited terms to the detriment of the public. For Canadian consumers, the extension could cost millions of dollars as works that were scheduled to come into the public domain will now remain locked down for decades.

READ MORE: The Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway: Why Copyright Term Extension for Sound Recordings Could Cost Consumers Millions | Michael Geist.

Audiobook Samples Now Available on Goodreads | The Digital Reader #audiobooks @GoodReads @audible_com

Note: Amazon owns Audible and GoodReads.

If you like listening to audiobooks then I have some good news for you. Goodreads is in the process of adding audiobook excerpts to its website. Soon GR members will find free audio samples for 180,000 Audible titles on the book listing pages. Along with the option of reading a sample from the book, GR members can now also listen to an excerpt from the audiobook. The excerpt will (should) play in a pop up window the web browser, and if you like what you hear you can the title to your “want to read” list, or you can head over to Audible and acquire the audiobook directly.

Obviously this feature is not available for all titles listed on Goodreads, but when it is available you’ll find the listen button below the cover image on the left side of the page. Goodreads told me that the new feature is only available on the desktop site, but not GR’s mobile site or its Android and iDevice apps.

READ MORE: Audiobook Samples Now Available on Goodreads | Ink, Bits, & Pixels | The Digital Reader

Listen to Free, High-Quality AudioBooks of Classic Literature on Spotify: Austen, Dickens, Tolstoy & More | Open Culture

Where music goes, technologically speaking, audio books soon follow. We’ve had audio books on vinyl LP, on cassette tape, on CD, and on MP3, just like we’ve had music. Now that so many of us pull up our daily jams on Spotify, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we can do a fair bit of our “reading” there as well. We’ve found a few lists that gather up the best audio book available on Spotify, including 21 classics and a collection of Shakespeare plays and sonnets at Gnarl’d, ten evergreen literary picks from Lifehacker, and a Spotify forum thread dedicated to subject.

Below, you’ll find Spotify links to more than 60 classic works of literature that, even if you struggled on getting them read in your English classes, you can now revisit in a perhaps much more lifestyle-compatible medium. To listen to any of these, you will of course need Spotify’s software and account. MORE: Listen to 60+ Free, High-Quality AudioBooks of Classic Literature on Spotify: Austen, Dickens, Tolstoy & More | Open Culture.

For more great audio, don’t forget to visit our collection, 630 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free | Open Culture.


A New Streaming Service Just for Classic TV and Film Launches Today — And It’s Free | Vox

I tried accessing ShoutFactory! content this morning (Thursday, February 5) but content is not yet playable/accessable on my desktop or iPad. I’m interesting in checking out Twilight Zone, Bushido Man and Dreamscape.  An error comes up “Sorry, the requested video is not yet available on this device.” Content may be accessible later this afternoon or there may be an issue with accessing content from Canada. The About Us page states “SHOUT! FACTORY TV is a free-to-the viewer, ad-supported video offering containing full-length television shows, movies, specials, and original content viewable through desktop computers, mobile, tablet, and “over-the’top” devices such as Roku…In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.”

The big four broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC — don’t really have specific brands. They’re nebulous, offering drama, comedy, reality, and whatever else they put on the air. They’re the giant department stores of TV. Cable channels are more like specialty stores. ESPN is for sports fans. Nickelodeon is for kids. TNT knows drama.

The same is now happening with streaming services. We have a “big three” — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. We have offshoots of TV networks, like HBO Go and Showtime Anytime.

And now we’re starting to see the rise of specialty streaming services, like one launching from Shout! Factory. Previously known for releasing DVDs of films and TV shows other studios didn’t want to, Shout’s new streaming service carries the same philosophy to the world of online TV. It’s filled with classic shows and movies that are hard to find elsewhere. It’s got more of an eye toward curation than building a platform. It’s built off of others’ software.

And it’s completely free.

READ MORE: A new streaming service just for classic TV and film launches today – and it’s free | Vox

New Tablet Case Recognizes Sign Language and Translates It Into Text | WIRED

When you’re deaf, finding a job isn’t easy. The trickiest part, explains Ryan Hait Campbell, is the interview. “You’re not required to tell an employer you’re deaf until the interview, but sometimes, they’re a little shocked,” says Campbell, who has been deaf since birth. “They don’t know how to handle it.”

Because of things like this, he says, unemployment rates are staggeringly high among the deaf. Hard numbers are tough to come by, but some figures estimate that around half of people with hearing disabilities are unemployed.

But Campbell wants to change this. He’s the co-founder and CEO of MotionSavvy, an Alameda, California-based startup that’s developing a case for tablet computers that can serve as a virtual interpreter for the deaf. Known as UNI, the case uses gesture recognition technology developed by Leap Motion to translate sign language into audible speech.

READ MORE: New Tablet Case Recognizes Sign Language and Translates It Into Text | WIRED.

Your New Favorite Storytelling Website Is All About Books | BuzzFeed is a fascinating and fantastic new way to celebrate books. The concept is simple:

  • Step #1. Call Ishmael’s number: 774.325.0503. It goes straight to voicemail.
  • Step #2. Listen to Ishmael’s short answering machine message. It changes weekly.
  • Step #3. Leave a voicemail about a book you love and a story you have lived.

Read More: Your New Favorite Storytelling Website Is All About Books | BuzzFeed

Little wooden hexagons rewrite the tape player | CNET

Digitised content is more convenient in many ways, but there’s one thing that it can’t provide: the tactile pleasure of a physical collection. The world may have made a sharp turn away from CDs, but one company believes that physical media can make a return — if, perhaps, that physical media is also beautifully designed.

Qleek, created by Ozenge Studio in France, certainly fits the bill. It consists of the basic Qleek player, a sleek, beechwood-clad player, and wooden hexagons called Tapps — which can be customised with images of your choice — that can be placed on the player to play your content.

The content, however, is not stored on the Tapps. Rather, each Tapp has an NFC chip inside that links to media of your choice, such as a playlist or a season of TV, stored on your PC; or a YouTube channel, a Spotify playlist, an Instagram feed or a podcast. It connects to your devices via Bluetooth, then streams it to your Bluetooth-compatible television, stereo or speaker.

via Little wooden hexagons rewrite the tape player | CNET.

MIT’s FingerReader Helps The Blind Read With A Swipe Of A Digit | TechCrunch

At MIT’s Media Labs, researchers Roy Shilkrot, Jochen Huber and others are working on the “FingerReader,” a ring-like device that straps itself around your finger and reads printed text out loud with a synthesized voice, thanks to a mounted camera and heavily modified open source software. Read more: MIT’s FingerReader Helps The Blind Read With A Swipe Of A Digit | TechCrunch.

Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music | Gizmodo

The renaissance of the long play record isn’t just an anecdotal trend. Even as physical record sales decline, people are buying more vinyl than they have in decades. In 2013, sales increased 31-percent to about 6 million units year-over-year. It’s not a single-year bump either, either. Sales have climbed to 6 million from after having been at about a million in 2007…The “why” behind it, though, is a little more elusive. People don’t have to buy vinyl, and yet, they’re increasingly choosing to do so. It seems that in a world where CDs are obsolete, and digital files are intangible, the vinyl record still has a physical value that gives you your money’s worth. If the music industry wants to survive, it better pay attention to why people are buying records.

Read more: Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music | Gizmodo

Dolphin translator chirps out first word | CNET

Scientists working on a two-way dolphin communicator have made a breakthrough — their device may have translated a single whistle in real time. Read more: Dolphin translator chirps out first word | CNET.