I missed this last week, but it's notable for how dumb the publishing industry can be: At the request of Fortune Magazine, Michael Arrington at TechCrunch published two excerpts of Fortune columnist David Kirkpatrick’s new book The Facebook Effect with some kind words about Kirkpatrick. 48 minutes after Arrington posted the excerpts on TechCrunch, Fortune e-mailed to say they were really pleased with the post. Six minutes after that, they wrote again and demanded that he take down the excerpts, citing “copy write infringement.”
Arrington didn't modify the post. Fortune called him five or maybe six times during the night. Then, Simon and Schuster, the book's publisher, got involved:
I am writing to give notice that your display of text from the Simon & Schuster book entitled THE FACEBOOK EFFECT by David Kirkpatrick (posted May 6) is unauthorized and violates our publication rights, as well as the rights of our author and our licensees. Such publication is a clear case of copyright infringement and you are hereby put on notice to take down this excerpt immediately...In the event the excerpt is not removed from your Web site within 24 hours, our attorneys will be contacting you.
What a bunch of dumb fucks. It doesn't look like anybody has done anything since then; the original post with the excerpts is still live, and Arrington hasn't posted anything more about it.
In other death-of-the-publishing-and-magazine-industry news, GQ officially sold 365 copies of their first iPad issue. That's not just disappointing; that's alarming.