Links Roundup for August 19, 2010

Here’s a roundup of stories that might be of interest to fans: we’ve got stories from A (Afghanistan) to Z (the Zombie Beatles!) beneath the cut!

* In international news, the Afghan Ministry of Communications has mandated that all ISPs filter websites that fall under the categories of “alcohol,” “dating/social networking,” “gambling,” and “pornography. This has resulted in countrywide blockages of Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, and Twitter, and follows similar censorious moves in Pakistan and Turkey.

* Boing Boing indeed! A parody Twilight game hosted on YouTube that was BoingBoinged was taken down for copyright infringment by Summit Entertainment, then put up again! And has now been taken down again! Ironically, BoingBoing’s latest post compliments Summit by saying, “good to see a digital department at a traditional company being helpful.” Spoke too soon! The Washington Post has also criticized Summit for “lobbing lawsuits at pretty much anyone who uses Twilight’s name or images without its permission”, including not only the game, but an unofficial Twilight-magazine, fan-made Twilight t-shirts, and even the makers of a documentary about Forks, Washington, the real-life town where the story is set. Apparently Summit thinks it should be able to control who sparkles and who doesn’t!

* In RPF news, we bring you notice of the publication of Paul is Undead by Alan Goldsher, subtitled “The British Zombie Invasion.” The book charts “the rise and fall of the zombie Beatles… through eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, and interviews.” Oh, and Ringo is a ninja lord. Obviously.

* Zazzle has enforced a c&d against a fan who made an SPN keychain featuring only the single, fan-coined word, “Metallicar!” Crazily, even though TPTB at SPN didn’t invent the word, they’re claiming trademark over it (and it’s really unlikely that the WB owns a word so closely associated with the band Metallica–but that’s another story!) Alas, Zazzle—being a private company—can enforce any rules it wants, but, as with the Twilight case above, this is really a classic case of overstepping to no purpose.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about you can submit it in three easy ways: comment on the most recent Link Roundup on LJ, IJ or DW, tag a link with “for:otw_news” on Delicious or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

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News of Note
  1. Jack commented:

    Ugh, that Twilight game was fantastic. & this Zazzle business just makes me ridiculously angry. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

    • fcoppa commented:

      I know! It’s very frustrating. It’s a WORD, and not even a word they OWN. And all the fans making things for Twilight: can they really believe that these core fans are hurting their property? It’s so illogical!

  2. Eos Rose commented:

    Haven’t these guys every heard of free publicity? All these fanmade items don’t hurt the copyright holders–people will still be buying the official merchandise. This finicky foot-stomping just makes the copyright holders look like bullies.

  3. fcoppa commented:

    Yes, I just was able to have a conversation articulating this with TPTB of a different franchise: these fan products do not hurt you! They’re a GOOD SIGN, they’re a sign of your product’s HEALTH.

  4. Franzeska commented:

    I don’t know how much fandom stuff is on there, but the closure of blogging sites/sns is always newsworthy.

    • fcoppa commented:

      Yeah, good call; we’ll signal boost this. Thank you!