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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Family of Philip K. Dick Takes on Google

posted @ 1/07/2010 09:28:00 AM PT 

The estate of Philip K. Dick sent a cease-and-desist letter to Google on January 6, 2010, a day after Google launched its new Android OS-based phone, the "Nexus One". The family claims that the name Nexus One is a "clear infringement of our intellectual property rights," referencing the Nexus 6 replicants in Bladerunner, the movie based on PKD's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The letter, a possible presage to a lawsuit, demands that Google cease using the name and requests that the company turn over relevant documents within ten days.

Isa Dick Hackett, daughter of PKD and president of Electric Shepherd Productions (the company the estate set up to manage PKD's film rights), says “Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later. In my mind, there is a very obvious connection to my father’s novel. People don’t get it. It’s the principle of it.... It would be nice to have a dialogue. We are open to it. That’s a way to start.”
Google claims the name has nothing to do with Dick’s work, and that it was simply using the word in its original sense – as a place where things converge. In 2009, Verizon Wireless licensed the Droid name from “Star Wars” creator George Lucas for use with the Motorola phone. However, unlike George Lucas and the Droid trademark, Dick's estate does not have a trademark on the Nexus name.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Norton Lawsuit Over

posted @ 5/11/2009 10:08:00 AM PT 

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently denied Victor Horadam's request for a final appeal, which means the battle over the rights to Andre Norton's past and future works is over for good.

The appellate court's decision from late 2008 will stand, which means Norton’s longtime caregiver Sue Stewart will control the copyright to books published during Norton’s life, including royalties on any reprints, while Horadim will receive royalties on any works published for the first time posthumously. Stewart says she is "currently working on several projects involving Andre's work. Her estate will be making an important announcement in the near future."

The lawsuits stemmed from confusion over the terms of Norton's will. The author, who died in 2005, said that Horadam should receive "the royalties from all posthumous publication of any of my works," while Stewart was named as beneficiary of all other property and assets. Horadam argued that he should receive money from new and reprinted works, while Stewart insisted that Norton meant Horadam to receive royalties only on books published posthumously, with Stewart to receive royalties on books first published in Norton's lifetime. The judge in the initial trial sided with Horadam, but the appeals court overturned that decision and upheld Stewart's interpretation.

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