Industry & Advocacy News
August 12, 2022
In this week’s edition: Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle takes the stand to defend his company’s merger with Simon & Schuster; an appeals court rules that products created by artificial intelligence can’t be patented; how writing helps one author cope with dissociative identity disorder; a memorial to historian David McCullough, who passed away earlier this week; and more.
U.S. Appeals Court Says Artificial Intelligence Can’t Be Patent InventorReutersAn artificial intelligence system cannot be an inventor under United States patent law, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Computer scientist Stephen Thaler had sought patents for two inventions he said his IA system created, but the Court held that the Patent Act requires that an “inventor” must be a human being. The ruling is similar to others where U.S. courts have previously maintained that artwork, including books, created by AI programs cannot be copyrighted.
DOJ v. PRH: Markus Dohle’s Silicon Valley of MediaPublishers WeeklyAs the Department of Justice’s suit to stop the Penguin Random House-Simon & Schuster merger heads into its second week, PRH CEO Markus Dohle testified that he would allow PRH and S&S imprints to bid against each other but could not find a “legally-binding way” to solidify that commitment. The judge expressed skepticism of Dohle’s claim that agents would no longer do business with PRH if it failed to keep its promise.
Writers’ Arbitration Ruling Yields $42 Million From NetflixPublishing PerspectivesIn a major collective bargaining victory for creators, the Writers Guild of America has secured $42 million in residual fees for 216 screenwriters who worked on Netflix Original films. The WGA successfully argued that Netflix must determine the fees and residuals owed to screenwriters for films it produces itself in the same way as for those it licenses from third-party studios.
David McCullough, Best-Selling Explorer of America’s Past, Dies at 89The New York TimesHistorian David McCullough passed away on August 7 at his home in Hingham, Massachusetts. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes in Biography for Truman (1992) and John Adams (2001), McCullough also received National Book Awards for The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal (1977) and Mornings on Horseback (1981). He graduated from Yale University with a literature degree, intending to become a novelist, but decided to focus on American history and presidential biographies after working at the United States Information Agency and American Heritage magazine.
I Can’t Separate My Writing and My Diagnosis, So I Use Them to Help One AnotherElectric LiteratureA revealing essay on how an author with dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as “split personality” disorder, finds healing in their writing.