As we have noted recently, the various AI companies (and their backers) have dutifully filed comments with the US Copyright Office explaining why they believe training their systems on copyrighted work is fair use and “just math.” So it’s notable that vice president of audio at Stability AI Ed Newton-Rex left the company recently and made clear at the Cerebral Valley AI Summit he believes those arguments are wrong. (He oversaw their music creation product, Stability Audio.) He resigned “because I don’t agree with the company’s opinion that training generative AI models on copyrighted works is ‘fair use’.” As he […]
Finalist for the NBA fiction award for TEMPLE FOLK Aaliyah Bilal indicated to the NYT in their story that followed ours “that a number of finalists planned to take the stage at the end of the [awards] ceremony” on Wednesday night “as one person reads the statement. In framing the call for a cease-fire, she said, she and other writers wanted to demonstrate their sensitivity to losses on all sides and intend to specifically denounce antisemitism.” Bilal says: “It was very important, as we were constructing it, that we were clear that we are sensitive to all of the antisemitism going […]
Alex Blasdel has a “long read” piece in the Guardian about Andrew Wylie that’s a melange of eulogy, profile, mild takedown and perhaps book proposal. The reporter understands the Wylie myth-making and reporters’ role in perpetuating it, but at the same time can’t help but add to it: “Wylie is the world’s most mythologized literary agent, it is partly because the caricature of him as a plunderer of literary talent and pillager of other agencies has been so irresistible to the media, and at times to Wylie himself.” Yet he is billed as “the world’s most renowned – and for […]
In a filing that deftly blends unintended comedy with performance art, publisher All Seasons Press sued author Mark Meadows in a Florida state court on Friday, alleging breach of contract in his publishing agreement. They seek payment of approximately $3 million in expenses, potential lost profits, and “reputational harm.” The publisher says that they are acting based on unconfirmed press reports that Meadows testified before a grand jury in exchange for immunity “that neither he nor President Trump actually believed…claims” that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent. The suit claims the publisher “determined that it was legally and ethically obliged […]
Amazon’s KDP has invited some authors to test creating audiobooks through “virtual voice.” Those titles “will be clearly labeled” for customers. They note, “We plan to grow the beta over time and will share updates in the coming months as we have additional information.” In this case Amazon is following the field rather than leading. Apple Books started providing digital narration at the beginning of the year, and Google Play Books did so in April 2022. Ingram began using the technology in late 2021, and Storytel launched their initiative this summer.
Circana Bookscan tracked sales of 418,000 hardcovers in the US for Britney Spears’ memoir THE WOMAN IN ME in its first week of release. Separately, Nielsen Bookscan recorded sales of almost 91,000 hardcovers in the UK. Gallery says they sold 1.1 million units in the US across all formats, with particularly strong audiobook sales. The publisher calls the narration read by Michelle Williams their fastest-selling audiobook. More broadly, they report, “The book has been published in 26 languages/territories and is a No. 1 bestseller with an estimated 2.4 million copies in print globally.” With a week of popular releases — […]