March 30, 2015
Clean Reader, as you may have been seeing on social media, is a company selling an app that covers words in published e-books with bubbles showing more anodyne words. This modern bowdlerisation was brought to the attention of Sisters in Crime by SinC members Tim Hallinan and Lisa Brackmann.
Until the 27th of March, Clean Reader also sold books. Sisters in Crime congratulates and applauds the mystery writers, including Lisa and Tim, who protested so effectively that Clean Reader, overnight, ceased being a bookseller. Victory is rarely that swift.
They still sell the app, though, and it is being hotly argued whether copyright and/or intellectual property rights are thereby contravened, with a consensus emerging that this is probably legal. SinC is in touch with the Authors Guild about the issue.
As with other emerging technologies that create new legal problems, new legal approaches and solutions may also emerge, albeit slowly. SinC will continue to work to keep members informed and to raise our collective voices.
Meanwhile, watch out for many laughs and groans coming at you in the next SinCLinks, as Clean Reader mangles masterpieces.
Catriona McPherson & Leslie Budiewitz