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Tag: Controversy (11-20 of 87)

Casey Anthony paying $25,000 to avoid writing life story

Casey Anthony has agreed to pay $25,000 to her bankruptcy estate to avoid having to sell her life story.

A judge in her bankruptcy case in Tampa approved the agreement between Anthony and her bankruptcy trustee in court papers made public Wednesday.

The trustee had considered the possibility of selling Anthony’s life story to help pay off her debts to creditors. Anthony had opposed the idea, and her lawyers had argued that it would give the purchaser of the rights control over Anthony for the rest of her life.

Anthony was acquitted two years ago of murder, manslaughter and child abuse charges in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in Orlando. She has kept a low profile since.

Papers filed in bankruptcy court said the compromise was reached to avoid protracted litigation over whether the trustee could legally force Anthony to sell her memoirs.

The proposal to sell the rights to Anthony’s life story was “novel,” and lawyers for both sides were unable to find any precedents in case law, according to the court documents.
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Sex sells: Online retailers rake in profits with dirty e-books

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Minds might be in the gutter, but the sales of dirty e-books certainly are not. Book-selling powerhouses such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble are raking in major profits from the sleazier online titles and genres that readers can absorb behind the privacy of tablet screens.

In 2012, romance and erotica topped revenue charts with $1.4 billion in sales. However, the profit tactic has left the book retailers in one of those Fifty Shades of Grey areas. Despite the revenue benefits of the taboo genre, Amazon and B&N appear to be on the fence themselves in regards to the promotion of erotic fiction. A 2010 pedophilia guide sold on Amazon finally got pulled by the online retailer after the illicit subject matter sparked controversy. But in lieu of the book’s eventual removal from the site, Amazon released a statement shortly after defending its decision to offer the item:

Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.

The economics of erotica have never been a real question: sex sells. And maybe 50 Shades of Grey is to blame—the 2011 novel featuring a naive college graduate’s relationship with a BDSM-obsessed business mogul—as it sparked a more recent wildfire-like spread of naughty fiction fascination. But the levels of provocative seem to go way beyond the bondage/dominatrix realm; Amazon keyword searches reach the furthest ends of the sexual spectrum, including pedophilia, bestiality, and incest.

Although successful sales numbers might help disputable titles avoid a ban, they do not overpower the decision-making ultimately determined by retailer representatives. Both Amazon and B&N have appeared to strip their bestseller lists of several erotica books. As an alternative, erotic novels with warranting sales can appear in the top 100 online, a B&N spokeswoman told the New York Post.

Disgraced author Jonah Lehrer sells a book detailing his 'private shame'

Simon & Schuster is willing to give a second chance to Jonah Lehrer, the best-selling author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Lehrer’s most recent book Imagine was pulled by his previous publisher Houghton Mifflin after he admitted to falsely attributing quotes to Bob Dylan. He subsequently resigned from his post at The New Yorker, where he was accused of recycling material from other publications. Despite the controversy, Simon & Schuster announced the future publication of Lehrer’s next book, tentatively titled The Book of Love.

According to a book proposal obtained by The New York Times, it appears Lehrer is actually using his public disgrace as the driving force of his next book. He wrote in the proposal, “Careers fall apart; homes fall down; we give away what we don’t want and sell what we can’t afford. … And yet, if we are lucky, such losses reveal what remains. When we are stripped of what we wanted, we see what we will always need: those people who love us, even after the fall.” READ FULL STORY

Jane Goodall's new book delayed amid alleged plagiarism scandal

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Less than a week after The Washington Post first claimed that Jane Goodall’s latest book, Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants, contained multiple passages that were lifted from other sources, Grand Central Publishing has postponed the book’s release.

The primatologist, who is most famous for her work with chimpanzees and the creation of the Jane Goodall Institute, wrote Seeds of Hope with freelance writer Gail Hudson. The book was originally scheduled to be released next month, before a total of 12 passages were called into question for plagiarism. Word-for-word copy appeared to be lifted from a website for Choice Organic Teas, as well as others, including several passages that appeared to be lifted from Wikipedia.

In an email to The Washington Post, Goodall issued an apology and stated that, “This was a long and well researched book, and I am distressed to discover that some of the excellent and valuable sources were not properly cited, and want to express my sincere apologies.”

We’re not so sure we would call Wikipedia an “excellent and valuable source,” but perhaps that’s one of the many things Goodall will work on now that the book’s released has been pushed back.

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Furor over Orson Scott Card's anti-gay views drives 'Superman' illustrator to leave comic

Celebrated science fiction author Orson Scott Card also happens to be a fervent, outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage — and now the controversy sparked by his unpopular views has affected Card’s upcoming Adventures of Superman project.

Card has been opposed to gay marriage for decades; in 2009, he joined the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group dedicated to “protect[ing] marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.” When DC announced last month that Card would co-write an issue of Adventures of Superman, the news immediately stoked fan ire. A petition urging DC to sever ties with Card has garnered over 16,000 signatures on the LGBT activist site All Out; other supporters of gay rights have called for a boycott of the comic itself.

Yesterday, the brouhaha prompted artist Chris Sprouse to leave the Superman project altogetherREAD FULL STORY

Author Hilary Mantel calls Kate Middleton a 'mannequin'

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In case you hadn’t heard all the noise being made across the pond, author Hilary Mantel gave a lecture at the British Museum earlier this month, sponsored by the London Review of Books. In it, Mantel discusses the centuries-long fascination with royal families, royal women, and — specifically — a royal female’s ability to bear heirs.

At one point, she also describes Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and pregnant wife of the heir to the British throne, as a “shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own.”

It was the quote heard ‘round the empire. Mantel’s line, along with several other sound bites lifted from the talk, have become flash points in the larger, ever-ongoing debate about how anyone should talk about the royals.

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Legendary music biz executive Clive Davis opens up about Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson, and his own bisexuality in new memoir

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It is almost easier to list the artists legendary music business executive Clive Davis hasn’t worked with than the ones he has during his half century-long career. Suffice it to say that the founder of Arista and J Records and the current chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment has overseen releases by everyone from voice-of-his-generation Bob Dylan to Milli Vanilli who, as it turned out, weren’t even the voices of themselves.

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Five things we learned about the Mariah Carey-Tommy Mottola marriage from record exec's new memoir

The music biz memoir has become one of the hottest trends over the past couple of years — and the boys in the (record label) boardroom are not getting left behind. Today, Grand Central is publishing Tommy Mottola’s autobiography, Hitmaker: The Man and his Music, which he co-penned with Cal Fussman. Formerly the Chairman CEO of Sony Music, Mottola developed an amazing array of talent, including Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, and Mariah Carey. Mottola thought Carey was so amazing that in 1993 he married her, despite being both more than two decades older and the songbird’s technical boss.

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Stephen King argues for gun control in strongly worded new Kindle essay

Stephen King has released a new Kindle single titled Guns, in which the horror author — who says he owns three handguns himself — passionately advocates for additional firearm regulation. “In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, gun advocates have to ask themselves if their zeal to protect even the outer limits of gun ownership have anything to do with preserving the Second Amendment as a whole, or if it’s just a stubborn desire to hold onto what they have, and to hell with the collateral damage,” King writes. “If that’s the case, let suggest that f— you, Jack, I’m okay is not a tenable position, morally speaking.”

In the essay, which is available on Amazon for 99 cents, King writes about the first novel he ever wrote, which he penned in high school and was later published as Rage under his Richard Bachman pseudonym. The book is about a kid who shows up at school with a gun, kills a teacher, and takes his class hostage, and after it was published, Rage apparently helped inspire several real-life school shooters. READ FULL STORY

National Book Awards to add more nominees, maybe go 'a little more mainstream'

In order to infuse some excitement into the proceedings, the National Book Awards are going the way of the Oscars and Britain’s splashier Man Booker Prize by announcing a “long list” of ten nominees in the four competitive categories before whittling them down to the usual five finalists in each, according to the AP. More nominees will mean more books getting a boost from the attention, lesser potential for snubs, and perhaps more genre nominees in the fiction category. Another change: The judging panel will include critics, booksellers, and librarians in addition to writers.

National Book Foundation vice president and Grove/Atlantic CEO Morgan Entrekin told the AP that expanding the judging pool beyond writers will perhaps make the picks “a little more mainstream” and less likely to include “a collection of stories by a university press.”

Do you think “more mainstream” finalists make book awards more exciting, or will that defeat the purpose? A similar debate swirled around the Man Booker Prize when Julian Barnes won for A Sense of An Ending in 2011.

Read more:
National Book Critics Circle Award finalists are …
National Book Award winner Katherine Boo on ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’, ‘unsexy’ topics, and ‘American Idol’ recaps
And the 2012 National Book Award winners are …

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