Literature | The Knowledge Dynasty


LeVar Burton sued for using ‘Reading Rainbow’ catchphrase on his podcast

Actor LeVar Burton, who taught Gen-Xers and millennials about the wonders of literature via PBS’ Reading Rainbow, is being sued for his continued use of the show’s iconic catchphrase. The 60-year-old peppered his podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, with the tagline “But you don’t have to take my word for it,” and that’s put him in legally dubious territory.

WNED-TV Buffalo, New York, which originally produced Reading Rainbow, is suing Burton. It’s the latest chapter in an ongoing dispute about the show’s intellectual property. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, the suit alleges that Mr. Burton’s goal is to control and reap the benefits of Reading Rainbow’s substantial goodwill that unquestionably belongs to WNED. More specifically, that Burton is guilty of: copyright infringement, conversion, cybersquatting, violations of the Lanham Act, breach of contract and interference with customer relations. WNED is seeking profits from the actor’s podcast.

Burton’s RRKidz production outlet has been working with a proper licensing agreement from WNED since 2011. Though he acquired the rights to the brand, turned Reading Rainbow into a successful iPad app in 2012, and raised millions on Kickstarter to revive the series in 2014, the original agreement is murky. As the Reporter notes:

WNED’s interpretation of the agreement is that the 2011 deal represented a divide and conquer approach to the renaissance of Reading Rainbow whereby RRKidz would be allowed to take over digital distribution of the series while the broadcaster would focus on making new episodes. Profits were to be split.

Burton hosted Reading Rainbow from 1983 to 2006, during which he won 12 Emmys. As of Aug. 1, is no longer operated by RRKidz. In its place: the original logo, attributed to WNED. It’s a bitter reminder that nothing gold can stay.

H/T the Hollywood Reporter

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Before Amazon, We Had Bookmobiles: 15+ Rare Photos Of Libraries-On-Wheels

Long before Amazon, Audible, and other digital book distributors, bookmobiles were bringing literature to peoples’ doorsteps. Their mission was to provide the written word to remote villages and city suburbs that had no libraries. We invite you to remember these almost forgotten four-wheelers of the past.

The first bookmobile is believed to have appeared in Warrington, England in the late 1850s. It was a horse-drawn cart, and lent about 12,000 books during its first year of service. Later, mobile libraries were installed inside vehicles and reached the height of their popularity in the mid-20th century when they had become a part of Americal life.

Although bookmobiles are still operated in some parts of the world by libraries, schools, activists, and other organizations, they are widely thought to be an outdated service due to high costs, advanced technology and impracticality.

(h/t: vintageeveryday, messynessychic)

#22 The Library’s Bookmobile

#23 Children Gathering At The Bookmobile, C. 1912

#24 Children Gathering At The Kern County Free Library Bookmobile At Aztec School, 1947

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The World’s Most Beautiful Library Is In Prague, Czech Republic

The Klementinum library, a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, was first opened in 1722 as part of the Jesuit university, and houses over 20,000 books. It was voted as one of the most beautiful and majestic libraries in the world by our readers!

The ceiling frescoes were painted by Jan Hiebl. In 1781, director Karel Rafael Ungar established Biblioteca Nationalis, a collection of Czech language literature. Some of the rare historical books from this collection have been sent to Google for scanning and will eventually be available on Google Books.

Just as the library is a rare and little-known treasure, so is it associated with several little-known facts: the Klementinum used to be the third largest Jesuit college in the world; recording of local weather began there in 1775 and has continued ever since; it is featured in a novel by famous Spanish-language writer Jorge Luis Borges.

Image credits: Iztok Alf Kurnik

See 24+ more of the most majestic libraries in the world!

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