The planet has been dropped into a digital blender.
Everything is being digitized, up to and including your sex organs.
The media are mutating. A new mix is emerging.
Newspapers are fading after a 500 year run. Broadcast media suck. Radio and TV are on the net.
Podcasts and blogs will likely last as long as Usenet.
The rentier class is desperately trying to maintain control of their 'intellectual property'.
DRM, copy control, legal mechanisms, international treaties all are in play.
Information still wants to be free.
EBooks, ETexts - News
- 2013/09/07: BBC: Apple faces e-book restrictions
A US judge has imposed restrictions on the agreements technology giant Apple can make with book publishers to prevent it fixing the price of e-books.
The move follows a court ruling in July that Apple conspired with five publishers to control e-book prices.
- 2013/07/10: CSM: Apple found guilty of e-book price hike conspiracy
- 2013/07/10: Guardian(UK): Federal judge finds Apple guilty of conspiring to raise ebook prices
- 2013/06/03: CSM: E-book price fixing: As the trial begins, here's what you need to know
- 2013/05/23: CSM: Penguin Books settles with 33 states, consumers in e-book price-fixing suit
- 2013/05/15: CSM: Growth in e-book sales slows [to 43%] in 2012
- 2013/04/17: CSM: Are e-readers hurting our reading comprehension?
- 2013/02/08: CSM: Macmillan settles e-book dispute with the Department of Justice
- 2013/01/12: CSM: Why do e-books cost so much?
- 2012/12/27: LA Times: E-book reading jumps as print declines
- 2012/12/19: CSM: DOJ reaches settlement with Penguin over e-book price fixing
- 2012/12/10: iSuppli: Ebook Readers: Device to Go the Way of Dinosaurs? Shipments are on a fast decline, overwhelmed by tablets
- 2012/12/06: CSM: E-readers and e-book platforms track users' activity, says a new study
- 2012/10/10: CBC: E-book sales surging in Canada but print sales still tops
More people buying outside of regular book stores, says BookNet Canada
- 2012/10/05: CSM: Google and publishers reach settlement on digitized books case
- 2012/09/11: ArsTechnica: E-books are already getting cheaper, thanks to Department of Justice
- 2012/09/07: CSM: Judge approves a settlement between DOJ and publishers in landmark opinion
It’s being called "a move that could reshape the publishing industry" and "a decision that could start an e-book price war."
Late Thursday, Federal Judge Denise Cote approved a settlement between the Justice Department and three major publishers in a landmark opinion in the e-book price-fixing case.
The settlement includes Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins and orders the three publishers to terminate their contracts with Apple within a week. It also orders them to terminate contracts with "most favored nation" clauses, which prohibit other retailers from selling books for less. The publishers must also refrain for two years from entering any new contract that puts limits on a retailer’s ability to price e-books.
- 2012/07/19: CSM: Schumer challenges DOJ on e-book lawsuit
According to the government’s account, Apple and five publishers were upset that Amazon had set the price of all of its e-books at $9.99, thereby driving down the price of e-books. In response, Apple and the publishers allegedly conspired to establish a new business model, called the agency model, which put pricing in the hands of publishers (instead of distributers, as in Amazon’s wholesale model) and raised the price of many e-books by about $2 to $3.
In April, the Justice Department filed the lawsuit against Apple and two publishers, Macmillan and Penguin Group, for price-fixing e-books. (Three other publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, agreed to a government settlement to avoid litigation.) The government filed suit to break up what it perceived as price-fixing.
Schumer, however, doesn’t see it that way. Agency pricing, Schumer argues, helped free the e-book market from Amazon’s dominance and generally increases competition. It also gives consumers more platforms to buy e-books. As he noted in his op-ed, Amazon controlled 90 percent of the market under the old model, but after publishers instituted the agency model pricing, Amazon’s share fell to 60 percent.
What’s more, he notes, the new model actually helped bring down prices on may older e-book titles.
- 2012/06/21: CSM: E-book sales surge ahead of hardcovers
The Association of American Publishers reported that there were more e-books sold than hardcovers for the first time ever, collecting information from more than 1,189 publishers for their findings.
In the report, the Association said that in the first quarter of 2012, e-book sales totaled $282.3 million, which was a 28 percent increase from e-book sales last year. Meanwhile, hardcover sales came to $229.6 million, which nevertheless was a 2.7 percent increase from their sales last year.
- 2012/05/29: Nation: The Amazon Effect
- 2012/06/01: SlashDot: War and Nookd --- eBook Regex Gone Haywire
- 2012/05/21: NatureN: Plastic Logic exits e-reader market -- Company to shift focus to selling flexible plastic displays
- 2012/05/02: BBC: E-book sales grew by 54% in 2011
Digital book sales have risen by 54% in the past year and are now worth £243m to the publishing industry.
Figures released by the Publishers' Association (PA) showed the market for e-books, downloads and online subscriptions had more than trebled since 2007, when it was worth £74m.
Digital content now accounts for 8% of the total value of book sales in 2011 - it made up 5% in 2010.
However, total book sales fell by 2%, with the market worth £3.2bn.
Physical book sales dropped 5% to £3bn, according to the PA Statistical Yearbook.
- 2012/04/25: CJR: The [WS] Journal Misses on Ebooks and Antitrust
- 2012/04/24: CSM: Is Amazon morally wrong but legally right?
- 2012/04/24: EconView: "The DRM Free Movement for eBooks Expands" - Joshua Gans
- 2012/04/16: NYT: Amazon’s E-Book Pricing a Constant Thorn for Publishers -- Daring to Cut Off Amazon
- 2012/04/14: CStross: What Amazon's ebook strategy means
- 2012/04/10: PaidContent: Some big-six publishers refuse to sign new contracts with Amazon
At least two of the big-six publishers are refusing to sign new annual contracts with Amazon. Though that could end with their "buy" buttons being turned off, it is more likely for now that the feud will result in less promotion of their titles on Amazon’s website.
The news was first reported by Salon reporter Alexander Zaitchik. In the middle of a piece on Amazon’s donations to literary nonprofits, Zaitchik wrote:
For the first time, the "Big Six" publishers -- HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan -- have refused to sign Amazon’s latest annual contract. The main sticking point is exorbitant increases in "co-op promotional fees" for e-books that the publishers see as an illegal gouge by another name.
One person familiar with the details of the proposed 2012 contracts that Amazon has submitted to major New York publishers described them as "stupifyingly draconian." In some cases, he said, Amazon has raised promotional fees by 30 times their 2011 cost.
- 2012/04/13: FAIR: Are Apple and Publishers Helping Readers by Ripping Them Off?
- 2012/04/14: BBC: Nook e-reader 'glows in the dark'
The first e-ink-based reader that can be read in the dark without the need for a separate light has been unveiled.
US retailer Barnes & Noble's latest Nook e-reader has a screen that glows.
- 2012/04/12: EurActiv: Publishers urge EU to close e-books probe
Apple and four international publishers have sent proposals to the European Commission to try to solve an e-books anti-trust case, a Commission statement said yesterday (11 April).
The four publishers are Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck and their proposed commitments follow a settlement involving three of the four in the United States on Wednesday.
- 2012/04/12: EUO: E-book publishers face US and EU antitrust cases
- 2012/04/11: Guardian(UK): Apple accused by US of colluding with publishers to fix price of ebooks
- 2012/04/11: BBC: US sues Apple and publishers over e-book prices
Technology giant Apple and major book publishers are being sued by the US Department of Justice over the pricing of e-books.
The US accuses Apple and Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon and Schuster and Penguin of colluding over the prices of e-books they sell.
This lawsuit is over the agency model where publishers set the prices of e-books, rather than sellers.
- 2012/04/11: CBC: U.S. sues Apple over e-book pricing
The U.S. government has filed an antitrust lawsuit in New York against Apple Inc. and various major book publishers Wednesday, saying the publishers conspired with Apple to raise retail electronic-book prices to limit competition.
- 2012/04/09: BBC: Yahoo files e-book advert system patent applications
Yahoo files papers outlining ways of scattering adverts through digital books based on what is being read.
Yahoo has signalled it is investigating e-book adverts as a way to stimulate its earnings.
It says in two US patent applications that ads for digital book readers have been "less than optimal" to date.
The filings suggest that users could be offered titles at a variety of prices depending on the ads' prominence
They add that the products shown could be determined by the type of book being read, or even the contents of a specific chapter, phrase or word.
- 2012/04/06: CSM: Bad new for independent bookstores: Is Google becoming "another Amazon"?
It’s a sad day for indie bookstores and a sign of more consolidation in the publishing world.
Reports emerged this week that Google contacted the American Booksellers Association and Powell’s Books to announce that it is ending its Google eBooks reseller program as of January 31, 2013. The program gave independent bookstores a leg up by allowing them to sell e-books through Google’s platform. With the cancellation of that program, lauded by indie supporters across the world, Google Play will be the only platform through which consumers can buy e-books through Google.
- 2012/04/05: CSM: E-book revolution: We're reading more than ever
- 2012/04/02: CBC: Libraries boycott Random House over e-book prices
Libraries on Nova Scotia's South Shore are boycotting Random House, one of the world's largest book publishers, over what they call unfair e-book pricing.
The company began charging public libraries up to three times the retail price for downloadable books last month.
For example, the price for libraries for a copy of Catherine the Great, Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie spiked to $85 in late March from $30 in January, according to the South Shore Public Libraries website.
People can buy the same book for $20 to $25, through Random House, Google Books, Kindle or Amazon.
Troy Myers, CEO and chief librarian of South Shore Public Libraries, said the publishing powerhouse does not seem to be concerned about the loss of business so far, but he hopes the boycott will make a statement.
- 2012/03/13: CSM: Right pricing e-books: Is the government actually discouraging competition?
- 2012/03/08: Digitopoly: The DOJ, publishers, Apple and eBook pricing
- 2012/03/08: BRitholtz: Publishers Get Sat On By Justice Dept.
- 2012/03/07: CSM: Making e-books even more kid-friendly: the Storia reading app from Scholastic
- 2012/02/20: TreeHugger: Book or E-Book: Which Is Better? Perhaps Neither
- 2012/01/23: NBF: Tablet and E-book reader Ownership Nearly Doubled to 29%
- 2012/01/16: BBC: Publisher Bloomsbury has reported strong fourth-quarter trading, helped by cook books and a 38% jump in e-book sales
- 2011/12/29: TreeHugger: Amazon Sold Over 4 Million Kindles in December, and E-Book Sales Are Up 175 Percent
- 2011/12/25: SlashDot: The Looming Library Lending Battle
- 2011/12/23: Guardian(UK): The great ebook price swindle
Publishers are facing an uncertain time in the digital world -- but increasing the prices of their ebooks is a retrograde step
- 2011/12/19: CSM: E-books get pricey. Will customers go paperback?
Jeffrey Trachtenberg writes for the Wall Street Journal that consumers buying digital books are experiencing sticker shock. While the price of readers has plummeted, the price of ebooks has increased.
Trachtenberg explains, The digital price increases are the result of a decision by the six biggest publishers to set their own consumer e-book prices, a move that effectively bars retailers from discounting their e-books without permission. No such agreement exists for printed books—where retailers are free to set their own prices. So while a best-selling e-book price is often less than half of the hardcover price, heavy discounting of the print version closes the gap.
This strategy is already hurting ebook sales according to some.
- 2011/12/16: CBC: E-book prices spark battle between publishers, retailers
Prices vary widely, as publishers seek ways to sell e-books and make a profit
- 2011/12/08: SlashDot: DoJ Investigates eBook Price Fixing
- 2011/11/29: SlashDot: How Publishers Are Cutting Their Own Throats With eBook DRM
- 2011/11/01: CBC: Google brings its e-books to Canada
- 2011/09/28: CBC: Amazon unveils $199 US tablet
- 2011/09/21: EurActiv: Commission brokers agreement for mass digitisation
Books that have been gathering dust on library bookshelves can now be transformed into eBooks, according to a pan European agreement signed by libraries, publishers and rightsholders yesterday (20 September).
Industry federations and the European Commission heralded the agreement signed yesterday between publishers, libraries, collecting societies and authors as groundbreaking as it would unleash countless books for consumption online.
- 2011/09/09: CSM: Project Gutenberg founder Michael Stern Hart: an e-book visionary
- 2011/09/07: Gutenberg: Obituary for Michael Stern Hart
- 2011/09/07: LA Times: Project Gutenberg founder Michael S. Hart has died
- 2011/08/10: CSM: Apple, leading US publishers, charged with collusion
- 2011/08/09: CSM: E-books cause publishing industry growth
- 2011/07/25: CSM: The Nook finally bests the Kindle
- 2011/07/06: CSM: In South Korea, all textbooks will be e-books by 2015
- 2011/06/23: CBC: Harry Potter series to be sold as e-books
- 2011/06/20: BBC: British Library makes Google search deal
Thousands of pages from one of the world's biggest collections of historic books, pamphlets and periodicals are to be made available on the internet.
The British Library has reached a deal with search engine Google about 250,000 texts dating back to the 18th Century.
- 2011/05/27: BBC: Bloomsbury's sales of e-books soar
Publisher Bloomsbury says its sales of e-books has soared as the worldwide popularity of electronic readers rises.
- 2011/05/20: CSM: Amazon: E-book sales now outpace those of dead tree books
- 2011/05/19: CSM: It happened so fast: E-books now surpass print book sales at Amazon
- 2011/05/04: BBC: UK general title digital book sales soar to £16m in 2010
Sales of digital books are soaring in the UK, figures from the Publishers Association show.
The association said that in 2010 sales of e-books and audio book downloads in the "general titles" category, which includes novels and consumer titles, shot up from £4m to £16m.
Academic and professional books still dominated overall digital sales, which reached £180m last year.
It still remains a small proportion of total book sales, which hit £3.1bn.
- 2011/04/15: CSM: E-book sales overtake paperbacks in February
This February, US publishers sold more e-books than they did books in any other format, including paperbacks and hardcovers, according to a report from the Association of American Publishers. This marks the first time ever that e-book sales have surpassed those of all other formats.
E-book sales totaled $90.3 million in February, a 202% increase compared to the same month a year earlier.
- 2011/04/12: CBC: Amazon unveils Kindle e-reader with ads
- 2011/03/22: BBC: Google books agreement torpedoed by US court
- 2011/03/22: CSM: Amazon deals a blow to Lendle e-book lending site
- 2011/03/09: CBC: HarperCollins sets checkout limits on library e-books
- 2011/03/03: EUO: Brussels raids publishers suspected of e-book price-fixing
- 2010/12/22: BWeek: Amazon.com Kindle Sales [8 million] Are Said to Exceed Estimates [5 million]
- 2010/12/01: CBC: Google readies e-book online store -- Editions
- 2010/11/22: UCin: UC Breakthrough May Lead to Disposable e-Readers
A discovery by University of Cincinnati engineering researcher Andrew Steckl could revolutionize display technology with e-paper that’s fast enough for video yet cheap enough to be disposable.
- 2010/11/09: PhysOrg: US e-book sales near one billion dollars in 2010: Forrester
Sales of electronic books are expected to hit nearly one billion dollars in the United States this year and to triple by 2015, according to a new report by Forrester Research Inc.
The market research firm said US spending on e-books was expected to total 966 million dollars this year, up from 301 million dollars last year and to reach 2.81 billion dollars in 2015.
- 2010/10/29: CBC: The battle of the e-readers -- Amazon, Kobo and Sony are locked in a vicious fight for market share
- 2010/09/23: SlashDot: E-Books Are Only 6% of Printed Book Sales
- 2010/09/20: CBC: E-books: A new chapter begins -- Kobo CEO says the rise of e-books may change everything in publishing
- 2010/08/27: EUO: EU book digitisation project needs 'Wikipedia'-style army of volunteer editors
- 2010/08/27: PhysOrg: E-reader faceoff: Kindle or Nook? Here's a comparison
- 2010/08/20: PhysOrg: E-reading: Revolution in the making or fading fad?
- 2010/08/20: SlashDot: Will Amazon Put Advertisements In eBooks?
- 2010/08/12: CSM: E-books arrive with a rush -- and caveats
- 2010/08/04: DerSpiegel: Random House CEO on the E-Book Age -- 'The Printed Book Will Still Dominate for a Long Time to Come'
In a Spiegel interview, Random House CEO Markus Dohle, 42, discusses the world's biggest publisher's plans for the e-book age, his company's tough negotiations with Apple and why the printed book will continue to dominate publishing.
- 2010/08/03: SlashDot: Connecticut AG To Grill Amazon, Apple Over E-Book Price Fixing
- 2010/08/01: PhysOrg: Soaring e-book sales speak volumes
- 2010/07/20: CBC: E-book sales outpacing hardcovers: Amazon
- 2010/07/20: SlashDot: eBook Sales Outpace Hardbacks [at Amazon 9 to 5]
- 2010/07/15: TreeHugger: Cool-er e-Reader Goes Out of Business, A Sign for the Digital Books Market?
- 2010/07/05: SlashDot: Reading E-Books Takes Longer Than Reading Paper Books
- 2010/06/29: CBC: Regina bookstore closing, e-books blamed
- 2010/05/05: CSM: Google Editions will enter the e-book race
- 2010/05/05: CBC: Google to enter e-book market
Google plans to start selling digital books this summer through a service called Google Editions, a company official says.
The service, launching in late June or July, would put the search-engine giant in competition with Amazon and Apple, with one difference: Google's service would work through a web browser and wouldn't be tied to a specific device.
- 2010/03/24: CBC: Indigo targets Amazon with Kobo e-reader
- 2010/03/19: PhysOrg: Decision on Google library likely to change publishing indelibly
Google has been busy. The Internet giant has been copying and storing millions of the world's out-of-print and out-of-copyright books in a vast online archive. It could all be just a mouse click away from your computer screen if the effort, known as the Google Books Library Project, survives a legal challenge.
At stake is access to millions of texts, billions of pages, trillions of words that constitute nothing less than human memory and identity.
At stake, too, is who gets paid -- a decision that could affect the future of the publishing industry.
Suppose you want to read, say, Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" in the original edition. Or the first printing of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Or you don't have a Shakespeare "First Folio" lying around but want to browse it. How about a look at some printed shipping or immigration registers?
Someday you'll be able to access all of them. A world online library.
Just dying to grab the 1840 edition of Jacob Bigelow's "Florula bostoniensis" (a catalog of flowers in the Boston area)? Already on Google Books, and, quick, you can access it right now!
But in the digital future, you often will pay for access, meaning you often will pay Google, which is way ahead in the race to upload and store all, or nearly all, of the world's precious old texts.
- 2010/03/11: PhysOrg: Google's library project forces important media decisions
Sometime in the near future, a federal judge will decide whether Google can proceed with its plan to create a digital library and bookstore out of millions of old books scanned from libraries around the world.
- 2010/03/10: PhysOrg: Google to digitize old books from Rome, Florence
Google says it will scan up to 1 million old books in national libraries in Rome and Florence, including works by astronomer Galileo Galilei, in what's being described as the first deal of its kind.
- 2010/02/19: DerSpiegel: Competition for Google -- A German Library for the 21st Century
The German Digital Library wants to make millions of books, films, images and audio recordings accessible online. More than 30,000 libraries, museums and archives are expected to contribute their digitized cultural artifacts. The idea, in part, is to compete with Google Books. But will it work?
- 2010/01/12: PhysOrg: E-reader Roundup At The 2010 CES
- 2010/01/06: EFF: E-Book Buyer's Guide to Privacy
- 2009/12/27: PhysOrg: Amazon Christmas day e-book sales beat print sales
- 2009/12/09: NewScientist:CL: Holiday wish list: E-reader round-up
- 2009/09/14: CNN: E-books catching on with readers
Book lovers are gravitating to new e-reading technologies like Amazon's Kindle - Key developments in displays are improving e-book reading devices -
Electronic readers could become as thin as a sheet of paper - E-books are only 1 to 3 percent of the publishing market but are growing fast
- 2009/08/15: BBC: Sony to support open ebook format
Sony is taking steps to open up its ebook Reader and online ebook store.
The electronics giant said it would stop using a proprietary standard in favour of the ePub open format.
Sony said it would have its store converted to the format by the end of 2009. Most Sony Readers can already handle books in the ePub format.
This may not mean the end of all locks on books readable on Sony's device as the ePub format has an option to implement copyright controls.
"Consumers should not have to worry about which device works with which store," said Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading business division, in a statement.
He added that the shift "allows Sony to make its e-book store compatible with multiple devices and its Reader devices open to multiple sources for content".
The common format would give Sony Reader owners much more choice about where they get their ebooks from.
- 2009/03/19: CBC: Sony e-book reader gets 500,000 books from Google
- 2008/12/16: CBC: Ottawa library offers e-books to armchair borrowers
- 2008/11/24: TreeHugger: Random House Hot for E-Books, Digitizing Thousands of Titles
- 2008/11/19: PhysOrg: Massive EU online library looks to compete with Google
- 2008/05/24: PhysOrg: Microsoft closes the book on online library
Microsoft said Friday it is ending its quest to create an online library of the world's books as the technology titan revamps its strategy to battle Internet search king Google.
- 2007/12/08: BDL: A Small Piece of Ebook History - From Project Gutenberg
- 2007/11/27: PhysOrg: Online library gives readers access to 1.5 million books
The Million Book Project, an international venture led by Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, Zhejiang University in China, the Indian Institute of Science in India and the Library at Alexandria
in Egypt, has completed the digitization of more than 1.5 million books, which are now available online.
For the first time since the project was initiated in 2002, all of the books, which range from Mark Twain’s "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court" to "The Analects of Confucius,"
are available through a single Web portal of the Universal Library, said Gloriana St. Clair, Carnegie Mellon’s dean of libraries.
- 2007/11/19: BBC: Amazon debuts digital book reader
- 2007/10/22: SlashDot: Internet Archive Challenges Google
- 2006/08/31: Eureka: Global Text Project aims to create free, Wiki-based textbooks for developing nations
- 2006/08/30: BBC: Google makes novels free to print
Search engine Google plans to offer consumers the chance to download and print classic novels free of charge.
- 2006/02/08: BBC: US college backs Google Book plan
A leading US academic [Mary Sue Coleman] has defended Google's controversial plan to digitise the contents of major libraries.
- 2005/05/24: BBC: Google's books online under fire - A US publishing organisation has accused Google of breaching copyright rules through a plan to put university libraries online.
- 2004/12/14: SlashDot: Google To Digitize Much of Harvard's Library
- LOC: American Memory Sound Recording Collections
Last modified January 31, 2014