If B&T and Blio can work out a format and DRM regime that won’t annoy the long-suffering consumers already overburdened with DRM, incompatible devices and numerous apps required to read a book, having friendly local sellers onside may be the secret ingredient in winning the format wars!
I was standing in a circle of Chardonnay sippers at an art show in Santa Monica when the conversation turned to the future of reading. As a novelist, I had skin in the game, so I grabbed a canape, sidled over, and eavesdropped.
"I'll never buy one of those electronic gizmos," said a heavyset man in his fifties, a humanities professor. "I'd miss the smell of ink on paper, the conjuring of medieval libraries and ancient parchment."
Analysts now expect B&N stock to fall even further. With the ongoing fight between billionaire and key shareholder Ron Burkle and company executives Leonard and Stephen Riggio -- brothers who together hold the biggest stake in B&N -- playing out in a Delaware court on Thursday, signs point ever more clearly to the possibility that Barnes & Noble will go private. And that just might be the best step for the company to take.
The issue of orphan books –- those books with no clear copyright holder –- continues to vex digitization efforts across the globe. In Europe, it’s a particularly contentious issue, so much so that the European Commission vowed to look into the issue beginning last year. Among its first steps has been to determine the size of the problem and last month it issued a report estimating there are some three million orphan books among member states.