Category Archives: Google

Google Now Selling & Renting e-Textbooks in Canada

google play booksWith Inkling, Kno, and Coursesmart all having gotten out of selling digital textbooks to students, you’d think that a company as smart as Google would think twice about entering the market. But you would be wrong.

Google went against the flow today, and expanded their digital textbook efforts to Canada . College students in Canada can now take advantage of Google’s high prices and difficult to use apps. Continue reading

Spain’s Google Tax Passes Lower House, Imperils News and Aggregation Sites

7530235974_9aab70e173_c[1]Spain’s long debated online tax on Google News and other aggregation sites passed the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower chamber of Parliament, last week and it is as bad as Google (and anyone who depends on Google) could have feared.

Not only does the new law require Google News as well as aggregators like Flipboard (and even Facebook for that matter) to pay for the use of an excerpt, it also explicitly prevents publishers from granting permission for the excerpts to be used for free. Continue reading

Google Reports Play Store Revenues Up, Might Actually be Selling More eBooks than B&N

google play booksLate last week Google released their second quarter earnings report. Said report doesn’t break down into specific details, but Google did reveal that the segment which included the Google Play Store hit $1.6 billion in revenues. Continue reading

Google Partners with Adobe to Release Unified Font Family for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean

multi-language-sample-v3[1]Yesterday Adobe and Google improved the reading experience of a quarter of the world’s population.

The two tech companies have cooperated in the development of Noto Sans, a free font family which is designed to provide a richer and more beautiful reading experience for Japanese, Chinese (both traditional and simplified), and Korean across both apps and OSes. Continue reading

Google Responds to Authors Guild in Google Books Appeal

5226636919_34c460f5f9_b[1]The Authors Guild may have lost its 8-year-long lawsuit against Google last November, but they’re not through. The AG filed an appeal of that ruling in April of this year, and on last Thursday Google filed its response (PDF).

In the appeal, Google starts by reiterating its arguments that its book-scanning project fell under the Fair Use clause of US copyright law. Frequently citing the similar HaithiTrust ruling, Google’s brief takes us through the four parts of the fair use exception while noting that “statutory factors are not a scorecard”. Continue reading

Google’s Android One Budget Smartphone Designs Could Mean More eReading in the 3rd World

Android_One_headLong term readers of this blog know that I am a fan of low-cost Android tablets. I’ve owned quite a few over the past few years and prefer them as my main reading device, so when I read today about Google’s new Android One initiative I was cautiously optimistic.

According to the Google blog: Continue reading

German Publishers File Antitrust Complaint Against Google over Ad Revenues, Snippets

360505392_69557c287d_o[1]When German publishers filed a copyright licensing complaint against Google last week, I pointed out that the publishers had a weak case in their demands that Google pay them 11% of its revenues.

They had already given Google permission to use their snippets and links for free, thus rendering any demands for payment moot. Apparently the publishers saw that flaw in their case as well, and they have taken steps to repair it. Continue reading

German Publishers Want 11% of Google’s Revenues

google-germany-logo-06[1]Earlier this week I reported on a coalition of major German publishers which had filed a lawsuit against Google. The publishers wanted to be paid for the privilege of being listed in Google’s search results, and after a similar legislative effort didn’t succeed this year decided to pursue the issue in court. Continue reading

German Publishers Sue Google, Demand Google Pay for Giving them Free Advertising

google-is-evil-300x270-1314103412[1]Not satisfied with simply getting free advertising from search engines like Google, media companies in one country after another have tried time after time to force Google to pay for all the visitors that Google sends to their  websites.

This idea has been tried in Germany, Belgium, and France, and it is currently being considered in Spain. So far none of the attempts have had much success (although the French media did squeeze a token payment out of Google), and today I learned that a newspaper cooperative in Germany is going to mount a second attempt to force Google to pay for the free advertising it gives them. Continue reading