Over the past two months Amazon has been supporting their very public and very rough book contract negotiations with a subtle media campaign which has kept indies on the sideline. By saying little and letting the publishers leak details, Amazon has avoided giving indies a reason to join sides with the major publishers that Amazon is fighting.
That was a smart move, but yesterday everything changed. Amazon released a statement which inadvertently confirmed that indie authors and publishers have a horse in this race. Continue reading
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
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
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
I was waiting for this shoe to drop.
The WSJ reported yesterday that the US Dept of Justice is asking questions of publishers. It seems someone at the DOJ has noticed that 2 years have passed since 3 major US trade publishers settled an antitrust lawsuit over a conspiracy to fix prices, and the DOJ wanted to see if the trio weren’t back up to their old tricks. Continue reading
Hot on the heels of news that Oyster had signed a trio of publishers comes new reports that their competition is doing the same.
Earlier this week the kid-focused service Epic announced a deal with Capstone Young Readers to add 500 titles to Epic’s current catalog. The new additions include licensed titles from DC Entertainment, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Tony Hawk and Warner Brothers. Epic offers Netflix-style subscription access to nearly 4,000 ebooks for kinds aged 7 to 12 for $9.99 a month, and currently offers an iPad app. Continue reading
When it rains, it pours.
Hot on the heels of reports of 2 indie ebook retailers filing antitrust lawsuits against Apple and 5 publishers comes a new story of a new antitrust lawsuit. Judge Denise Cote, aka the bane of Apple’s existence, certified a new class action lawsuit on Friday against Apple and HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. Continue reading
The Publisher’s Association announced on Monday that they were launching a year-long e-lending pilot program which would study the effects of ebook lending in libraries.
According to the announcement, the goal of the pilot is to conduct research into the impact of ebook lending in public libraries on authors, publishers and on the library service. The Publisher’s Association says that they want to find “a suitable and sustainable model for all stakeholders”. Continue reading
Never one to take NO for an answer, RoyaltyShare founder Bob Kohn filed an appeal today over the recently approved settlement agreements between Macmillan and Penguin and the DOJ.
It seems that Mr. Kohn wasn’t satisfied when Judge Denise Cote ignored his amicus curae pre-trial filing in September 2012, and he wasn’t satisfied when the judge shot him down when he made the same arguments in a post-trial session last month, becasue he was back _again_ last week with a new filing that made the same old arguments. Continue reading
BitTorrent launched a new commerce platform today that promises to offer artists and authors a new way to sell directly to fans/readers.
It’s called BitTorrent Bundle, and it’s going live today in a private alpha test with 8 launch partners: FADER, Cinedigm, The Collective, Gravitas Ventures, Converge Studios, Topspin, Interloper Films, and Tim Ferriss. Continue reading