Amazon and Hachette Continue Tense E-Book Negotiations

During its much-publicized dispute over a new e-book contract with the Hachette Book Group, Amazon has proposed letting the publisher’s authors keep 100 percent of their e-book sales revenue while the tense negotiations continue. The proposal is Amazon’s response to Hachette authors’ complaints that they have become collateral damage in the ongoing negotiations. Hachette immediately rejected the proposal, suggesting that accepting it would be “suicidal.” Continue reading Amazon and Hachette Continue Tense E-Book Negotiations

Apple’s Settlement in E-Book Case Will Likely Pay Consumers

Apple has ended its civil class-action lawsuit over the price of e-books with a settlement that is worth an estimated $100-$300 million. Last year, a federal judge ruled that Apple broke antitrust laws by driving up the prices of e-books in cooperation with five major U.S. publishers. If Apple’s appeal of last year’s case is unsuccessful, the tech giant may be paying out millions to e-book customers. The terms of the settlement also cancel a damages trial set for July. Continue reading Apple’s Settlement in E-Book Case Will Likely Pay Consumers

Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Amazon has reportedly reached agreements with record labels in order to launch a streaming music service by June or July. The Prime music service does not plan to feature recent song releases, but will offer a catalog of tracks and albums that are six months old and older — providing an additional benefit to Prime members who already enjoy access to movies and TV shows via Instant Video, an e-books lending library, and free two-day shipping on products ordered through the retail site. Continue reading Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Will Books Follow Music and Video with Subscription Model?

The concept of “literary Netflixes” has been gaining momentum in the past few months. Oyster, a book subscription service that launched four months ago, recently raised $14 million to expand. Many members of the publishing industry are cautious about adopting a subscription model for e-books because they believe it could cannibalize sales and devalue books. However, Oyster notes that despite the apprehension, it has been signing publishers and already has a library of more than 100,000 titles. Continue reading Will Books Follow Music and Video with Subscription Model?

Pew Research: Tablets and E-Readers See Significant Increase

According to new figures released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the number of Americans 16 and older who now own a tablet or e-book reader currently stands at 43 percent. The number of tablet owners has grown to 35 percent, while the share of e-reader devices has grown to 24 percent. Pew Research notes that device owners tend to live in upper-income households and have relatively high levels of education. The numbers also indicate that women are more likely to own e-readers. Continue reading Pew Research: Tablets and E-Readers See Significant Increase

Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has released its “LSE Media Policy Project Brief” as a policy analysis of the digital media industry. It counters claims that media industries’ revenues are in overall decline, points to successful new businesses that are based on sharing, and questions copyright enforcement efforts. The brief also makes recommendations that the British government should halt the Digital Economy Act of 2010. Continue reading Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

Build Print and Digital Book Libraries with Kindle MatchBook

We recently reported that Amazon has announced a new program called Kindle Matchbook that allows book enthusiasts to buy electronic versions of books that they have already purchased in print. In many cases, the program will allow customers to pay less than what they typically would for a standalone Kindle book. Customers will pay $2.99, $1.99, $0.99 — or nothing — for an electronic book they have already purchased in print. Continue reading Build Print and Digital Book Libraries with Kindle MatchBook

Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

Now that Barnes & Noble is getting out of the tablet business, the company announced it is launching free Nook Video Apps for Android, iOS and Roku devices. The new apps enable users to purchase or rent movies for streaming and includes integration with individuals’ UltraViolet collections. No longer keeping content exclusive to Nook devices, the retailer has also updated its Android and iOS e-reader apps with the ability to read Nook Comics titles, previously not available outside of the Nook ecosystem. Continue reading Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

Justice Department Seeks to Monitor Apple’s iTunes Store

On Friday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to restrict Apple’s influence in the publishing marketplace and give the government oversight of the iTunes and App Stores. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan last month determined that Apple had conspired with five domestic book publishers to increase e-book prices. The government proposals could provide music, TV show and content owners leverage in negotiating digital distribution. Apple is appealing the ruling. Continue reading Justice Department Seeks to Monitor Apple’s iTunes Store

Federal Judge Rules that Apple Colluded on E-Book Pricing

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled yesterday that Apple colluded with five U.S. publishers in 2010 to drive up the prices of e-books. The decision threatens to limit Apple’s options when negotiating future content deals and potentially exposes the company to additional investigation of its other business practices. The decision to go to trial was considered a significant risk for Apple since the publishers, after denying any wrongdoing, had already settled similar charges. Continue reading Federal Judge Rules that Apple Colluded on E-Book Pricing

DRM News: Now You Can Own the Digital Comics You Purchase

Image Comics, publisher of the best-selling comic book “The Walking Dead,” is now selling its comics as direct digital downloads, allowing the user to own DRM-free copies. It is the first major comic publisher to move away from the current model of downloading via licensing. Despite industry concerns regarding piracy and loss of revenue, Image Comics sees digital ownership as an opportunity for increased sales and distribution. Continue reading DRM News: Now You Can Own the Digital Comics You Purchase

In the Wake of Heavy Losses, Future of Nook is Uncertain

Barnes & Noble announced this week that it will stop producing its own color tablet e-reader, the Nook, in favor of third party, co-branded devices. The company’s decision may reflect a trend in the decline of dedicated e-readers competing with the growing popularity of tablet devices. Consumers are looking to tablets, which have more features and apps available, including e-reader capability, compared to standalone e-readers. Continue reading In the Wake of Heavy Losses, Future of Nook is Uncertain

Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute are working on a new ebook DRM system called SiDiM that would change individual words of a story in an effort to combat piracy. The system would swap out text to essentially create individualized copies of an ebook that could then be tracked by the original owner. A subsidiary of the German book publisher’s association, interested in possible alternatives to the traditional lock-down approach of DRM, has joined Fraunhofer in its testing. Continue reading Researchers Testing Text-Based DRM System for Ebooks

Microsoft Reportedly to Pay $1 Billion for Nook Digital Assets

According to internal documents obtained by TechCrunch, Microsoft is pursuing a $1 billion purchase of the digital assets of Nook Media LLC, the digital book joint venture between Barnes & Noble and investors. “In this plan, Microsoft would redeem preferred units in Nook Media, which also includes a college book division, leaving it with the digital operation — e-books, as well as Nook e-readers and tablets.” Continue reading Microsoft Reportedly to Pay $1 Billion for Nook Digital Assets

New StorEbook Reader Uses Natural Voices to Tell Stories

The Web-based reader “StorEbook” has expanded on the idea of computers interacting with users via voice technology. During last week’s Foundry event, the audio book’s “voice synthesis engine” was demonstrated as it recited the classic tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The Web-based app, which uses AT&T’s Natural Voices, provides story characters with multiple voices, creating a new dynamic to the idea of “story time.” Continue reading New StorEbook Reader Uses Natural Voices to Tell Stories

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