AFP – The US Justice Department has advised a court to reject a legal settlement between Google and authors and publishers that would allow the Internet giant to scan and sell millions of books online [Yahoo! Books and Publishing News]
The Open Book Alliance is made up of a wide coalition of librarians, legal scholars, authors, publishers, and technology companies dedicated to countering the proposed Google Book Settlement. From time to time, we will publish posts from members of our group. This one comes from Michael Borges, Executive Director of the New York Library Association. [Open Book Alliance]
The Open Book Alliance’s Peter Brantley admits that digitizing books is an important step toward the future, but cautions that there are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. The Google Books settlement is the wrong way, he says.
The current settlement proposal is the wrong way. It would stifle innovation and competition in favor of a monopoly over the access, distribution, and pricing of the largest digital database of books in the world.
Literary agent Nathan Bransford wonders whether authors of the future will actually need publishers. The publishing industry is, like many others, in the throes of major transformation.
My guess is that we’ll continue to see the mainstream publishing industry focus on the bestselling titles, and there will be a new crop of e-publishing services available for the rest. Some titles will rise up from the morass of author-published works and receive attention from the mainstream publishers, and some big authors will choose to take on the responsibilities of publishing themselves and bypass the publishers.
BookSquare offers some interesting insight into the pros and cons of publishing ebooks rather than in a traditional paper format.
Report: Hollywood Reporter to kill print edition, Variety to go behind pay wall – Deadline Hollywood Daily
Nikki Finke hears that Variety will put up its pay wall next year, and the Hollywood Reporter will become an online-only publication before the end of 2009. [Poynter Romenesko]
Tampa Tribune editor Janet Coats believes there needs to be a more aggressive approach to getting online ad revenue. "We have spent 15 years in this industry getting newsrooms to change. By God, they have changed. How much have things changed on the ad side?"
The Open Book Alliance has posted videos of last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Google Books settlement.
Alan Warms thinks it’s a giant step backward in online news distribution. It’s also nothing really new. For years, traditional media have devised and developed and partnered with technology companies to "digitize" their print content in print layout form. Thus far, none have been as successful as news content delivered via plain old vanilla web browser. (hat tip: @freddieoconnell)
From a consumer standpoint, I don’t get this at all. I’ve spent from late 2005 to the end of last year almost exclusively on online news — seeing what’s worked and what doesn’t — and this feels like those “magazine readers” that appeared regularly through the last ten years.
Lightning Source, the print-on-demand brand of Ingram Content Group, and trade book publisher Hachette Livre are planning a joint venture that will create a print-on-demand hub in France. Lightning Source already offers print-on-demand services in both the United States and the UK.
Phase 1 of the joint venture will enable Hachette to vastly extend the range of services it makes available to both Hachette-controlled publishing houses and to third party customers of its distribution facility. With the successful completion of Phase 1, Phase 2 of the joint venture will be launched giving independent publishers the option to participate in the POD program, regardless of ownership or distribution contracts.