Lets start off with Google and Microsoft –
- Search Engine Land has great coverage on DOJ and Google Books.
- Google added the ability to custom print books from Google Books.
- Microsoft has started to pump some life back into Microsoft Reader including retailing Reader format ebooks at Powell’s.
Amazon is next –
- New York Times wonders whether Amazon could be the WalMart of the Web. Its good to see someone else sees Amazon becoming the New WalMart.
- Amazon adds more fuel to the new WalMart fire by introducing its own brand of electronic products, AmazonBasics (cables, blank CDs, etc.).
Mike Elgan, in the middle of an ebook explosion, points out what’s wrong with eBooks
Mike Elgan rants about what’s wrong with eBooks (curiously he doesn’t seem to be aware of the Kindle’s Read To Me feature). It’s a strange topic to pick given we are in the middle of eBooks actually taking off.
He writes –
Ten years from now, both paper books and dedicated eBook readers will be considered high-end luxury devices. The vast majority of reading will be done on cell phones and general-purpose tablet PCs, in both e-text and audio formats.
Really? The ‘vast majority’ of reading will be done on cell phones and general-purpose tablet PCs.
- Firstly, it’s the Kindle and electronic book readers that helped create the current ebook explosion.
- Secondly, we’re in the middle of an ebook explosion. So, perhaps, we don’t really need to ‘fix’ ebooks.
It’s really interesting that people are coming up with dozens of reasons ebooks are broken now that ebooks are exploding. No one really cared for the last 10 years when ebooks were doing nothing.
Scribd get sued for profiting off of pirated eBooks
Author Elaine Scott, via her lawyers Camara & Sibley, is suing Scribd (the YouTube of documents) in a class action lawsuit.
It might be a really huge class –
The class purports to represent “every author who owns a valid registered copyright in a work infringed by Scribd.”
Camara & Sibley said the number of infringing material on Scribd was known only to that company but predicted that the size of the class could be huge.
The lawyers aren’t pulling any punches –
Apparently (the West Coast start-ups) believe any business may misappropriate and then publish intellectual property, as long as it ceases to use a stolen work when an author complains…Many millions of dollars have been invested in this business plan.”
It’s a good move. Finally, someone not eager to give away the starting point and platform for publishing to a company grown off of rampant piracy.
People keep coming up with the argument that when people read a pirated version of a book, you possibly ‘gain’ a reader. Shouldn’t it be the author’s choice whether they want to add readers that way?
A ‘reader’ who reads a pirated version of a book from Scribd isn’t exactly an author’s ideal target demographic.
People on the Internet doing this are entitled to get upset – however, authors and publishers are entitled to favor customers who pay them money BEFORE reading the book.