It’s taken all of seven years and plenty of time in court, but Google and a group of publishers have finally reached an out-of-court settlement to resolve a dispute over the digitization of books for the Google Library Project. What does that mean? Hopefully that longer samples of books will be available in Google Play before consumers have to decide whether or not to buy it.
One of the first settlement amounts to be announced in a nationwide agreement between various states and a group of three of the country’s largest book publishers comes today, as Washington state says e-book consumers will receive $2 million over allegations of e-book price fixing.
The ritual of a bedtime story is a sacred one for many parents and their children — letting the kids turn the pages, pointing out colorful characters and enjoying the stories together. But while plenty of parents love the tradition of a paper book, e-books are gaining on physical books.
As any thrifty e-book reader knows, there are a ton of cheap and free public domain titles available for download. But one War and Peace reader in North Carolina was confused about the new word he saw among the 1,100 or so pages of the classic Tolstoy novel.
Since the introduction of the iPad, e-book fans have generally fallen into two camps — those who prefer the E Ink technology in Kindles and Nooks because it causes less eye strain and uses relatively low battery power; and those who prefer the backlit screens of tablet computers, which allow them to read without the need for a secondary light source. The Nook has come up with one possible solution, and now Amazon is reportedly set to launch a Kindle that would use a front-lit system to allow people to read in the dark.
Barnes & Noble has launched a new $139 version of its Nook Simple Touch e-reader with a lighted e-ink screen that promises you can read in bed without disturbing your sleeping spouse.
In the midst of a lawsuit from the Department of Justice, Apple is all, “What? Who? Us? Price fixing e-books? No! Never!” They issued a statement saying they weren’t involved in conspiring with major publishers to set the price of e-books in an agency model, and that anyway, agency models are a benefit to the industry.
UPDATE: The DOJ has announced settlement terms with three of the six publisher named in the lawsuit.
Ever since Apple got into the e-book business, publishers have been determining their own prices for titles, meaning that e-books, in spite of having minimal overhead costs, are often sold for higher prices than their print counterparts. But it looks like the Justice Dept. antitrust investigation into this so-called “agency pricing” model is nearing an end — and may result in more affordable e-books for everyone.
E-books are easy to carry and make shopping for books an anytime, anywhere kind of experience. Which is why new research that says reading habits are speeding up among those using e-readers makes sense. In fact, they tend to read more often than those who read strictly print material, including books, magazines and news articles.
Perhaps lugging around a thick paper copy of any of the seven books in the Harry Potter series has deterred you from indulging in a re-read, or even attempting a first go at the books. But starting today, J.K. Rowling’s novels involving the world of wizards are available in e-book format.
On the eve of its first match in this year’s Worst Company In America tournament, PayPal has changed its relatively new policy that would have forbidden the service’s use in the purchasing of e-books detailing certain sexual acts and behaviors.
The U.S. Justice Department is inching closer to legal action against Apple and five e-book publishers who are reportedly pricing books under an “agency model” that isn’t the greatest for consumers. The government is threatening to take legal action if the issue isn’t resolved soon.
Glancing at your bulging bookshelf and then over at your slim reader might make you wonder if paper books will someday go the way of the dinosaur in favor of e-books. For a few reasons at least, hang on to those paper copies, as there are still some drawbacks to reading electronic fare.