A U.S. judge on Friday set a 2013 trial date for a lawsuit from the U.S. government accusing Apple and book publishers of conspiring to fix the prices of electronic books. Following a hearing in Manhattan federal court, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said a bench trial in the case will begin June 3, 2013, for Apple and two publishers who are fighting the antitrust charges.
…The publishers Macmillan and Penguin Group, which are respectively units of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH and Pearson Plc , are fighting the antitrust case. News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster and Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group settled the case with the U.S. Justice Department.
…The Invisible Woman, currently filming in London. It tells the story of Dickens’s decade-long affair with the actress Ellen Ternan, known as “Nelly”.
Despite having married Catherine Hogarth in 1836 who bore him 10 children (nine survived) Dickens fell madly in love with the actress Ternan when he was 45 and she just 18. A passionate affair began after she and her sister auditioned for a play he was putting on.
Yet, although he left his wife for her, Charles Dickens was mindful of his public image and went to great lengths to keep the relationship a secret. The Invisible Woman is based on Claire Tomalin’s acclaimed biography of Ternan and tells the story of the relationship through her eyes. It is expected in cinemas next year.
Despite his public image as a kindly, benevolent man, Dickens could be a tyrant in his personal life and kept his mistress a virtual prisoner. This scene, supposedly set on Derby Day, but filmed near Wembley, north London, would have represented a rare public outing for the pair…
If you were attacked by pirates, who would you want by your side? A loyal horde of head bangers, gangstas and hard-core punks? Or a brainy clutch of bookish types? I’d generally advise you to go with the former group. But it turns out that in the swashbuckling arena of digital piracy, the publishing world is acquitting itself far better than the brash music industry.
Exciting hardware and a critical mass of titles were integrated into an elegant e-book package that piracy has never matched.
Ten years ago this Sunday, the record labels thought they had turned the tide against piracy when the wildly popular Napster—a service that allowed anyone to find and download recordings online—declared bankruptcy. At the time, annual American music sales had dropped by about $2 billion, having peaked at $14.5 billion in 1999. The labels blamed Napster, claiming that the company encouraged copyright infringement. Sales have since declined by a further $5.5 billion—for a total plunge of over 50%.
The book business is now further into its own digital history than music was when Napster died. Both histories began when digital media became portable. For music, that was 1999, when the record labels ended a failing legal campaign to ban MP3 players. For books, it came with the 2007 launch of the Kindle.
Publishing has gotten off to a much better start. Both industries saw a roughly 20% drop in physical sales four years after their respective digital kickoffs. But e-book sales have largely made up the shortfall in publishing—unlike digital music sales, which stayed stubbornly close to zero for years.
The romance with the printed word shows no signs of abating. Despite the rapid growth in e-book sales in recent years, print book output in 2011 grew by 6%, to 347,178 titles, compared to the prior year.
The preliminary numbers released Tuesday by bibliographic database Bowker are “the most significant expansion in more than four years” in the traditional publishing sector, the company said in its annual report on U.S. print book publishing. The uptick was driven entirely by self-published titles. Without them, the number of print titles would have been flat.
"Much as e-books have been the sexier topic over the past few years, most people still read print books," noted Michael Norris, a senior analyst with publishing research firm Simba Information.
He added that the allure of print clearly extends to self-published titles. “If you talk to the given self-published author, some will admit they get a certain amount of pleasure from holding a physical book, signing it, and giving it as a gift—something that you just can’t do with e-books,” he said…
…”What was once relegated to the outskirts of our industry—and even took on demeaning names like ‘vanity press’—is now not only a viable alternative but what is driving the title growth of our industry today,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of Bowker Market Research, in a statement. “Self-publishing is a true legitimate power to be reckoned with. Coupled with the explosive growth of e-books and digital content, these two forces are moving the industry in dramatic ways.”
On Monday, Amazon Publishing announced that it had purchased Avalon Books, a 62-year-old publisher. The acquisition means that Amazon Publishing has just added 3,000 titles to its list.
Avalon is an independent publisher that has focused on specific genres. In the past, that included science fiction. Now it primarily publishes mysteries, westerns and romance. While romance is hot right now — hot and heavy, like “50 Shades of Grey” — these novels are anything but. The books Avalon has published are, it writes, “good stories and wholesome entertainment.”
AP: This drama takes place in the 1920s but its theme of freedom remains current and is universal. What do you expect the audience to take away from the movie?
Garcia: Well, I think that the overall essence is that freedom is a precious thing. People are fighting for freedom on a daily basis all around the world in contemporary society, and dying for it. This struggle has not gone away.