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Konrath vs. Stross on the Amazon/Hachette affair
May 27, 2014 | 4:37 am

So, more people have chimed in on the Amazon/Hachette thing. Most notably, Charlie Stross has blogged about it. Given that he’s published by Orbit, a subsidiary of Hachette, it’s understandable that his point of view is rather similar to Lilith Saintcrow’s: Amazon is a “malignant monopoly” engaging in predatory pricing, bullying Hachette, and so forth. Joe Konrath and pseudonymous guest blogger William Ockham have a different point of view. Konrath posted an essay to his blog in which they demolish Stross’s arguments point by point. Most of it is the same argument/counter-argument we’ve been hearing over and...

Smashwords delivers titles quicker to the iBookstore
May 19, 2014 | 12:25 pm

SmashwordsSmashwords has taken steps to improve delivery to Apple’s iBookstore, the company announced on Sunday. Published e-books have appeared as quickly as the same day when submitted through Smashwords’ distributions network recently. Previously, the items would take several days to show up in the iBookstore. “We’re working to provide our authors and publishers faster retailer deliveries and faster metadata updates with the highest possible accuracy and reliability,” Smashwords founder and CEO Mark Coker wrote on the company blog. “We’re now shipping five times daily seven days per week to iBooks, and in the months ahead we’ll push that envelope further.” Part of the...

Steve Jobs may have escaped criminal charges due to ‘reality distortion field’
May 3, 2014 | 3:50 pm

Why didn’t Apple executives (or, for that matter, the publishers) face criminal charges in the antitrust lawsuit stemming from agency pricing? Until now, the theory I had heard was that it was because none of the actions the publishers or Apple had taken was illegal by itself—there were no examples of bribery, falsifying documents, or any other overtly criminal activity. Everything they did would have been legal if they’d only done it by themselves; the antitrust violation came about because they got together and elected to do it all at once. However, this New York Times article asks the...

Morning roundup: Of copyright and treaties, OSX Redesign, authors and agents, and a discounted Nook Glowlight
May 2, 2014 | 2:07 am

New Paper Says It's Time To Reasonably Decrease Copyright Term And Rethink Putting Copyright In Treaties (Techdirt) The full paper is well worth reading, detailing just how distorted copyright has become from its original purpose. -- Apple Will Reportedly Unveil 'End-to-End' OSX Redesign at WWDC (GigaOM) Apple will focus on Mac OS X at its upcoming developer’s conference on June 2, according to a new report. -- Authors’ Views on the Value of an Agent (Digital Book World) Are agents worth their fifteen percent? The 2014 Digital Book World and...

Will it help Apple to be big in Japan?
April 30, 2014 | 1:25 pm

appleKantar Worldpanel ComTech has just released its worldwide smartphone sales figures for the first quarter of 2014, with some (moderately) encouraging news for Apple, especially in the light of the not-so-encouraging breakdown in their figures for the previous quarter, as well as some similarly discouraging reporting from IDC. In Japan particularly, the iPhone accounted for 42 percent of sales on leading local network NTT DoCoMo, 59 percent on KDDI AU and 81 percent on Softbank. Elsewhere, however, Apple is not looking so rosy. Kantar notes 70.7 percent market share for Android across the five key European markets of the UK, Germany,...

In wake of Amazon acquisition, ComiXology drops Apple in-app purchases
April 26, 2014 | 5:52 pm

Since its recent acquisition by Amazon, people have been wondering what changes Amazon is going to make to the company. The first one came along today: ComiXology is retiring its old iPhone and iPad e-comic applications, and releasing new ones that remove the ability to buy comics as in-app purchases from Apple devices. You have to buy them from the web store now. Unless you’re on Android, in which case the in-app store works just fine. This is, of course, because of that pesky 30% commission Apple enforces on all in-app purchases. Amazon has steadfastly refused to pay...

States rights to damages bode ill for Apple
April 16, 2014 | 6:25 pm

AppleLegal developments around the Apple ebook price fixing debacle are not exactly going Cupertino's way. Most recently, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, to no one's great surprise, returned a negative response to Apple's motion to dismiss the damage claims brought by 33 states of the Union in their previous parallel case alongside the U.S. Justice Department. According to Reuters, the damage claims from U.S. states could amount to some $840 million. "Apple now moves to dismiss the antitrust action filed by the States. Apple contends that the States lack standing to assert their claims against Apple or, at the very least,...

Judge Cote certifies consumer suits for class action in Apple antitrust case
March 29, 2014 | 7:45 am

Calling it a “paradigmatic antitrust class action,” Judge Denise Cote has granted class-action certification to the consumers whose suit against Apple makes up one third of the intricate bundle of cases she is presiding over in the Apple antitrust trial. (The other two thirds are, of course, the actions brought by the Department of Justice and the state attorneys general.) She also denied Apple’s request to disregard the plaintiff’s damage expert, and threw out the opinions of the experts Apple had consulted in regard to damages. Not many surprises there for anyone who’s been following the trial so far. ...

Apple is retiring iPad 2 in favor of iPad 4
March 18, 2014 | 10:25 am

apple is retiring ipad 2Thanks, Nate, for bringing this to my attention. Today, Apple is retiring the iPad 2. The iPad 4 is now the budget full size iPad. $399 gets you a 16GB version. $529 will get you a cellular version I think this is a good move for Apple. I sold my iPad 2 around the middle of last year and upgraded to an iPad 4. I've not regretted it. Both the display and the speed were a significant improvement over the iPad 2. I was surprised they maintained the older iPad for as long as they did. Some have complained about there only...

Apple anti-trust plaintiffs want summary judgment on damages, trial to stay where it is
March 10, 2014 | 1:04 pm

Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly has details on the plaintiffs’ latest filings in the Apple anti-trust case. In brief, the attorneys argue that Judge Cote has enough evidence to decide on Apple’s damages in summary judgment, without needing a trial. It’s already a well-established fact that consumers were harmed; the only question is how much the damages should be, and most experts, including Apple’s own, tend to come pretty close to the same figure on those. They also reject Apple’s request to separate the trials and move them back to their original venues. It’s too late in the game...

New developments in Apple anti-trust trial: Apple accuses Judge Cote of bias; economists file amicus brief
March 6, 2014 | 4:22 pm

Here’s a twofer of Apple anti-trust suit stories. First, from Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly comes the news that a February 21 Apple filing opposing summary judgment in the damages phase has been made public, and it’s pretty clear the gloves are off. Apple is outright accusing Judge Cote of bias, claiming that statements she made in the order denying the antitrust monitor stay suggest she’s already decided what the damages should be. I wish I could find the filing; it doesn’t seem to be in PACER. I’d love to read it for myself. I’m pretty sure this...

Apple files opening brief in e-book anti-trust trial appeal
February 26, 2014 | 7:12 pm

Ars Technica reports that Apple has filed a 75-page opening brief in its appeal of Judge Cote’s decision finding it guilty of engaging in a conspiracy with the publishers to help raise prices. The Ars article has a reasonable summary of Apple’s arguments. Fundamentally, many of them are the same arguments that lost it the case in trial court: it just negotiated the most favorable contract for itself, and couldn’t be blamed for what the publishers, busy little bees that they are, imposed on other retailers. It acted to increase competition by making it possible for new players...