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Google Books

In Google Books appeal, Authors Guild decries Google’s impact on Amazon sales
April 12, 2014 | 6:12 am

The Authors Guild is appealing Google’s November fair use win in its Google Book scanning case. The Guild says that Google is “yanking readers out of online bookstores” and stifling online bookstore competition with its digitized books. "Google emptied the shelves of libraries and delivered truckloads of printed books to scanning centers, where the books were converted into digital format," the Guild's lawyers said. They wrote that the library project was designed to lure potential book purchasers away from online retailers like Amazon.com and drive them to Google. Wait, what? ...

Google Play Books adds from-device uploading in impending update
December 11, 2013 | 11:16 am

Android Police notes that Google Play Books has gotten an update that allows you to upload e-books into its cloud directly from your device, rather than being restricted to doing it only via the web site. I hadn’t realized Google Books could do cloud storage of your own e-books at all, but given that Google Play Music does cloud storage of your MP3s, I suppose I should have guessed. Need to see about trying that out. There are a few other improvements, too, like landscape mode, lower brightness settings for low-light reading, and so on. The update probably won’t...

Judge Chin dismisses suit over Google Books mass scanning as fair use, setting stage for appeal
November 14, 2013 | 8:26 pm

Juli already mentioned the big news of the day: Google has prevailed in the Authors Guild’s copyright case against it for scanning millions of books for its Google Books project. Judge Chin determined that Google Books constituted a fair use, granted Google’s motion for a summary judgment, and dismissed the case. But let’s look at the background a little. This ruling comes a few months after an appeals court ruled back at the beginning of July that Judge Chin needed to hold up on deciding whether the Authors Guild could claim class action status and look at the fair...

The Future of the Traditional Bookstore
September 11, 2013 | 2:57 pm

Here's more digital ink being spilled on this topic: what should the bookstore do? With ebooks on the rise, print on the decline and increasingly, shelf space being occupied by non-book items, what is the bookstore to do? Michael Kozlowski thinks they should be making apps, to lessen their reliance on third parties like Google and Amazon. While I think he does fine work over at GoodeReader, I have to disagree with him on this one. We don't need more apps. We don't need more ecosystems. We don't need to fragment a not-quite-settled marketplace yet with still more stuff, for two...

Android defragmentation via Google Play Services: Implications for e-books?
September 3, 2013 | 11:56 am

An excellent post by  Ron Amadeo on Ars Technica encapsulates Google's changes to software upgrade procedures and rollouts of new generations of Android. Amadeo's thesis—and while unsupported by specific comment from Google, it's pretty hard to refute—is that Google has given up on trying to dragoon all its OEMs into updating Android on their multitude of devices—often with their own in-house skins—and instead is going for incremental upgrades to the Android ecosystem through the back door. The back door in this case is Google Play Services. As Amadeo says: "It has its own silent, automatic update mechanism that the user has no control...

Google makes case for Google Books scanning as ‘transformative’ fair use
August 28, 2013 | 10:15 am

Is Google’s book scanning practice “transformative”? Google argues that it is, the Authors Guild argues that it isn’t, This could be an important part of determining whether Google scanning all those books in violation of copyright could be considered a “fair use.” It follows on the heels of the appeals court decision back in July requiring that the circuit court rule on whether Google Book Search constituted fair use before deciding if the suit warranted class action status. Google argues that its book search program was such an improvement over existing search functionality for books that its use was...

‘Undownloading’ — the New Geographical Restriction?
August 20, 2013 | 9:18 am

Google BooksFrom Techdirt comes this upsetting but not terribly surprising story about a Georgetown professor who downloaded a Google Books update while travelling, and then had it 'undownload' his books when it detected he was outside the USA. From the article: "What makes this tale particularly noteworthy is the way it brings together a host of really bad ideas that the publishing and distribution industries insist on deploying. There's DRM that means you can't make backups; there's the country-specific usage that tries to impose physical geography on your digital ebooks; and there's the update that spies on you and your system before deciding unilaterally...

The Internet Archive’s Open Library is violating authors’ copyrights
July 10, 2013 | 8:53 pm

Open Library is a project of Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive. We’ve written about Kahle, the Archive, and Open Library a few times, including some times I’d forgotten about. Kahle’s Internet Archive was first founded as a way to keep a historical record of the ever-changing Internet for the benefit of future sociological and cultural researchers; it later expanded into archiving other media as well. More recently, Kahle started collecting print books, and scanning them as well as archiving them; it was his intention to collect and save one of every print book ever published. These scanned books would also...

Google Books appeals court ruling denies Authors Guild class action status, demands ruling on fair use
July 1, 2013 | 8:52 pm

Hey, remember the big e-book trial? No, not that one, the other one. The latest news to come out of the courts about the big Authors Guild vs Google case is that the Second Court of Appeals has sided with Google in putting a hold on Judge Chin’s decision that the Authors Guild could have class-action status to represent all authors who had been wronged by Google. Perhaps the more interesting part of the decision, however, was why they did it. The Second Court said that they felt the question of class action status was premature at...

The Apple trial, agency pricing, and The Battle of $9.99
June 21, 2013 | 10:28 pm

large_battle5So, arguments wrapped up today in the Department of Justice’s anti-trust case against Apple. Juli Monroe has already done an excellent job of pulling out some slides from the Powerpoint shows and noting what the wavy lines on the charts mean. Over on Fortune, Philip Elmer-Dewitt covers the arguments in a more general sense, with a summary that is well worth reading. There’s really not much point in reiterating the arguments in great detail here; Elmer-Dewitt does a good enough job, and really nothing new came out today that hasn’t been said over the last couple of weeks. (Also,...

Dark Horse Comics Available on Google Play
March 25, 2013 | 1:00 pm

At the risk of angering Dan with yet another article featuring the company that begins with the letter "G," I wanted to let you know about some new comics available on Google Play. Over 400 Dark Horse volumes are available in any country where Play books are available. To sweeten the deal, for a limited time, the first installment of select series are on sale in the U.S. and Canada for $3.99. You may be saying, "So what? Dark Horse comics are on Comixology." True, but some of the titles on Google Play aren't available on Comixology, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer....

Google Play Books launches in Mexico
March 21, 2013 | 12:40 pm

Good news for our readers in Mexico. You can now get books through Google Play, in addition to apps. Slashgear kindly reported on it for those of us who can't read Spanish. (It was announced yesterday on Google+ Mexico.) According to Slashgear: Publishing houses offering content for users in Mexico include Random House Mondadori and Planeta, according to a statement made on the Google Mexico G+ profile. In addition to local titles, international titles are also available, providing access to bestselling novels from overseas. The article discussed reading on smartphones and tablets, but didn't mention e-readers, so my first question, having never used...