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Posts tagged cory doctorow

E-Books pit libraries against publishers, free against sales
August 7, 2013 | 8:28 pm

A few pieces on the sometimes adversarial relationship between libraries and publishers when it comes to e-books have come to my attention. First, there’s this piece covering Cory Doctorow’s appearance at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago, complete with a four-minute YouTube video. Doctorow notes that the most powerful interests in the book industry today do not have writers’ best interests at heart. Amazon wants to sell more books, but only because that makes them money. “Not because they’re evil, but because they’re a for-profit corporation and that’s their thing.” Publishers, on the other hand, want to sell...

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley says let my freebies go
August 4, 2013 | 10:08 pm

YouTubeThe Australian House of Representatives committee report on hardware and software pricing, geographical restrictions, copyright law, and other issues around tech and digital media in Australia, hasn't exactly vanished into the legislative waste basket. Indeed, it's sparked comment and reaction across the Internet thanks to the spectacle of a developed economy siding with the little guy against Big Media. And one of the highest-level comments so far comes from Chad Hurley, former CEO of YouTube, courtesy of the Australian Financial Review. “I definitely think we are in a global consumer environment now,” he opines in the AFR. “I think the business models...

The problem with watermarking
July 9, 2013 | 10:38 pm

coyote-caughtRemember SiDiM, that supposedly novel idea for secretly watermarking a text by changing random words in order to be able to tell who leaked it? (“Novel” is right. Tom Clancy’s protagonist in The Hunt for Red October proposed something similar as a way to tell who leaked classified documents.) Cory Doctorow has his turn taking shots at it in his latest Publisher’s Weekly column. Apart from noting that it could be defeated just by comparing two or more different copies of the same text and randomizing the differences, he points out one of the biggest problems with the idea, and...

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,...

Locus Awards 2013 Ballot Announced
May 9, 2013 | 4:54 pm

From Boing Boing comes news of this year's Locus nominees, shared there because one of its editors, Cory Doctorow, is nominated. I am not a huge SF reader, so most of these have stayed off my radar. But if you go for that stuff, enjoy this list of good books! SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL • The Hydrogen Sonata, Iain M. Banks (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) • Caliban’s War, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • Redshirts, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz) FANTASY NOVEL • The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan...

Kobo’s response to the WH Smith DRM situation
March 21, 2013 | 2:13 pm

WH SmithYesterday morning, we brought to your attention a rather unusual situation that had been taking place in the WH Smith e-retail store: Kobo e-books that were meant to be DRM-free had been listed on the WH Smith site as having digital rights management software added. Even books that had been authored by Cory Doctorow, perhaps the most vocal opponent of DRM today, were listed as having DRM installed. After contacting both Kobo and WH Smith and requesting statements about the situation from both, we heard from Kobo's Toronto-based media relations manager, René d'Entremont. And while his message wasn't exactly the picture of clarity,...

Updated: WH Smith adding DRM to Cory Doctorow books, and others’
March 20, 2013 | 10:28 am

WH Smith DRMCould there possibly be a modern author better known for his extremely anti-DRM stance than Cory Doctorow? Certainly not many, at any rate. But Kobo owners visiting the WH Smith e-retail store and attempting to buy Doctorow's books would be forgiven for thinking otherwise: They've all been saddled with digital rights management. (Scroll down for the incriminating screen shot.) The Bangkok-based author Simon Royle brought this truly odd turn of events to our attention this morning; if you happen to be a regular reading of the KBoards, you may have already seen the thread Royle created just after 7 a.m. this morning. "I was happy...

Check out my first-ever e-book reader!
March 14, 2013 | 4:26 pm

I mentioned earlier that it's been spring cleaning week here. Well, in amongst one of those random boxes of this and that, I unearthed this gem: my first-ever e-book reader! Back when I purchased this puppy for $50 plus shipping off eBay (a fortune!), it was 2005 and I was living in New Zealand for a year, doing a graduate program. The town I lived in was the fourth-largest in the country, but to my jaded North American city girl eyes, it was hardly a bustling metropolis. There were cows five minutes up the road from me. There was a sheep...

Book Promotion: What Works, What Doesn’t
March 5, 2013 | 11:02 am

book promotionThanks to Nate over at The Digital Reader for alerting me to this great blog post by author Lindsay Buroker. Buroker runs through a number of Amazon 'tricks' which, for various reasons, are losing steam as powerhouse author tools. Some tools, such as tagging and keyword manipulation, never worked that well anyway because people don't tend to search for books using those methods. Others, such as freebie promotions, are less potent than they used to be because of Amazon's restrictions on these practices. So, what was Buroker's perhaps surprising conclusion? She points out that authors should not lose heart when these things...

Class Action Lawsuit Against Amazon and Publishers Misses the Mark
February 21, 2013 | 12:52 pm

According to the Huffington Post, three independent bookstores are filing a class action suit against Amazon and the "Big Six" publishers. Alyson Decker of Blecher & Collins PC, lead counsel acting for the bookstores, described DRM as "a problem that affects many independent bookstores." She said the complaint is still in the process of being served to Amazon and the publishers, and declined to state how it came about, or whether other bookstores had been approached to be party to the suit. "We are seeking relief for independent brick-and-mortar bookstores so that they would be able to sell open-source and DRM-free books that...

Our upcoming TOC 2013 coverage
February 12, 2013 | 12:39 pm

Author Revolution Day O'Reilly's Tools of Change for Publishing 2013O'Reilly's annual Tools of Change for Publishing conference just got underway this morning at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. And while we unfortunately weren't able to make it New York for the event's first day, we will be on the scene, tweeting and reporting live, throughout days two and three. Today's big TOC draw, of course, is the (day-long) event being referred to as Author (R)evolution Day, which may very well end up being considered a revolutionary event in and of itself; the focus is on independent authors and the swiftly-growing self-publishing scene. As the TOC site describes it,...

Games Workshop, self-publishing author battle over ‘space marines’
February 9, 2013 | 1:19 pm

spots-marineSelf-publishing has a lot of advantages and just as many countervailing drawbacks. The biggest advantage is, of course, you get to be your own boss and can publish whatever you want to, without some publisher taking a cut of the money. But the dark side of this freedom is that it can leave you vulnerable if some big company with money and lawyers decides it doesn’t like what you’re doing. And even if their claims are completely outlandish, it will cost you money you don’t have—more money than your book will ever make—to fight them, and you don’t have any guarantee...