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Posts tagged Europe

Cause for concern for copyright holders over EU DG Market Commission roles?
September 12, 2014 | 12:25 pm

bookstoreSome alarmed articles have been put about about the transfer of the European Commission copyright portfolio to Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, German Guenther Oettinger, who inherits this from the Internal Market & Services Directorate General (DG Market) arm, where it was siloed in units D1 and D3, according to a report in The Guardian. Oettinger will now oversee an office known hitherto as DG Connect, to be renamed DG Digital Economy and Society. Since Oettinger's predecessor Neelie Kroes was widely criticized by publishing and creative industries figures as too friendly to technology groups at the expense of rights-holders, it's hard to...

Bertelsmann leaves the club as retail book arm closes
July 7, 2014 | 10:25 am

Gerrman media giant Bertelsmann, part owner with Pearson of Big Five behemoth Penguin Random House, is reportedly closing its direct-to-consumer book sales business in Europe, Der Club, and its few retail bookstore premises. According to the Wall Street Journal report, "The company's retail locations as well as the online store, branded under the 'Der Club' label, will cease operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by the end of 2015, spelling the end to almost all of Bertelsmann's remaining bookselling activities." A residual business will continue to operate in Russia, the Ukraine, and Spain. As the German press remarks, this decision has long...

Might digital media resale be legal in Europe?
June 12, 2014 | 3:52 am

After the recent Congressional hearing on first sale, it seems unlikely Congress is convinced that allowing resale of “used” digital media would be a good idea. But as British lawyer Tony Ballard writes in FutureBook, they might see things differently in Europe. Ballard brings up the example of a European Court of Justice decision holding that sales of second-hand computer programs did not infringe copyright, even if copies of the program were made in the process of transferring it. A quirk in the relevant Directive permits the buyer of a computer program (unlike other...

Latest Kantar data shows smartphone big boys struggling in Europe
May 27, 2014 | 5:25 pm

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-IIIjpg_thumb.jpgThe latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, covering the three months until April 2014, shows that international leading brands, from Apple to Samsung, are facing attrition from smaller newcomers who are picking away at their market share. Alongside comeback stories from the likes of Motorola are significant successes by companies like China's Huawei, which saw its sales rise 123 percent in the five most significant European markets (the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) over the past year. "Across Europe there is an accelerating trend of fragmentation in the handset market as smaller brands gain real traction," said Dominic...

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,...

Bertelsmann CEO gives insights into European media moves
April 29, 2014 | 6:16 pm

Bertelsmann Penguin Random House welcome bannerThe Financial Times has aired an exclusive interview with Thomas Rabe, CEO of Bertelsmann - Europe's biggest media group, and one of its largest family-owned privately held businesses. Oh, and part owner alongside Pearson of Penguin Random House. The Bertelsmann CEO admits that his charge may not only be disadvantaged compared to the likes of Google and Amazon, but also starting from a trailing position - which, however, has recently improved. "I honestly think that we have caught up massively in the past 15 to 18 months,” he says. This situation may be partly the result of the group's response to...

UK language learning hits rock bottom
April 21, 2014 | 12:25 pm

With the UK just a few miles away from la belle patrie in places, you'd think that second language acquisition would be a matter of course. A whole second literature, with the heritage of Proust and Baudelaire and a host of other luminaries, let alone the great wine and cuisine, right there on your doorstep, just waiting for you. Should be a no-brainer, right? Well, according to one highly disgruntled language teacher in England writing on Cafe Babel, it's more a matter of no brains. As much among those setting the curricula and overseeing language learning as among the students. And...

Amazon goes into Sweden – but without Amazon.se?
April 14, 2014 | 12:34 pm

Amazon SEAs previously reported in TeleRead, Amazon has been in discussions for some time with Swedish publishing data clearing house Bokrondellen for some months regarding its plans to enter the Swedish market. Now, according to The Bookseller, Amazon may have concluded the deal and be about to roll out in Sweden. However, this might have to happen without the Amazon.se domain. Local Swedish news sources \ suggest that a buyer who picked up the domain name in 1997 may be hanging on to it, despite negotiations with Amazon. Whether Amazon AB, the entity that currently owns the domain name, is actually cybersquatting...

Amazon Eastward Ho push stalls with Czech warehouse cancellation
April 4, 2014 | 4:21 pm

Brno_-_Náměstí_Svobody_I Amazon's push to expand further in Central and Eastern Europe has hit a - probably temporary - stumbling block, as the southern Czech city of Brno said no to a new warehouse and fulfillment center, as reported in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. However, other plans to build a similar warehouse near Prague and three more in Poland apparently remain on track. As reported by Business New Europe, both neighboring Slovakia and other cities in the Czech Republic are now angling for the project. The Brno cancellation apparently followed delays for access and rezoning permits, although BNE quoted Brno local...

CILIP gets behind campaign to open up UK library ebook lending
March 6, 2014 | 4:26 pm

The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), the UK's professional librarians body, has issued a release and a call for action under the heading "Strict limits on library ebook lending must end," which calls for the UK to bring regulations on library lending of ebooks into line with those governing printed books. According to the announcement, "libraries do not have the right to lend ebooks. Out of the six major trade publishers in the UK only three – HarperCollins, Random House and Hachette – offer some of their ebooks to libraries. Research conducted in February 2013 by Shelf...

German creative writing system also cultivating well-financed conformism?
January 29, 2014 | 10:44 am

Following Rahul Kanakia's highly informed diatribe against the astroturfed sameness created by the U.S. creative writing industry, it appears that Germany is suffering from the same problem. At least according to a very opinionated comment piece from Florian Kessler in Zeit Online, entitled: "Let Me Through, I'm a Doctor's Son!" [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] The DLL, temple of the well-financed muses[/caption] "Why is German contemporary literature so well-behaved and conformist?" asks Kessler - or at least, his headline writers. "Because the graduates of the writing schools of Leipzig and Hildesheim all come from the same saturated milieu." The Leipzig and Hildesheim schools he...

Bookseller Weltbild insolvent, flaws in German book trade exposed
January 12, 2014 | 2:21 pm

WeltbildGerman bookseller, publishing operation and media group Weltbild filed for insolvency on Friday January 10th, with reports on Reuters and elsewhere citing both competitive pressure from Amazon in Germany and failure to obtain new financing, after its owners failed to agree on new funding arrangements. Fortunately, the actual bookstores in the bookstore chain Hugendubel - Germany's second largest - which Weltbild part-owns, will be unaffected, according to Reuters, but the bankruptcy terminates a turnaround strategy that involved shifting to more internet-based businesses, albeit in the face of sliding sales. Business will continue for the present while the court administrator looks for a...