Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

Reed Elsevier 2009 Financial Results

Posted in Publishing on February 23rd, 2010

Reed Elsevier has announced its 2009 financial results.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Elsevier (44% of adjusted operating profits)

  • Revenue growth +4%, adjusted operating profit +9%, at constant currency
  • Strong growth in electronic clinical reference, clinical decision support and nursing and health professional education; continued weakness in pharma promotion
  • Solid science journal subscription renewals from 2008 supported 2009 revenue growth

Read more about it at "Robust Year for Reed Elsevier."

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    Google Book Search Settlement Hearing Transcript

    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 22nd, 2010

    A transcript of the 2/18/10 Google Book Search Settlement hearing is now available.

    Read more about the hearing at "GBS: Fairness Hearing Report"; "GBS: Fairness Hearing Report Part II"; "Google Settlement Fairness Hearing, Part Two: DOJ Expresses Opposition; Parties Mount Vigorous Defense"; and "Objectors Outnumber Supporters in First Half of Google Settlement Fairness Hearing."

    Also see: "Google Book Search Settlement: Updating the Numbers, Part 1."

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      "Academic Author Objections to the Google Book Search Settlement"

      Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 21st, 2010

      Pamela Samuelson has self-archived "Academic Author Objections to the Google Book Search Settlement" in SSRN.

      Here's an excerpt:

      This Article explains the genesis of the Google Book Search (GBS) project and the copyright infringement lawsuit challenging it that the litigants now wish to settle with a comprehensive restructuring of the market for digital books. At first blush, the settlement seems to be a win-win-win, as it will make millions of books more available to the public, result in new streams of revenues for authors and publishers, and give Google a chance to recoup its investment in scanning millions of books. Notwithstanding these benefits, a closer examination of the fine details of the proposed GBS settlement should give academic authors some pause. The interests of academic authors were not adequately represented during the negotiations that yielded the proposed settlement. Especially troublesome are provisions in the proposed settlement are the lack of meaningful constraints on the pricing of institutional subscriptions and the plan for disposing of revenues derived from the commercialization of "orphan" and other unclaimed books. The Article also raises concerns about whether the parties' professed aspirations for GBS to be a universal digital library are being undermined by their own withdrawals of books from the regime the settlement would establish. Finally, the Article suggests changes that should be made to the proposed settlement to make it fair, reasonable, and adequate to the academic authors whose works make up a substantial proportion of the GBS corpus. Even with these modifications, however, there are serious questions about whether the class defined in the PASA can be certified consistent with Rule 23, whether the settlement is otherwise compliant with Rule 23, whether the settlement is consistent with the antitrust laws, and whether approval of this settlement is an appropriate exercise of judicial power.

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        Digital Publishing in the AAUP Community; Survey Report: Winter 2009-2010

        Posted in Publishing, University Presses on February 10th, 2010

        The Association of American University Presses has released Digital Publishing in the AAUP Community; Survey Report: Winter 2009-2010.

        Here's an excerpt:

        In October–November 2009, AAUP surveyed its member presses about digital publishing strategies and programs. The survey had two purposes. This report shares the responses to seven questions specifically about digital strategies, technologies, and concerns related to their book publishing programs. The survey also collected new and updated information on specific e-publishing programs at member presses in order to update the association’s online directory of such projects.

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          The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing

          Posted in E-Journal Management and Publishing Systems, E-Journals, Open Access, Publishing on February 7th, 2010

          Co-Action Publishing and Lund University Libraries have released The Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          The online guide is directed to small independent teams and provides practical information on planning, setting up, launching, publishing and managing an open access scholarly journal. Users can take advantage of additional resources in the form of links to related information, samples of applied practices and downloadable tools that can be adapted. The guide seeks to be interactive, allowing users to share their own best practices, tips and suggestions through a comment field. Although the guide contains some information that is specific to the Nordic region, most of its content can be applied internationally.

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            Department of Justice Files Statement about Amended Google Book Search Settlement

            Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 7th, 2010

            The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a statement of interest about the amended Google Book Search settlement with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

            Here's an excerpt from the press release:

            The Department of Justice today advised the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that despite the substantial progress reflected in the proposed amended settlement agreement in The Authors Guild Inc. et al. v. Google Inc., class certification, copyright and antitrust issues remain. The department also said that the United States remains committed to working with the parties on issues concerning the scope and content of the settlement.

            In its statement of interest filed with the court today, the department stated, "Although the United States believes the parties have approached this effort in good faith and the amended settlement agreement is more circumscribed in its sweep than the original proposed settlement, the amended settlement agreement suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the court in this litigation."

            On Sept. 18, 2009, the department submitted views to the court on the original proposed settlement agreement. At that time, the department proposed that the parties consider changes to the agreement that might help address the United States' concerns, including imposing limitations on the most open-ended provisions for future licensing, eliminating potential conflicts among class members, providing additional protections for unknown rights holders, addressing the concerns of foreign authors and publishers, eliminating the joint-pricing mechanisms among publishers and authors, and providing a mechanism by which Google's competitors can gain comparable access.

            In today's filing, the department recognized that the parties made substantial progress on a number of these issues. For example, the proposed amended settlement agreement eliminates certain open-ended provisions that would have allowed Google to engage in certain unspecified future uses, appoints a fiduciary to protect rightsholders of unclaimed works, reduces the number of foreign works in the settlement class, and eliminates the most-favored nation provision that would have guaranteed Google optimal license terms into the future. However, the changes do not fully resolve the United States' concerns. The department also said that the amended settlement agreement still confers significant and possibly anticompetitive advantages on Google as a single entity, thereby enabling the company to be the only competitor in the digital marketplace with the rights to distribute and otherwise exploit a vast array of works in multiple formats.

            The department continues to believe that a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits. The department stated that it is committed to continuing to work with the parties and other stakeholders to help develop solutions through which copyright holders could allow for digital use of their works by Google and others, whether through legislative or market-based activities.

            Read more about it at "Department of Justice Criticizes Amended Google Settlement over Copyright, Antitrust Issues"; "DOJ: Google Book Settlement Better, but Not Yet Good"; an "DOJ on Amended Google Books Settlement: Better, but Still Opposed."

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              Stanford University Signs Amended Google Book Search Settlement Agreement

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 4th, 2010

              Stanford University has signed the amended Google Book Search settlement agreement.

              Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

              Stanford’s expanded agreement, which establishes it as a Fully Participating Library under the terms of the amended settlement agreement, is a milestone in Stanford’s commitment to the program and to the provision of public access to millions of its books. . . .

              University Librarian Michael A. Keller said, "We are highly supportive of the amended settlement, which offers an enormous public good, making the full text of millions of books available to the American public."

              Keller added that another effect of the settlement is to respect the rights and prerogatives of authors and publishers at the same time as it increases public access. "The settlement creates a working partnership among authors, publishers, libraries and Google that will usher in a revolutionary change in access to books on library shelves, even beyond the incredibly powerful vision that Google Books first developed. It’s no longer just about finding books of potential interest; it makes them vastly more readily readable. The agreement also compensates authors and publishers for the use of works that, by virtue of being out of print, would not have earned the rightsholders any income—a novel and, for most authors, a most welcome innovation."

              Over the past five years, Google has scanned over 1.7 million books owned by Stanford, and plans to scan millions more. More than two dozen other major libraries around the world are now involved in this project.

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                "The Long and Winding Road to the Google Books Settlement"

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on February 2nd, 2010

                Jonathan Band has published "The Long and Winding Road to the Google Books Settlement" in The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law.

                Here's an excerpt:

                In its Library Project, Google is scanning millions of books from the world's leading research libraries to include in a searchable database. This scanning has occurred without the copyright owners' authorization, leading to the class action copyright infringement lawsuit, Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. The central legal issue in the litigation is whether copyright law's fair use doctrine provides Google with a defense against the authors' claims. Ultimately, the parties reached a settlement. The proposed Settlement Agreement is an extremely complex document which, if approved by the court, will govern the future of the Google Library Project. It creates a mechanism that allows Google to scan and display the full text of millions of books. In exchange, Google will pay fees to each book's rightsholder. The proposed settlement has precipitated a heated public debate over competition concerns, privacy, intellectual freedom, and the rights of authors and publishers. This article traces the history of the Google Library Project and discusses in-depth the original Google Library Project, the litigation, the original Settlement Agreement, debate concerning the approval of the Settlement Agreement, and the Amended Settlement Agreement.

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                  Lessig: "For the Love of Culture: Google, Copyright, and Our Future"

                  Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Publishing on January 27th, 2010

                  Lawrence Lessig has published "For the Love of Culture: Google, Copyright, and Our Future" in The New Republic.

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  There is much to praise in this settlement [Google Books Settlement]. Lawsuits are expensive and uncertain. They take years to resolve. The deal Google struck guaranteed the public more free access to free content than "fair use" would have done. Twenty percent is better than snippets, and a system that channels money to authors is going to be liked much more than a system that does not. (Not to mention that the deal is elegant and clever in ways that a contracts professor can only envy.)

                  Yet a wide range of companies, and a band of good souls, have now joined together to attack the Google settlement. Some charge antitrust violations. Some fear that Google will collect information about who reads what—violating reader privacy. And some just love the chance to battle this decade's digital giant (including last decade's digital giant, Microsoft). The main thrust in almost all of these attacks, however, misses the real reason to be concerned about the future that this settlement will build. For the problem here is not just antitrust; it is not just privacy; it is not even the power that this (enormously burdensome) free library will give this already dominant Internet company. Indeed, the problem with the Google settlement is not the settlement. It is the environment for culture that the settlement will cement.

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                    Amazon to Release Kindle Development Kit for Active Content

                    Posted in E-Books, Publishing on January 21st, 2010

                    Amazon will release a beta version of the Kindle Development Kit next month.

                    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                    For the past two years, Amazon has welcomed authors and publishers to directly upload and sell content in the Kindle Store through the self-service Kindle publishing platform. Today, Amazon announced that it is inviting software developers to build and upload active content that will be available in the Kindle Store later this year. The new Kindle Development Kit gives developers access to programming interfaces, tools and documentation to build active content for Kindle—the #1 bestselling, most wished for, and most gifted product across all categories on Amazon. Developers can learn more about the Kindle Development Kit today at http://www.amazon.com/kdk/ and sign up to be notified when the limited beta starts next month.

                    "We've heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle," said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities–we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent."

                    The Kindle Development Kit enables developers to build active content that leverages Kindle's unique combination of seamless and invisible 3G wireless delivery over Amazon Whispernet, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, and long battery life of seven days with wireless activated. For example, Handmark is building an active Zagat guide featuring their trusted ratings, reviews and more for restaurants in cities around the world, and Sonic Boom is building word games and puzzles.

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                      Selected Comments of Publishers to the White House OSTP Consultation on Open Access

                      Posted in Open Access, Publishing on January 20th, 2010

                      Below are selected comments of association and commercial publishers to the White House OSTP public consultation on Public Access Policy.

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                        STM Reacts to Scholarly Publishing Roundtable Report

                        Posted in Open Access, Publishing on January 17th, 2010

                        STM, an international association of around 100 publishers, has issued a press release regarding the recent Report and Recommendations from the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable.

                        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                        STM takes issue, however, with some of the other recommendations and goals expressed in the Report. Firstly, while STM supports US agencies in the development of public access policies to the results of research funded by those agencies, we do not agree that the scholarly articles arising from publisher investment and value add fall under this category. Government research grants currently cover the cost of the research only. Government research grants do not cover the costs of publication.

                        Secondly, while welcoming the consultation and collaboration that has occurred with our industry, STM believes the goal of US agencies in establishing a "global publishing system" is redundant and wasteful and ignores the essentially international nature of STM publishing, which has, without any government assistance anywhere in the world, enabled more access to more people than at any time in history.

                        Thirdly, if there is to be no compensation for the use of journal mediated content, STM supports the need for embargo periods. There is, however, no evidence whatsoever to support the recommendation that embargo periods of 0 to 12 months could be adopted for "many sciences" without problem. STM is leading a three year experiment part-funded by the European Commission (the PEER Project) to find out the effects of various embargo periods on journals. We strongly encourage such an evidence-based policy investigation in the US as well.

                        Finally, while STM supports the recommendation that the final published article should be given primacy (the so called VoR or Version of Record) over the proliferation of other imperfect earlier versions, it is through this final version —and the creation and maintenance of their authoritative journals—that STM publishers provide significant added value; to make final published articles (VoRs) free immediately upon publication must involve some mechanism of financial compensation.

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