Category Services

Libraries Take E-Book Lending Fight into Antitrust Territory

The U.S. library community has gotten involved in the investigation that Congress recently opened into possible anticompetitive behavior by Big Tech. The American Library Association, the advocacy group for public and academic libraries, sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee last week complaining of unfair behavior from Amazon as well as Big Five trade […]

UC Davis’s Plan to Disrupt Textbook Publishing

We are entering a period of real disruption in the textbook publishing industry, as the major textbook publishers are finding out that their strategy of continuously raising prices isn’t working anymore. As we saw a couple of weeks ago, Pearson’s new strategy includes taking over relationships with professors and students instead of ceding them to […]

Podcasting Leaves the Copyright Garden of Eden

For fifteen years — until last week — podcasting was a relatively untouched and unspoiled environment regarding copyright issues. Apart from clearing rights for music used within podcasts, no one in podcasting thought much about copyright. If you produced a podcast, you paid a distributor like Libsyn or Blubrry to host it and get it […]

Cengage Learning Brings Subscriptions to Higher Ed Publishing

Cengage Learning, one of the major textbook publishers, announced last month that it has accumulated a million subscribers to the subscription college text content service, Cengage Unlimited, that it launched for the Fall 2018 semester. Students can subscribe for $120 per semester or $180 per year, with print textbook rentals available for a flat $7.99 […]

Smart Speakers Are Table Radios for the Digital Age

One of the big holiday gift choices this year is likely to be smart speakers, such as Amazon Echos and Google Homes. Here’s the funny thing about smart speakers: while everyone was getting excited — or worried — about them as home shopping devices or yet another way for tech companies to spy on users, […]

Blockchain Comes to E-Books, DRM Included

Blockchain technology has reached e-books. The CEOs of two startups with e-book distribution platforms based on blockchains, Scenarex and Publica, are going to appear with me on a panel at the Digital Book World conference in Nashville in early October. The similarities of their technologies indicate a direction for blockchains in the e-book world. The […]

Music Modernization Act Draws Concerns About Mechanical Licensing Agency

The Copyright Society of the USA’s Annual Meeting took place over the past couple of days in Toronto. One of the many interesting sessions was one on music licensing, where we from the U.S. got to learn that Canada has just as much of a “sausage factory” as we do when it comes to the […]