Category Services

Hoopla Digital and HarperCollins Disrupt Library E-Lending

An announcement this week by hoopla digital and HarperCollins augurs big changes in the ways that public libraries make e-books available. It sets the stage for realignment of the relationships between publishers and libraries, and it could have longer-term ripple effects on the entire e-book market. For more than a decade, public libraries have been […]

Spotify Acquires Blockchain Startup Mediachain

Spotify announced yesterday that it has acquired the blockchain startup Mediachain Labs for an undisclosed sum. For those watching the music/blockchain space, this is big news indeed. Here’s a passage from the whitepaper I recently published on blockchain technology for music: DSPs [digital music service providers] have become the “big boys” of the music industry, […]

In Music, DRM Is Back While Ownership Is Going Away

The RIAA’s annual revenue figures for recorded music are a goldmine of information about the state, health, and direction of the music industry. The 2016 figures that the RIAA published at the end of March generated a few common headlines in the trade and business press: Recorded music revenue in the United States is finally […]

Kobo Gives the Shelfie Story a Happy Ending

The story of Shelfie, the Vancouver-based print and e-book bundling startup that ceased operations back in January, has a coda, and quite possibly a happy ending after all. Shelfie’s fellow Canadians at Kobo had agreed to maintain the Shelfie service so that users could access their DRM-protected e-books and transfer their e-book libraries to the Kobo […]

Readium LCP Set to Launch

The 2017 EPUB Summit in Brussels this past week was the venue for the beta launch and first live demos of the Readium LCP DRM technology for EPUB-formatted e-books.  I’ve discussed aspects of the genesis and design of Readium LCP elsewhere: here is a summary that I presented at last year’s EPUB Summit in Bordeaux. […]

Big Data, Skinny Bundles

This past week, Google pre-announced a new live Internet TV service called YouTube TV.  YouTube TV is a “skinny bundle”: a pay-TV service with a subset of channels commonly available on American cable and satellite TV at a price that’s lower than what pay-TV subscribers pay for TV programming. I used this announcement in my latest […]

Facebook Faces Copyright Issues Amid Video Explosion

It’s fairly well established by now — thanks to court decisions like Viacom v. YouTube and UMG v. Veoh — that online service operators have no legal duty to proactively police their services for potential copyright infringement.  But that doesn’t mean that some services don’t do it anyway.  The biggest example is Google’s Content ID system for YouTube, […]