Penguin Books CEO Bolsters Government Case Against Apple In E-Book Case

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A delicate ecosystem. Right.
A delicate ecosystem. Right.

David Shanks, CEO of Penguin Books, testified today that a provision in its e-books contract with Apple played a role in its decision to change contracts with other retailers, like Amazon.com, a crucial part of the US government’s case against Apple in the e-book anti-trust case happening now in federal court. Shanks said that the clause in question was “certainly a factor” in seeking out other retailers to an agency model, in which publishers control prices, not retailers, a model Amazon originally flouted.

In the anti-trust case, the US government is charging that Apple conspired with five publishers to fix prices for e-books between 2009 and 2010. Penguin is the first publishing company named in the suit which also includes HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan.

Apple has already gone on record, saying that it was the publishers that came to Apple, not the other way around.

Apple To Finally Bring iBookstore To Japan This Year

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Apple’s iBookstore is reportedly heading to Japan this year, finally delivering its popular e-book store to the ever-growing number of Japanese iPad users. The Cupertino company is said to be in the process of negotiating deals with a “handful” of Japanese publishers to supply a local version of their titles at launch.

New Ruling Continues To Let You Legally Jailbreak Your iPhone, But Not Your iPad [Jailbreak]

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The US Copyright Office reviews the Digital Millennium Copyright Act every three years, looking at requests to create temporary changes that act as ersatz loopholes int he law, typically to address continually changing technology standards. This year, the Copyright Office allows jailbreaking of devices like the iPhone, but not for devices like the iPad.

The Office also ruled that consumers can unlock phones purchased before January 2013, but not thereafter. You’ll also be albe to bypass encryption on a DVD to use an excerpt in a non-commercial way, like in a documentary, but it will still be illegal to rip a DVD for your iPad.

The rules seem pretty arbitrary, right?

Apple May Have To Cut E-book Prices Within Three Months

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These might get a bit cheaper in the months to come - a good thing for consumers.
These might get a bit cheaper in the months to come - a good thing for consumers.

Cheaper e-books would be great, right? According to industry executives, that may just happen in the next one to three months after a federal judge entered an approval of an antitrust settlement between several e-book publishers and the Justice Department itself.

In the final settlement today, publishers Lagardere, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins have the next 10 days to notify e-book retailers like Amazon that any previous agreements regarding e-book pricing are no longer valid. The deal gave publishers only seven days to notify Apple, interestingly enough.

According to the report in the Wall Street Journal, one executive, who asked to not be identified, said, “It could be pretty fast.”

The publishers have to let retailers out of any agreements that prevent discounting, and the retailers are also able to terminate said contracts within 30 days.

Is Your iPad Reading You?

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The Wall Street Journal today has a report on how the e-book industry is paying close attention not only to what books people read, but how they are reading them. Do readers skim the intro, skip around in the chapters? Do they read straight through? What are readers’ favorite passage to highlight and share? This kind of data mining is happening now, even on your iPad.

Should we be worried?

Microsoft Invests $300M Into Nook To Give Windows 8 Its Own iBooks

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Microsoft's $300 million investment will see NOOK brought to Windows 8.
Microsoft's $300 million investment will see NOOK brought to Windows 8.

Microsoft has teamed up with Barnes & Noble with a $300 million investment that will create a new subsidiary focused on accelerating “the transition to e-reading.” Microsoft will take a 17.6% equity stake in a subsidiary, which is yet to be named, while Barnes & Noble will own the remaining 82.4%.

The move will provide Microsoft with its own answer to iBooks, with plans for a NOOK application that will run on Windows 8, and it’ll give users an alternative to the Kindle Store.

Apple Wants Trial To Defend Against DoJ’s E-Book Pricing Allegations [Report]

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Apple feels that it has a case against the DoJ regarding e-Book pricing in the iBookstore.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently accused Apple and 5 large book publishers of conspiring to raise e-Book prices in the iBookstore. Experts said that it would be unlikely for Apple to be found as guilty of collusion, and now the Cupertino company is wanting a trial to defend itself against the DoJ’s accusations.

Harry Potter Comes To E-Readers… But Not The iBookstore

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Don't expect Harry Potter or Near-Dead Dumbledore to appear on the iBookstore.

J.K. Rowling’s enormously successful Harry Potter series is about an incompetent orphan who lucks his way through a series of magical adventures despite being essentially inept. Tens of millions of people — myself included! — have enjoyed them over the course of the last decade, but only in dead tree form. Bizarrely, Harry Potter has never officially come to e-books up until now.

Of course, no longer. As one last magical trick, Harry Potter has made the jump to a number of e-book stores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and Sony. The only company left out? Apple’s iBookstore.

Apple To Justice Department: E-Book Antitrust? WTF?!?

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With the U.S. Department of Justice gearing up to slap Apple with an antitrust lawsuit, the Cupertino company has spoken out over claims it has teamed up with publishers to raise the price of e-books, and downplayed the threat from Amazon’s Kindle. It argues that it gave publishers the opportunity to set their own prices, and that it cannot be blamed for e-book price hikes.

U.S. Justice Department Plans To Slap Apple With Antitrust Lawsuit Over E-Books

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The curtains have barely drawn to a close after Apple’s new iPad keynote, but the spotlight is still shinning on Cupertino, only this time in a negative way. A new report by the Wall Street Journal claims that Apple’s E-Book pricing has come under scrutiny of the U.S. Justice Department who is threatening to sue Apple for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books.