Last night, Ursula K. Leguin, the author of seminal fantasy and science-fiction books like The Left Hand of Darkess and the Earthsea series, won a National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
During her speech, she made an impassioned defense of fantasy books, saying we needed such literature because “hard times are coming” when novels that can transport the mind will have actual social value.
It sounds like Apple might have been listening, because they are currently promoting the winners of the National Book Award, past and present, on the iBooks Store.
Apple has clashed with comic creators over its decision to ban Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals from selling on the iOS version of Comixology. The title, published by Image Comics, tells the story of two people whose orgasms give them the power to stop time (!).
Somewhat confusingly, at time of writing Apple was still selling the comic via its iBooks storefront.
While Apple decided to hold out for a court battle — that it eventually lost — five of the publishers involved in the iBookStore price fixing antitrust case have already reached settlements with the DOJ. Two of those publishers, Penguin and Macmillan, are already sending out emails to customers to notify them that they’re eligible to receive iTunes credit, or a check for the settlement.
The final season of Breaking Bad begins tonight on AMC, and if you’re like me, you can’t get enough of the show. Fans like myself need to check out Breaking Bad: Alchemy, an awesome book from the show’s creators. It was my pick on Faves n’ Raves during the last CultCast.
The ongoing iBooks antitrust case between Apple and the United States Department of Justice took a very interesting twist this morning when the DoJ and 33 state Attorneys General laid out plans to remedy Apple’s wrongdoings and restore competition to the market.
The DoJ wants Apple to terminate all of its deals with book publishers, and refrain from entering into any new ones for at least five years. It also wants the company to start selling e-books from rivals like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Apple was found guilty of e-book price fixing by federal judge Denise Cote earlier this month, and it looks like the total bill for colluding with book publishers for the launch of the iBookstore will be pretty steep.
The five publishers in the case – Hachette, Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster – have already paid out $166 million, according to figures obtained by GigaOm. Based on the settlement payments publishers have already shelled out, it looks like Apple might have to pay $500 million to the states and class action lawyers in the case.
Eddy Cue is at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in lower Manhattan testifying in the Department of Justice’s e-books antitrust case, and he’s been sharing more information on the work that went into developing iBooks prior to its launch in 2010.
Cue reveled that Steve Jobs, then Apple’s CEO, chose to give away a free copy of Winnie-the-Pooh not just because he liked the book, but because its colorful illustrations showcased the capabilities of digital e-books in the iBooks app.
During Apple’s trial against the U.S. Department of Justice it was revealed that Apple now controls about 20 percent of the U.S. ebook market, thanks the growth of Apple’s iBookstore.
The news came during director Keith Moerer’s testimony in court on Tuesday. Moerer was called as a government witness in the U.S. vs Apple case where Apple stand accused of working with publishers to fix the price of ebooks when the iBookstore launched in 2010.