There’s an old joke that, after the Bible, Johann Gutenberg’s second book printed was about the demise of the publishing industry.
The future of the book continues to be the subject of a great deal of debate over 500 years later. This week especially, I’ve noted quite a bit of interesting book-related news and articles. Enjoy!
Why I originally self-published my now traditionally published book — Author and playwright Hillary DePiano offers a fascinating and thorough history explaining why she made the jump from successful self-publisher to signing a traditional book deal. Later posts explain what she sees as the disadvantages of self-publishing: Piracy copyright and having to be the bad guy, being your own publisher is a lot of work, and a third yet to be posted.
What about the content? — Almost as though it was planned, this week brought news of one successful “traditional” writer turning down a publishing deal to self-publish, while a highly successful self-publishing writer announced she was negotiating a “traditional” book deal. Writer Lee Goldberg posts an insightful comment on his site, noting that in much of the discussion about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, very little is said about the quality of the work. Also worth checking out Lee’s other related posts: Eisler & Hocking and A Peek in Barry’s Brain.
Google Books Settlement rejected — Finally, one of the bigger news items this week was Judge Chin’s rejection of the proposed class action settlement between authors and the tech giant. Publishers Weekly, the Copyright Alliance, and Ars Technica report on the story. Glenn Lammi at the Washington Legal Foundation looks at the Class Action Do’s and Don’ts from the ruling. And MusicTechPolicy’s Chris Castle says, “Score round 1 for the authors.”
And now, some non-book related items:
The Problems With the Fifth Fair Use Factor — Jonathan Bailey at PlagiarismToday takes a look at the role of good faith (i.e., “does the judge like you”) in a couple recent fair use decisions.
Do bad things happen when works fall into the public domain? — The 1709 Blog shares notes from a recent talk by Professor Paul J. Heald, who presented his research on usage of public domain works compared to usage of copyrighted works. Surprisingly, he finds no significant difference between price and availability. See Heald’s publications here.
Island Def Jam opens up their catalogue to the world of apps — IP Osgoode reports on the joining of forces between Island Def Jam, a division of Universal Music Group, and music app developer the EchoNest. App developers will now have access to Island’s entire catalog. Says Jon Vanhala, SVP of digital and business development at Island, “this view that labels are these big companies just clutching onto their rights and not thinking about innovation is just so not true.”
The MP3: A history of innovation and betrayal — NPR’s story of the development of the popular audio file format.