Sunday, June 28, 2009

Media Week 25: Chris Anderson, Readers Digest, Google Book Search,

Some of these were on noted Twitter (@personanondata). I find I am using delicious much less.

Reader's Digest sold their library business to management (link):

Gareth Stevens Inc., the publisher of library and classroom books founded in Milwaukee, is being sold by Reader's Digest Association Inc. to Gareth Stevens' chief Gary Spears and a business partner.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Gareth Stevens Inc., now based in Strongsville, Ohio, is being sold to Gareth Stevens Publishing LLP, a new entity led by Spears and Roger Rosen, owner and CEO of Rosen Publishing of New York City, Reader's Digest said Thursday.

Rumors that Bertelsmann may get back into music publishing (Billboard):
U.S. private equity firm KKR and several banks are said to be ready to act as co-investors for a plan by Bertelsmann and its BMG Rights Management arm to acquire the master recordings archive of EMI Music in London (described as "one of several" targets in the report), though a representative for EMI says no deal is in the works.
Pearson invests in education businesses in the UK (NYT):
Pearson is buying half of the vocational training business of Educomp Solutions, a Delhi education company that creates software and training systems for 23,000 schools. Pearson is also buying a 17.2 percent stake in TutorVista, an online tutoring company that brings together Indian tutors and American students.
Comprehensive article in support of Google Book Settlement (BigMoney):
The meme of the Google book monopoly has been gathering force over the last months, after being given a push by Robert Darnton, the head of Harvard's library system. Darnton was originally one of the most prominent backers of Google's digitization initiative. But somewhere along the line, Darnton got cold feet. In February, he wrote an essay for the New York Review of Books in which he set out the case that thanks to Google Book Search, Google will enjoy "a monopoly of a new kind, not of railroads or steel but of access to information." Since Darnton's essay appeared, the anti-Google crusade has gathered steam, fed by Google-bashing advocacy groups like Consumer Watchdog, and the hue and cry has sparked a federal antitrust inquiry.
Chris Anderson makes an ass of himself (Edrants):
As the examples below will demonstrate, Anderson’s failure to paraphrase properly is plagiarism, according to the Indiana University Bloomington Writing Tutorial Services’s very helpful website. It is simply not enough for Anderson to cite the source. An honest and ethical author cannot, in good conscience, swipe whole sentences and paragraphs, change a few words, and call it his. Plagiarism is not an either-or proposition, although we leave the readers to decide whether the cat inside the box is dead or alive.
And some more on this from the Boston Globe
But the more important debate is going to be over the ideas in the book itself, over the future of free as a business model - and over Anderson’s contention that companies that want to survive will have to either figure out how to offer their wares for free or contend with competitors that do. “Free” is a business book, but the dynamics it describes are unsettling the social and cultural landscape, as well. For many people, music is now free, along with news, movies, video games, and the software to help with everyday tasks. In ways it was not before, it’s free today to look for jobs, apartments, friends, roommates, and even romance. For the time being at least, the forces of free are upsetting not only traditional business models, but long-held assumptions about what we have to pay for, and when and how. It’s a confusing time, and Anderson’s book offers a reassuring diagnosis and set of prescriptions.

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