Sunday, April 04, 2010

Media Week (Vol 3) 14: Inspector Norse, Library Service, Illegal (or not) Downloads

Shortened version this week due to holiday weekend.

The Economist wonders why Nordic detectives are so successful (Economist):
Larsson and Mr Mankell are the best-known Nordic crime writers outside the region. But several others are also beginning to gain recognition abroad, including K.O. Dahl and Karin Fossum from Norway and Ake Edwardson and Hakan Nesser of Sweden. Iceland, a Nordic country that is not strictly part of Scandinavia, boasts an award winner too. Arnaldur Indridason’s “Silence of the Grave” won the British Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger award in 2005. “The Devil’s Star” by a Norwegian, Jo Nesbo, is published in America this month at the same time as a more recent novel, “The Snowman”, is coming out in Britain. A previous work, “Nemesis”, was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe crime-writing award, a prize generally dominated by American authors.

Three factors underpin the success of Nordic crime fiction: language, heroes and setting. Niclas Salomonsson, a literary agent who represents almost all the up and coming Scandinavian crime writers, reckons it is the style of the books, “realistic, simple and precise…and stripped of unnecessary words”, that has a lot to do with it. The plain, direct writing, devoid of metaphor, suits the genre well.

The Nordic detective is often careworn and rumpled. Mr Mankell’s Wallander is gloomy, troubled and ambivalent about his father. Mr Indridason’s Inspector Erlendur lives alone after a failed marriage, haunted by the death of his younger brother many years before in a blizzard that he survived. Mr Nesbo’s leading man, Inspector Harry Hole—often horribly drunk—is defiant of his superiors yet loyal to his favoured colleagues.

In the UK one of the recommendations to improve library service could allow patrons to order any book (Independent):
Library-goers should have the right to order any book – including out-of-print editions – and free access to e-books under a new plan for the future of the library service. Free internet use and membership of all libraries in England are also recommended under proposals outlined by Culture Minister Margaret Hodge. The public library modernisation review policy statement sets out a series of "core" features which would ensure the service meets the challenges of the 21st century. It says that the right to borrow books free of charge must remain at the heart of the library service. And the paper sets out ways in which libraries tackle a decline in use of current services while grasping the opportunities of the digital world. The statement says all libraries should be "digitally inclusive" with easier, free access to the internet. And the document proposes local authorities set out their own "local offer" including commitments on their stock of books, events and extra services such as CD and DVD loans. The Government wants library authorities to have these in place by the end of this year.

From the twitter (@personanondata)

The NYTimes' ethicist says its OK to illegally download a book if you've legitimately purchased a copy already (NYTimes)"- E-Book Dodge: When its OK to illegally download.

An Op-Ed in The NYTimes argues that mash-ups require a re-evaluation of permissions and copyright in The End of History (Books) - (NYTimes)

OCLC publish a report on the future of MARC and it's not very bright (OCLC)

Jordon Edmiston report that media M&A is back on the rise (MinOnline)

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