Saturday, September 25, 2010

MediaWeek (Vol 3, No 40): Japanese Scanners, French Retailers, Library Vending & Stacks

In Japan scanning for 'personal' use is a service business (Yomiuri Shibum):

A growing business in which companies are digitizing books into e-books for individual customers is drawing the ire of publishers, who say the practice violates the Copyright Law. The companies remove the spines of books and scan the pages one by one for transfer to e-readers, a practice called "jisui," which literally means "cooking one's own meals." Although it is legal for individuals to digitize their books for their own use, some publishing companies maintain it is a violation of the Copyright Law for companies to do so on behalf of individuals. But the companies that provide the service argue they are not digitizing books for commercial use. The Japan Book Publishers Association says individuals can create e-books by digitizing their own books because "reproduction of books for private use" is allowed under the Copyright Law. There are more than 10 companies that take orders for digitizing books, which is labor-intensive and time-consuming. The companies charge from several tens of yen to several hundreds of yen per book. After digitizing a book, the companies return the data to customers on a DVD or via the Internet. Customers then transfer the data to an e-reader. A company in the Tohoku region that started digitizing books in July received orders for 10,000 books in August, and the number is likely to reach 15,000 in September, it said. "[The operation of this business] might be in a gray zone in terms of copyright violation," the company said. "But we think there's no problem regarding copyrights as we just do this on behalf of individuals." An official of the Japan Book Publishers Association said the association plans to take decisive measures, such as issuing a warning against such businesses. "Any reproduction other than copying books for private use is illegal," the official said.

France looks to protect its small book retailers from eBook sales (WSJ):
In France a 1981 law prohibits the sale of books for less than 5% below the cover price, a move to protect independent booksellers from the narrow profit margins that big chains could absorb if they discounted books heavily. But e-books, not covered by the 1981 law because it refers to "printed volumes," typically sell for 25% less than printed works. Now France is considering how best to stop big Internet retailers, such as Inc. and Apple Inc., from hurting smaller bookstores and publishers with heavily discounted offers on e-books. Sen. Jacques Legendre this month proposed a law that would allow publishers to set the retail price of e-books. View Full Image Reuters Lawmaker Hervé Gaymard In France, a publisher typically offers bookstores a profit margin of between 30% and 40% depending on, say, the size of a bookstore and its sales record. If, for example, a publisher lists a retail price of $10 for a book, it is sold to the bookstore at $6 to $7.
Library vending machine (FL Today)

Library staff members keep the machine stocked with a revolving collection of new-release DVDs and books, about 125 items, both for adults and children. Books are hardback and paperback.All library patrons, no matter where they live in Brevard County, can use the machine.It cost $16,000 and was made possible by a donation from Friends of the Central Brevard Library and Reference Center.
The Augusta Chronicle notes some data from the OCLC report How Libraries Stack Up:

DVD rentals have become one of the fastest-growing collections among libraries nationally, with lending outpacing the Redbox-style kiosks and Netflix subscriptions. A survey from the Online Computer Library Center, a national library cooperative nonprofit organization, found that public branches lend 2.1 million DVDs a day, trumping 2 million DVDs rented by Netflix and 1.4 million by Redbox. The daily averages were provided by company representatives for the OCLC's How Libraries Stack Up report, which highlights libraries' roles in communities. "It's part of (our) mission to educate as well as entertain," said Sherryl Jones, an East Central Georgia Library System community service librarian. "Once someone finds something they like, they're in here often. It's especially busy on Thursday and Friday." Last month the system, which includes Richmond and Columbia counties, circulated 23,000 DVDs. The number is expected to increase as the Augusta Library settles into its new location.

Certainly one of my all time favorite authors Barbara Taylor Bradford is profiled in The Independent:
It is classic BTB: glamorous people in glamorous places doing glamorous things; but beneath the surface hide grubby secrets that threaten to bring their whole world crashing down. Annette is, says her creator, "still a strong woman and independent, but stuck in a terrible situation". The situation is that, at 18, she married the rich Marius Remmington, 20 years her senior and a would-be Svengali to her Trilby. "He tries to control her, but because she is a Barbara Taylor Bradford woman, she's fought and resisted this total control," she adds with the pride of a mother describing a daughter. Annette is the latest in a long line of feisty heroines, beginning with Emma Harte in A Woman of Substance, who combine the looks of an Angelina Jolie and the business acumen of a Deborah Meaden. Taylor Bradford loves these women and their stories, referencing them like family throughout the time we have together. As strong women are her forte, I wonder how she feels about the domestic drudges who inhabit much contemporary women's fiction these days? " I'm not interested," she says dismissing them like flies with a flick of her hand. "I know people say I write about women who are rich, but that is not really true. I write about women who become successful."

From the twitter this week (@personanondata) Borders Group Cancels New York Superstore Plans in Quest to End Losses Bloomberg The human pillars of a blockbuster INdependent About Ken Follett. A Claim of Pro-Islam Bias in Textbooks in Texas NYT Ingram rethinks the distribution model Ingram

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