Monday, October 11, 2021

MediaWeek (Vol 14, No 9) Pearson vs. Chegg Legal Issues, Bookstore eBook Sales + More

Legal Experts On Pearson V. Chegg And Why It Could Be A Huge Deal (Forbes)

The essence of Pearson’s legal claim is that Chegg is engaging in “massive” violation of copyrights held by Pearson because Chegg has published, and sold, answers to the tests and practice questions Pearson has in its textbooks. Pearson argues that the questions and answers belong to it and it should be able to decide when and how they are used.

If Pearson prevails, it could damage not only Chegg’s business model but the enterprises of several other companies that sell answers to academic questions written by text publishers, professors or professional licensing bodies. Those companies include illicit cheating services, file sharing companies that sell access to tests and answers, as well as the respectable tutoring and test preparation companies.

With More Bookstores Open, Soaring E-books Sales Fall Back to Earth, NPD Says
“With brick-and-mortar stores closed last year, e-books were simply easier to buy than print books,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “The digital format allowed for frictionless, virus-free purchasing. Now that bookstores are open again, we expect full-year 2021 e-book volume to fall below 2020 levels, with the caveat that supply-chain disruption could cause another lift, if key books are unavailable during the holidays. Regardless, the e-book format will definitely remain a vital ongoing part of the U.S. book market — and a key format for certain categories.”
How Students Fought a Book Ban and Won, for Now (NYTimes)

But what began as an effort to raise awareness somehow ended with all of the materials on the list being banned from classrooms by the district’s school board in a little-noticed vote last November. Some parents in the district, which draws about 5,000 students from suburban townships surrounding the more diverse city of York, had objected to materials that they feared could be used to make white children feel guilty about their race or “indoctrinate” students.

The debate came to a head with the return to in-person classes at the start of the current school year. The Sept. 1 article in The York Dispatch quoted teachers who were aghast at an email from the high school’s principal listing the forbidden materials.

Spotify for readers: How tech is inventing better ways to read the internet (Protocol)

After all, what does Spotify do? It takes a corpus of stuff (music) and finds endless new ways to show it to users. Users can save the stuff they know they like (a library), explore things curated by other users (playlists) or turn to the app's machine-learning tools for ultra-personalized recommendations (Discover Weekly and the like).

So now imagine a reading app. You can save all the articles, tweet threads, PDFs and Wikipedia pages you want into your library. You can follow other users to see what they're saving, or check out what a curator thinks you might be into. The more you read, the more the app begins to understand that you like celebrity profiles, you're learning a lot about NFTs right now, you worship at the altar of Paul Graham and you'll read anything anyone writes about "The Bachelorette." Now, every time you open the app, it's like a magazine made just for you.

Watch my PodCast on Business Transformation (Link)

Business Transformation and Technology Improvement – podcast with Michael Cairns Michael Cairns is the CEO and founder of Information Media Partners, a business strategy consulting firm. With a wide career span in publishing and information products, services, and B2B categories, Michael has held executive roles at several publishing companies including Macmillan, Berlitz, and R.R. Bowker.

How to remember more of what you read (MarieClaire)

After three decades in the tech world, former Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior—a self-proclaimed “obsessive reader” as a child—has turned a new page in her career journey. In July 2021, she founded Fable, a social reading platform. According to Warrior, complaints about reading often fall into three categories: People don’t know what to read, they don’t have time to read, or they want to read with other people. Unlike existing platforms that try to focus on just one of those pain points, Fable seeks to tackle all three. 


Publishing Technology Software Report:

A fully revised version of my Publishing Technology Software and Services Report will be formally published on September 15. To complete this report we identified more than 200 software and services companies popular with publishers and conducted in-depth interviews with more than 31 of the most relevant companies. We also spoke with customers to apply their views and opinions about the market and these suppliers.

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