Round up #117: NOOK Media spun off, Google deal…sort of
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Google settles with some publishers
I first wrote about a settlement between Google and groups that objected to Google’s project which involved scanning books more than three years ago. This is my eleventh article addressing it.
It’s still not over…the Authors Guild isn’t done with this, for one thing.
There are some really important elements to this, and unfortunately, a settlement means those don’t get addressed in a way that would provide effective case law, as I understand it (I’m not a lawyer).
by Antone Gonsalves talks about Fair Use in the digital world, and that’s going to make a difference in your life going forward.
What is Fair Use?
It’s basically a statement by the Copyright Office that certain uses are not protected under copyright law…that’s it’s fair to use a copyrighted work without getting permission from the righstholder if that use fits take into consideration four specific rules:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
Since all four elements are supposed to be taken into account, that would suggest that it’s never okay to copy an entire work.
However, it was allowed that we can “time shift” TV programs using VCRs (videocassette recorders) and then later technologies , which record the entire program.
There are people (even companies) now that say it’s okay to scan a copy of a paperbook you own to digitize. I don’t think that’s really been finally codified…and this settlement doesn’t do that.
As to the deal, here is the AAP (Association of American Publishers) statement:
From what we are being told, the publishers seem to have solidly won…they can exempt their books if they want.
Looking at the statement, I think that Google will have to get case by case permission. That’s been one of the key points…can Google display books until somebody tells them to remove them, or do they have to get permission first?
For me, that’s what made the original agreement unacceptable…that so-called “orphan books” (those where no one can be found to “speak for them”, even though the book is still under copyright) could be displayed without first getting permission.
I don’t think the Authors Guild will quickly follow suit here, but we’ll see.
Eventually, I do think it will be established that we can “format shift” our p-books (paperbooks) into e-books, and that we’ll get technologies that will make that fairly simple. However, I hope that orphan books can’t simply be published without permission of the author/estate, without a significant revision of copyright.
NOOK Media spins off from Barnes & Noble
When Microsoft poured hundreds of millions of dollars in to B&N, it was clear that separating the NOOK and NOOKbooks from the regular bookstores was going to be part of the deal eventually.
Well, that’s here:
I have to say, if I was working in on of the brick-and-mortar stores (I’m a former bookstore manager and worked other positions before that), I’d be worried.
“So, look, um…Superman…we’re splitting you into two parts. I’m taking the flight, the invulnerability, the heat vision, the x-ray vision…all the visions, really, the super hearing, and the super speed.”
“Uh…what do I get?”
“Vulnerability to Kryptonite.”
This is not a complete financial separation, and the stores will continue to sell NOOKs. I don’t know if that will give the stores enough time to evolve into something that can survive the current and near future changes in retailing paperbooks locally, but we’ll see.
Oh, by the way…NOOK Media also took the College stores. In years past, those have provided some strength, now removed from the trade (general) stores.
Photo Editor 1.3.3
I’ve found a free camera app for the
that I like. I haven’t figured out where it stores the pictures on the Fire (why is that so hard?), but it does e-mail them nicely and they look good. It includes a lot of effects and editing, including a “sketch” mode similar to Paper Camera.
As regular readers know, I’m not that big on images, so if somebody who does really care about photo quality checks it out, I’d be interested to hear what you think about it.
I did take a picture so you can see it…this is an early 20th Century cover of the Wizard of Oz, so it’s in the public domain:
Another recent free app that I got that I like is a simple battery monitor,
It does give me statistics, which interest me more than images.
For example, the system app took 9.0% of my charge life, and the app Dabble took .5%. The screen took 6.4%.
It tells you how much time you have left when charging to get to complete.
I think the feature most people will like best, though, is that it can play a sound (including a music clip) when the battery hits 100%. As many people have commented in the forums, the HD doesn’t have a charging light, so you can’t really tell when it’s at 100% without powering it up and going through a few clicks. This way, I know when it’s 100% charged without doing anything active.
Kindle DX now $299
Thanks to Andrys Basten of the A Kindle World blog for the heads up on this! The
the large screen RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle) was $379, so that’s a $80 price reduction. This doesn’t look like a temporary reduction, but it’s hard to tell that.
You can also have the DX shipped to a variety of countries.
In case you thought I got special treatment as a blogger…
my shipping date for my Kindle Paperwhite 3G, 6″ High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers still hasn’t changed. I’m still looking at October 16th…anxiously awaiting it, though.
What do you think? Will the brick-and-mortar Barnes & Nobles survive…and if they do, will they keep carrying paperbooks? Is it okay to digitize a paperbook book you own for your own use? Do you love your Kindle DX? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.