Was concerned about how self-publishing, aggregators would be handled
According to a an email exchange between then-CEO Steve Jobs and Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue submitted in court earlier today as part of the Department of Justice's e-book price-fixing trial, Apple's co-founder and then-leader read Mac rumor-and-news sites such as AppleInsider and would question the veracity of items found there. In the exchange, which happened just three months after Apple had launched the iBookstore, Jobs wants to know more about self-publishing options.
Doubling of business keeps Apple at 20 percent of e-book marketshare
Such is the explosive growth of the e-book market that Apple, as revealed during the ongoing price-fixing trial brought by the US Department of Justice, grew its iBooks business by 100 percent in 2012 alone, and yet that was only enough for it to maintain its place at 20 percent share of the overall market -- suggesting that Amazon also saw a doubling of its e-book business that year as well. Apple has maintained that 20 percent share more or less since it entered the market in 2010.
After pre-trial remarks, suddenly questions DOJ interpretation
Additional testimony and questioning in the DOJ e-book price-fixing trial against Apple has turned the nature of the case -- which has already become more into a inquiry of Amazon's misdeeds than of Apple's -- so far away from where the DOJ wanted it to go that even Apple's own lawyers sat up and took notice when Judge Denice Cote asked a key question during Friday's hearing. Cote, who in various pre-trial statements had made it crystal clear she believes the DOJ's original claims against Apple, injected doubt into a key part of the prosecution's case.
Revelation raises issues of equal treatment, conflict of interest
Under cross-examination from Apple's lawyers, a key government witness -- Amazon Vice President for Kindle Content Russell Grandinetti -- undermined a key element of the Department of Justice's case against the Cupertino giant by admitting that once it decided to move to the "agency model" under pressure from publishers, it demanded exactly the same terms from the publishers as Apple had required. The deal even included a 30 percent cut and a "most favored nation" (MFN) clause that is the crux of the DOJ's complaint against Apple.
Shanks: Apple's entry benefited industry, Penguin did not collude
Testimony on the second day of Apple's trial as a defendent against the US Department of Justice on allegations of conspiracy to raise book prices appears to have gone reasonably well for the Cupertino-based electronics giant, with some mixed but friendly testimony from Penguin Group USA CEO David Shanks. Though he admitted that it was "irrational enthusiasm" for the potential 80-100 million strong customer base Apple had at the time that led Penguin to accede to many of Apple's terms during negotiations over its contract, he also defended some aspects of Apple's role.
Unusual admission of prejudice ahead of DOJ trial
In an unusual pre-trial "tentative view," the judge in charge of the Apple versus the Department of Justice trial over alleged e-book price-fixing said that the DOJ would likely be able to prove that Apple colluded with publishers to raise e-book prices, despite not having seen all available evidence. This is not the first time Judge Denise Cote has ruled against Apple ahead of a full examination of the facts.
Apple unrepentant, remains in legal battle against USDOJ, states
Publisher Penguin and parent company Pearson have proposed a settlement with 33 US State Attorneys General and other plaintiffs for $75 million to resolve its lawsuit accusing it of price fixing in conjunction with Apple and the iBookstore. If accepted by the judge, the settlement resolves all antitrust complaints against Penguin related to the suit on the state level.
Bench trial is set to begin on June 3; Apple says no collusion
In advance of the bench trial in which Apple will have to fight off charges that it colluded -- and fostered collusion -- with publishers to raise prices on e-books, both the iPhone maker and the US Department of Justice have filed initial court documents to lay out their respective cases. At issue is both the use of Apple's "agency model" pricing scheme, as well as former CEO Steve Jobs' overtures to the major publishers -- seen by some as trying to wrangle publishers into raising prices.
New device boasts 1GHz processor, wide file format support
E-book vendor Kobo today announced its limited-edition Kobo Aura HD e-ink e-book reader. The 6.8-inch Pearl touchscreen runs at an e-ink industry-high of 265 DPI. The device's 1GHz Freescale i.MX507 processor makes the new device the fastest e-reader on the market, according to the company.
Ruling marks end of year-long suit questioning Apple's app policies
A judge from the Chinese Second Intermediate People's Court in Beijing has determined that Apple is liable for the sale of works from eight authors whose works were consolidated into apps by other companies and sold through the App Store. The $165,000 fine is to be paid directly to the writers and companies who brought the suit, and is significantly less than requested by the claimants.
Kindle hardware expected for local sales in near future
Amazon has set-up a dedicated e-book store in Canada, two and a half years after the company's first international e-book shop was opened in the UK. The addition of the Kindle Books store to the localized version of the website brings with it titles in the local currency, as well as recommendations for local writers.
New agreements come nine months after leaving OverDrive
Penguin books is to start lending e-books again in the near future, if reports are to be confirmed. Working with distributor Baker and Taylor, the digital books will be available to borrow from Los Angeles and Cleveland-based libraries, though rule changes surrounding the new lending system compared to previous iterations will force libraries to buy a new copy of the book every year.
Payments a result of suit settlement with three publishers
As a result of a possible settlement between the Department of Justice and three publishers involved in a lawsuit regarding e-book price fixing, owners of Kindle e-readers will receive refunds on past e-book purchases. Amazon told Kindle owners on Saturday that they could receive a refund of between $0.30 and $1.32 per book for books purchased between April 2010 and May 2012.
One of five publishers not participating in settlement
The head of the European Commission believes that a settlement could be reached in the Apple e-book antitrust case "in the coming couple of months." The European Commission is now market-testing an offer by Apple and four publishers in a bid to end the probe. The publishers involved mirror those from the US case over the same e-book price-fixing allegations -- Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livra, and Macmillan are all named in the settlement offer. Publisher Penguin was also charged in the investigation, but is not participating in the settlement.
Checks or e-book store credit available from most vendors
Book buyers in 49 states and five territories are poised to receive $69 million as a result of civil suit settlement accusing Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster of collusion with Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin. If the settlement is approved by Judge Denise Cote, the three publishers will partially reimburse consumers who bought agency-priced e-books between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.
Justice Department requests discovery into next year
The US Department of Justice, which launched a surprise antitrust lawsuit on Apple and (now) two publishers in April over alleged "price-fixing" in Apple's development of an e-book marketplace, now want to extend the discovery period of the case into March of next year so it can gather more facts. Apple fired back at the request demanding a "speedy resolution" and reiterating its position that it has done nothing wrong.
Version for iPad adds user-requested features
Amazon has updated its Kindle e-book reading app for iOS and Android to expand its support of children's books, comic and graphic novels. The new update also brings some iPad- and iPhone-specific improvements to the iOS version (3.1), while the Android version (3.6.0) adds several bug fixes. The web-based Kindle Cloud Reader has also been modified to add the new titles, and now includes a two-page view for landscape displays.
Says Steve Jobs quotes will 'speak for themselves'
Apple has now filed a legal response to the similar-but-separate e-book "price-fixing" class-action lawsuit brought by 31 states that mirrors the charges against Apple and two of the five major publishers being pursued by the Department of Justice. Though covering many of the same points and defenses enumerated in the DOJ response, the company argues for dismissal of the civil lawsuit as being a duplicate of the ongoing federal one, among other defenses.
Echoes PR that suit is 'fundamentally flawed'
Claiming that the Department of Justice is completely wrong in its approach and interpretation of the circumstances and public remarks of its entry into the e-book market, Apple has filed a formal response [PDF link] to the lawsuit that accuses it and major book publishers of conspiring to fix prices on e-books and undermine Amazon's ability to discount them. The response echoes Apple's few public statements on the matter, saying it fostered competition where Amazon would have destroyed it.
Class-action civil suit fires back at 'overpriced' e-books
In addition to the lawsuit from the Department of Justice and 17 states against Apple and two major publishers alleging the companies conspired to keep e-book prices artificially high, a US District Court judge yesterday approved a class-action civil lawsuit targeting Apple and five major publishers on the same charges, filed "on behalf of e-book customers." The judge rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in a strongly-worded opinion.
E-mail predicted bad behavior by Amazon
As the e-book lawsuit from the Justice Department against Apple and two other publishers expands, some recently-unsealed evidence shows that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs personally intervened to convince a holdout major publisher that the "agency model" -- a standard pricing model in the book industry that lets publishers set prices for books -- was the way to go, and succeeded in convincing the publisher.
Future Tor Books to be DRM-free
Tor Books, the fantasy and sci-fi publisher, plans to remove DRM from its entire library of e-books by July. This move makes Tor one of the largest book publishers to have shied away from DRM protection.
Company to help with editing and design
Kobo has announced plans to launch its own publishing service to complement its e-book distribution business. The company is said to be readying a range of publishing services, working directly with authors to edit content and establish book designs.
Amazon details new Kindle Format 8
Amazon has detailed its new Kindle e-book format designed to leverage the capabilities of its new Kindle Fire Android tablet. The new Kindle Format 8 adds HTML5 support and gives publishers the ability to produce rich format print material. The format is said to be especially suited to children’s picture books, comics & graphic novels, technical & engineering books and cookbooks.
Covers 30 years of reporting on Apple founder
Fortune magazine earlier today released a new book profiling Apple's co-founder, former CEO and current chairman, Steve Jobs, exclusively for the Kindle and Kindle apps as an e-book, reports AppleInsider. The book, which can be read on Macs, PCs, Android or iOS devices using Amazon's Kindle applications as well as on a Kindle itself, is compiled from 30 years of reporting and interviews with friends, colleagues and Jobs himself across 17 stories.
OverDrive, Amazon partner to lend e-books
Amazon has taken another step toward establishing the Kindle Lending Library. Announced in April, the system appears to have moved to beta testing at the Seattle Public Library and King County Public Library in Washington. The service is provided by OverDrive, which has agreements to manage ebook lending with 11,000 libraries in the US.
Technology visionary Michael Hart dies
The founder of Project Gutenberg and inventor of eBooks Michael Hart has passed away at the age of 64. Hart was renowned as a futurist, and someone who appreciated the potential technology offered for wider society. It was as early as 1971 that Hart put together the first eBook, when he typed the US Declaration of Independence into a computer so that it could be freely shared with others.
New album 'Alpocalypse' expected next week
Musical comedian "Weird Al" Yankovic has adapted his best-selling children's book When I Grow Up into an iOS e-book app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The digital version features the full text and artwork of the original book, along with Yankovic's own narration, games, special "Easter Eggs" and other interactive features. Featuring original illustrations by Wes Hargis, the book features Yankovic's brand of imaginative humor.
Service said to run counter to sales goals
Amazon has reportedly revoked API access for Lendle's e-book lending service, effectively shutting the company out from the Kindle platform. In a blog post regarding the situation, the company points to an e-mail from Amazon that explains that Lendle does not "serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site."
Supports comic, manga and book formats
French software firm Kaiju Software has released a public beta of their Mac-only digital publications viewing and management software, Ehon 1.0. The program supports popular comic and manga formats such as CBR/Rar, CBZ/Zip as well as ebook formats like PDF and ePub, or even folders of images.
Device focused on European markets
Bookeen has introduced its latest e-book reader, the Cybook Orizon, which features a multi-touch display with improved contrast. The company claims its touchscreen implementation does not compromise the display readability, even in direct sunlight. Multi-touch gestures can be used to change pages, annotate, highlight text, or adjust the character size.
Updated version brings welcome improvements
Electronista has taken a closer look at the third-generation Kindle, Amazon's latest attempt to cement its dominance in the e-book reader market. We found that the company followed through with its promise of an improved display paired with a lighter housing and ergonomic design. Page turns appear to be slightly quicker, while the "experimental" browser shows potential for basic tasks such as Wikipedia research.
Leaked marketing materials detail sales
CVS is reportedly planning on selling a $100 netbook and $180 e-book reader, both built by Sylvania. As expected, the netbook does not run Windows 7 or XP. The budget device will be powered by Windows CE, according to leaked marketing materials posted on Engadget. Additional hardware specs remain unclear, although the advertisement highlights e-mail, web browsing, social networking and video streaming functionality.
Device targets e-reader market
Copia has unveiled its latest gadget, the Wave5, which offers features that bridge the gap between e-book readers and tablets. The device integrates a 5-inch LCD rather than an E-ink panel or other black-and-white display utilized by most e-readers.
Software to come preloaded on notebooks
Toshiba has posted a teaser page for its upcoming e-book store, Toshiba Book Place. The software will ship preloaded on the company's notebook computers, along with a sample collection of free books. The portal is one of the first to be based on the Blio platform.
Reader aims to maintain entry-level pricing
Kobo at CTIA introduced an e-book reader, the eReader, which provides access to the company's own e-book store. Electronista took a quick look at the new device, an affordable offering at $149, and talked to the company about their changing strategy in the growing market.
New York Times team working on tablet app
Apple has been pushing hard during the last month to secure e-book publishers for its imminent tablet, a pair of sources in the publishing industry claim. Both are said to agree that Apple will probably have some sort of deal secured by launch, although one or more may be in principle only, rather than worked out in detail. Apple may be able to say it has partnerships with "all the major publishers" during this Wednesday's press event.