German Authors Join Protest Over Amazon’s Tactics in E-Book Dispute – With over 1,000 author signatures, a German petition is drawing more attention to the situation between Amazon and Bonnier, claiming, among other things, that Amazon is tailoring recommended reads and delaying shipment of certain books. Although the German book selling market is different than the US market in terms of price regulation, it represents a substantial international book market, especially in regard to the adoption of digital books.
Many points included in the German letter echoed those raised by more than 900 writers in the United States as part of Authors United, such as encouraging readers to write directly to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and founder. The German-language authors also suggested sending a note to Ralf Kleber, head of Amazon Germany, to urge the retailer to “stop using books and authors as hostages and instead ensure a lively and honest book culture.”
The literary culture in Germany and Austria differs profoundly from that in the United States or Britain, in that pricing is protected by laws that forbid deep discounting, or other purely commercial practices. Many authors fear Amazon will use its dominant position to seek to overturn these laws. –New York Times
Judge Orders Mediation in Latest E-book Price-Fixing Suit – Another step in the most recent price-fixing suit, brought against the Big 5 publishers and Apple by DNAML, Books on Board, and Diesel eBooks, none of which are still in business. Defendants wanted Judge Cote to let them litigate the damage issue first (not the damages, but whether the pubs caused the damage alleged in the complaint), but instead, Cote has created a schedule designed to streamline the discovery process.
I distinctly remember the moment (not really) Agency Pricing hit BoB, because I was in the process of buying some trad published books and could not complete the transaction because of the pricing change. That was the beginning of the end in my relationship with BoB, and, I suspect, many other readers had similar experiences.
In a conference in her Manhattan courtroom, Judge Cote conferred with the parties on discovery issues, and outlined a schedule that could have the case ready for trial by late 2015. Although a final schedule was not set, the judge said she would order the parties to enter mediation in December. –Publishers Weekly
Lawsuit claims Steve Jobs, senior Apple directors hurt company with anti-poaching row – Derivative shareholder suits are complex, fascinating things. Corporations, including their executive managers, are bound by certain duties, including those of care, loyalty, and good faith. Corporate directors are supposed to refrain from self-dealing, make decisions that are in the best interests of the company, and therefore the shareholders, and be conscientious in the execution of their fiduciary duties to the corporation. When there is a perceived breach of these duties, shareholders have the right to sue the corporation on behalf of the corporation. In other words, shareholders are basically asking the court to determine whether the corporation’s interests are being violated by those running it.
This suit stems from some of the other lawsuits Apple has found itself embroiled in, particularly the 2010 price-fixing suit and the class action suit over employment issues. Among other things, plaintiffs assert that Apple’s reputation and “innovation” have suffered over the past few years. This may turn out to be the most interesting suit of all filed against Apple, seeing as it’s been filed on behalf of the company’s own shareholders.
Filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this week, the derivative shareholder complaint prepared by attorneys for plaintiff R. Andre Klein accuses Apple senior directors and officers of “breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services.”
Individual defendants, including Jobs and Cook, allegedly caused the company to violate antitrust laws, issue false and misleading financial proxy statements and stifle worker wages, according to the argument. As a result, Apple, which must be included alongside Klein and shareholders as a nominal defendant, was harmed by being forced into a time and asset consuming settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010, as well as an ongoing class action lawsuit leveled by a group of employees. Further, the company’s reputation suffered, as did innovation. –Apple Insider
Downton Abbey Devises Perfect Comeback for Water Bottle Gaffe – If you haven’t yet seen the Downton Abbey publicity photograph that set off “water bottle-gate,” by all means check it out. But even better than the glaring but amusing historical error is the way the show’s cast and creators have responded to the minor scandal. A lesson for us all about turning a mistake into an opportunity (and even MORE positive publicity than they could have otherwise expected).
The cast teamed up with WaterAid, a UK-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean water to the world, for a funny photo that makes sure everyone knows that they are in on the joke, well hydrated and willing to use their media ruckus-raising powers for good. –Vanity Fair
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!