Thursday News: AAP annual meeting, Madam C.J. Walker, Tribune reorganization, and Trump erotica
Free Speech, Digital Piracy Headline AAP Annual Meeting – The Association of American Publishers, aka “the voice of American publishing,” featured several themes at its annual meeting, including the threats to free speech, especially in education (yay!), digital piracy (sigh), and educational technology as social media (hmmm). These are interesting themes, considering that AAP is the main trade organization for US publishers, maybe even unexpected — well, except for the “piracy” theme (sigh):
Turning to copyright and piracy, Daniel H. Marti, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, also known as the country’s “IP czar,” reported on what he had been doing, and had witnessed, during his first year on the job. (He was selected for the position in the summer of 2014 and confirmed 92-0 by the Senate a year ago.)
With a presidential election near, Marti said his primary duties are to introduce his staff to the industry, so “publishers know who to talk with” after a new administration takes office. He is also working on a joint strategic plan on IP, a study required to be delivered every three years, that gives a comphrehensive overview of how the office plans to work towards IP protection and enforcement on a global scale. The plan must be submitted to the President and Congress this summer, and Marti asked for input and comments from the industry. – Publishers Weekly
After More Than a Century, Madam C.J. Walker’s Hair Products Are Back – For those of you who are not familiar with Walker, she is the first female, self-made millionaire in the United States. Not the first African American female, self-made millionaire — simply the first. And she did it by designing and selling a hair care system that is being re-introduced to the commercial market, this time exclusively in Sephora (online and in brick and mortar stores). Also, Walker’s incredible success and legacy is certainly great inspiration for heroines in Historical Romance.
Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in 1867, the daughter of Louisiana sharecroppers. Widowed at the age of 20, Breedlove began losing her hair, and in 1905 she developed a system involving scalp preparation and lotions that revolutionized black hair care. She took the name Madam C.J. Walker after marrying her third husband, Charles Walker, and her treatment became known as the “Walker System.” She first sold her homemade products directly to African-American women. By 1910, when she moved from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis, Walker had a fleet of more than 3,000 workers who sold her product line of nearly 20 hair and skin items door to door and by mail order. . . .
Walker used her fortune to fund scholarships at the Tuskegee Institute and donated huge sums to the NAACP and the Black YMCA, among other charities. The charter of her company provided that only a woman could serve as president. When her daughter, A’Lelia, inherited Walker’s sumptuous New York City mansion, it became a gathering place for members of the Harlem Renaissance. – The Root
Tribune Publishing Outlines Personnel, Strategy Changes – The Tribune owns papers like the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, so these changes are particularly significant for other newspapers that are struggling to keep up with changes to technology and information media. The decision to merge the roles of publisher and editor is particularly eyebrow-raising, given the hardly insignificant concerns around commercial and political interests influencing editorial choices and actions.
The most substantial development involves merging the roles of publisher and editor at Tribune’s 11 dailies, jobs that the industry has traditionally kept separate to avoid the possibility of business matters affecting editorial decision making. . . .
Media watchdogs said the decision to merge the publisher and editor roles marked a key evolution in the industry as traditional publishers struggle to transform their businesses into digitally focused news operations.
“This move makes Tribune look a lot more like the startups and digital outlets that they are now competing against,” said Kelly McBride, vice president for academic programs at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank. – Wall Street Journal
Canada’s Foremost Political Gay Erotica Writer Does The Donald – A friend sent this to me yesterday, and I just had to share the pain of knowing that something called Can’t Stump the Drumpf: An Erotic Tale has been unleashed into the world (or more properly, Amazon, and OMG it’s free through KU).
[Sam] Shiver, the writer behind classics such as Serving the Prime Minister: A Canadian Romance (accidentally brought to you by VICE Canada) and Foreign Affairs: A Diplomatic Romance, sent me a note (more of an apology) Wednesday afternoon linking to the GOP-based novella on Amazon.
“I had to do it, and I am so SO sorry. Enjoy,” she wrote.
I’m sorry too, because I read it—all 11 or so pages—and Foreign Affairs: A Diplomatic Romance it is not. – Vice