Digital Harassment Is the New Means of Domestic Abuse – February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and a growing concern among those who work with victims of domestic violence that “technology is increasingly replacing fists as the weapon of choice in abusive relationships.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline has witnessed an increase in calls from young women who have suffered abuse via social media and other forms of electronic communication. Consequently, the Hotline has implemented “a digital abuse awareness strategy” to help teens and parent recognize the signs of potentially problematic online behavior. As a side note, more and more U.S. colleges and universities are providing training for students about how to responsibly use social media, and it seems as if this is also necessary on the high school, and perhaps even middle school levels, as well.
Roberta Valente, a consultant who works with the Hotline, said laws are struggling to keep up with the changing digital landscape. “This is a new world for legislators,” she wrote in an email. Valente also wrote that those working in the domestic violence non-profit space are hopeful there will be more that can be done from a law enforcement standpoint eventually, particularly with efforts to seriously address cyber-stalking. –Daily Beast
Barnes & Noble Fired Its Nook Hardware Engineering Staff – Oh, boy. Following the firing of the VP of Hardware last month (there’s a title for you!), Barnes & Noble has laid off its hardware engineers, suggesting that B&N is quickly exiting the digital reading business. Will they continue to make the GlowLight, currently the only NOOK still in production? Considering that NOOK was the lowest performing aspect of B&N’s business at the end of last year, it’s not looking good.
“We’ve been very clear about our focus on rationalizing the NOOK business and positioning it for future success and value creation. As we’ve aligned NOOK’s cost structure with business realities, staffing levels in certain areas of our organization have changed, leading to some job eliminations. We’re not going to comment specifically on those eliminations.” –Business Insider
Canadian Competition Bureau limits agency ebook pricing – While we give a lot of attention to the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into and suit against agency pricing, the Canadian Competition Bureau — “an independent law enforcement agency” — completed an eighteen month investigation against Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster. They found that agency pricing reduced competition in violation of the Canadian Competition Act, resulting in voluntary changes on the part of these publishers to their distribution agreements with ebook retailers.
Some of the more notable points in the Canadian agreement state that for a period of 18 months:
The signing publishers cannot restrict an ebook retailer’s ability to set, alter or reduce the retail price of any ebook for sale to consumers in Canada.
Publishers cannot restrict retailers’ ability to offer price discounts or any other form of promotions.
The publishers cannot enter into a new agreement with any ebook retailer that limits the retailer’s ability to discount ebooks.
And for four and a half years after signing the agreement, the publishers cannot enter into an agreement with an ebook retailer that includes a “most favoured nation” (MFN) clause. An MFN clause means that a retailer is guaranteed the lowest price its competitors are offered. -Digital Book World
Open Road acquires 15-year-old ebook publisher E-Reads – This is a pretty interesting alliance, actually, between a digital publisher co-founded by former Harper Collins CEO Jane Friedman and one headed by literary agent Richard Curtis. Curtis has published more than 1,200 titles through E-Reads, while Open Road currently owns more than 4,000 titles. Curtis will continue to run his literary agency (side question: is it a conflict of interest for literary agents to simultaneously act as publishers?), but will apparently “consult” with Open Road during the acquisition process. Open Road provided the first digital publication of books by Michael Chabon, Sherman Alexie, and Alice Walker, among others.
E-Reads authors include Harlan Ellison, sci-fi author Greg Bear and mystery author Barbara Parker. Open Road has partnered with other publishers to market their ebooks, but this is its first straight acquisition. The terms were not disclosed. –GIGAOM
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!