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Monday News: German authors v. Amazon, retailers v. Apple, Apple shareholders v. Apple, and Downton Abbey v. plastic water bottles

Monday News: German authors v. Amazon, retailers v. Apple, Apple shareholders...

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

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

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

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

Tuesday News: New suit against Apple et al, the recession’s effect on the US economy, writer’s envy, and truly funny cat video

Tuesday News: New suit against Apple et al, the recession’s effect...

Judge Says Price-Fixing Suit Filed by Retailers Can Proceed – Judge Cote has ruled that an antitrust suit brought by independent bookseller DNAML against Apple et al can move forward, likely in tandem with Lavoho, LLC and Abbey House Media (formerly Diesel and Books on Board).

Question: Will these publishers ever get it? Amazon v. Hachette suggests maybe not.

Although Cote in her opinion said proving damages was going to be difficult “in the extreme” for the DNAML, she held that the plaintiff’s case met the standard to proceed. But while Cote suggested that proving damages might be difficult, she added that DNAML’s “lost investment,” in its business “may be reasonably quantifiable.”

“It is more than plausible that a discount retailer was harmed by a conspiracy to remove retailers’ ability to discount e-books,” the judge wrote in her order, adding that the retailers were “indisputably competitors in a market in which trade was restrained.” –Publishers Weekly

Here’s how the recession affected jobs in newsrooms, publishing, advertising, and more – 255 charts tell the story of “how the recession reshaped the economy,” including almost 500,000 jobs in traditional publishing lost, along with major losses (thus far unrecovered) in television, radio, and broadcast. Salaries for telecom resellers dipped the most, followed by salaries for those in newspaper publishing (not a big surprise). If you have like ten hours to spare, check out the charts. –Nieman Journalism Lab

Whose Writing Career Do You Most Envy? – These little Bookends pieces by Zoë Heller and Daniel Mendelsohn are sometimes pretty interesting, more, I think, for the questions and issues they raise, than for their actual answers. In this case, it’s what writer’s career do you envy, which bring up much philosophizing about how difficult it is to envy any writer’s career when you know too much about a writer, something that seems particularly poignant right now, with all the social media to which we have access. Still, some interesting questions around popularity and creativity, and how the patterns to many writers’ careers may be more similar than dissimilar.

The Greeks’ insistence that we consider the whole life before making final judgments has an interesting literary application. As a critic, I’m often struck by the way in which so many successful writers settle into a groove by midcareer: Whatever marked them as special, new, or distinctive when they started — the “thing” that set them on their path — becomes, with time, a franchise; at worst, a straitjacket. By the end, most of us repeat ourselves. Very few — perhaps only the greatest — continue to grow. Almost inevitably, the innovator of yesterday becomes the éminence grise of today. –New York Times

Nobody Believed Her When She Said Her Cat Does This. So She Set Up A Camera To Prove It. LOL! - I’m not usually one for cute cat videos, but this one is hilarious. Watch it, laugh, and enjoy the rest of your day. –Reshareworthy