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Wednesday News: HathiTrust wins against Author’s Guild, Kindle installment plan, book...

Fair Use Victory in HathiTrust Litigation – So this is the one about how the Author’s Guild sued the HathiTrust and lost. The HathiTrust — comprised of more than 80 academic and research institutions — created a digital library (the HathiTrust Digital Library) and then digitized more than ten million works for the Library. The Second Circuit ruled on two issues and did not rule on a third, and both of the issues they did rule on — full-text searchability and digital access for print-disabled readers — to be Fair Use. Go figure. The third, as yet unresolved, issue is related to the question of whether a library can print a replacement copy of a book that is otherwise unobtainable for a reasonable price.

Today’s decision is an important reaffirmation of the fair use doctrine’s role in enabling transformative uses of copyrighted works that enable the creation of new information-location tools and in the ability of libraries to serve the needs of their print disabled patrons. –The Berkeley Blog

Three Months in, Amazon’s Kindle Installment Plan is Here to Stay – Did you know that Amazon was offering an installment plan for Kindles? I sure didn’t. Apparently everything but the Fire is available for purchase in five payments, and the program has already been in place for three months.

It makes a lot of sense for Amazon to offer this program. Once they have maxed out their retail channel by selling to everyone who can pay full price, and lowered the price as much as they can via ad subsidies, the next logical step was to offer an installment plan and lower the purchase barrier another notch. And since Amazon handles their own payment processing, the actual cost (compared to having the stock sitting in a warehouse unsold) is minimal. –The Digital Reader

Absent Friends: Lean Years of Plenty – Katherine Mansfield was the fiction reviewer for The Athenaeum for about four years, between 1919 and her death in 1923. And for all of the complaints we have about genre fiction of today, trust that Mansfield made note of most of them almost a century ago. That’s right, dear readers, streams of literary dreck have been running unchecked through pens, typewriters, computers, and book presses for decades and decades, and authors have resented negative reviews. Seriously, though, it’s pretty amusing to see how little things have changed when it comes to complaints about writing quality and the value of critical reviews.

Public Opinion, garrulous, lying old nurse that she is, cries: ‘Yes! Great books, immortal books are being born every minute, each one more lusty than the last. Let him who is without sin among you cast the first criticism.’ It would be a superb, thrilling world if this were true! Or even if the moderate number of them were anything but little puppets, little make-believes, playthings on strings with the same stare and the same sawdust filling, just unlike enough to keep the attention distracted, but all like enough to do nothing more profound. After all, in these lean years of plenty how could it be otherwise? Not even the most hardened reader, at the rate books are written and read nowadays, could stand up against so many attacks upon his mind and heart, if it were. Reading, for the great majority—for the reading public—is not a passion but a pastime, and writing, for the vast number of modern authors, is a pastime and not a passion. –Open Letters Monthly

7 Highlights from a 19th Century Book of Sample Love Letters – Perhaps this 19th century advice on writing love letters should be filed under things not to include in your Romance novel. Among the examples (with helpful annotations):

3. “FROM A GENTLEMAN OF SOME FORTUNE, WHO HAD SEEN A LADY IN PUBLIC, TO HER MOTHER”

He gets to the heart of the matter eventually, but it’s the opening paragraph that’s worth considering:

I shall be very happy if you are not altogether unacquainted with the name which is at the bottom of this letter, since that will prevent me the necessity of saying some things concerning myself, which had better be heard from others. Hoping that it may be so, I shall not trouble you on that head; but only say, that I have the honour to be of a family not mean, and not wholly without fortune.

I think that’s 19th century speak for “Do you know who I am?!” –Mental Floss

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