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Thursday News: Sony Reader Store closes today in US & Canada, new Sony reader for sale, author Kevin Trudeau sentenced for fraud, and the genius of goggly eye books

Thursday News: Sony Reader Store closes today in US & Canada,...

The Future of Reader Store in the US & Canada – Just a reminder that for US and Canadian customers, the Sony Reader Store closes permanently today, March 20, at 6 pm EST. If you have a Reader Store account, it will automatically transferred to Kobo, unless you choose to opt out, which you are supposed to be able to do from your existing Sony account. Read the blog post in its entirety for more details, and pertinent links.

Customers don’t have to do anything right now, and will be able to re-download your previously purchased eBooks for a limited time. In late March, we will send an email to registered customers with a link that will allow customers to transfer existing libraries to Kobo. Whether new to Kobo or with an existing account an account, customers will be able to transfer your Reader Store eBooks to your Kobo account so you’ll continue to have access to them in the future. Plus, any existing Reader Store credits in accounts will transfer to a Kobo account to use at the Kobo Store. And of course, customers can continue to use their Sony Reader to read eBooks from Kobo. –Sony Reader Store Blog

Sony Reader PRS-T3 Arrives in the US Days Before Sony Shuts Down the Reader Store – Speaking of Sony, the PRT-T3, Sony’s new e-reading device, has finally become available in the US market (although not sold directly by Sony), just as the Reader Store closes its figurative doors. Should you invest in this new device? A commenter makes an interesting point regarding Sony’s strong compatibility with Calibre, but Nate Hoffelder does not recommend it:

While the PRS-T3 will continue to function after Sony turns off their ebook store, there is little to recommend this device over other models on the market. It’s rather expensive when compared to its competition (Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Aura), and aside from some software features there is little to recommend it.

In fact, I can offer at least one point against. The PRS-T3 is using a Pearl E-ink screen, and it has a touchscreen but no frontlight. That makes it a rare beast among ebook readers, and while I don’t care to use a frontlight I would want one just in case. –The Digital Reader

U.S. TV pitchman Trudeau sentenced to 10 years in prison – This is a somewhat odd story, but its also a compelling example of why the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention to books. Kevin Trudeau had settled with the FTC back in 2004, based on accusations that he was “misrepresenting the contents of his books in advertisements.” Trudeau, who was quite famous for his infomercials (he wrote a moderately famous book on so-called “natural cures,” as well). I don’t know if all of his books were self-published, but some certainly were. A jury convicted Trudeau of fraud in November, stemming from an alleged violation of his settlement via the infomercials for his book on weight loss, and this week he was sentenced to ten years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Trudeau told viewers in the infomercials that the “cure” to obesity was not a diet and did not require exercise, but the book instructed readers to walk an hour each day and to limit intake to 500 calories.

Prosecutors, who said Trudeau’s actions resulted in over $37 million in losses to consumers, had sought at least a 10-year sentence, saying in court papers he was motivated by simple greed and had bilked consumers and defied court orders. –Reuters

Googly Eye Books – All I can say is that if all books were sold with goggly eyes, I’d probably be willing to purchase virtually any title. Sheer genius. –Googly Eye Books Tumblr

Monday News: Sony’s future, focus groups and creativity, copyright v. revenge porn, and a provocative South African ad

Monday News: Sony’s future, focus groups and creativity, copyright v. revenge...

Japan Industrial Partners, which specialises in turnarounds and buyouts in manufacturing, said it aimed to reach an agreement by the end of March to buy the PC business.

A small player in the global PC business, Sony has often been criticised for having too much under its wing.

If the PC deal comes together, a new company will be established, both sides said.

Sony said it would concentrate on its line-up of smartphones and tablets and “cease planning, design and development of PC products”. –Aljazeera America

 

The author further points out that when the Doctor Who update was focus grouped in 2005, it showed dismally, even though it has become a huge success since. When we talk about fostering an environment of creative risk and introducing novelty in the Romance genre, I think Anderson provides some crucial food for thought:

It takes time for new products to be adopted by the public. It generally takes a small passionate group of “sneezers” (people who get excited about something new and start telling everyone they possibly can) to get behind a new product and make it a success. This is down to familiarity and status quo bias amongst the general public – we don’t tend to like “new” and “different” things when they first appear – but once people begin getting excited this initial resistance can soon be broken down. The problem is that a focus group will only enforce these biases. How can genuinely new and exciting products ever reach the market when faced with these hurdles? –Jamie Anderson’s blog

I have to admit that I have been very frustrated with attempts to have the safe harbor provision eliminated, precisely because of the speech-chilling possibilities; at the same time, though, I agree that victims of revenge porn need an easier legal route to justice. Enter the DMCA, which protects copyright of selfie photographs, so many of which are later used in the execution of revenge porn schemes:

Many of the lawsuits against revenge porn websites are for tort claims like stalking, harassment or invasion of privacy. The problem is that most stalking and harassment laws are not applicable to revenge porn submitters because there is no repeated course of conduct or direct communication with the victim.

. . .

More than 80 percent of revenge porn photos are selfies, meaning that, as the “authors” of their selfies, the majority of victims own the copyright in their photos. Victims can use the takedown provisions Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to de-index websites with their photos from search engines like Google and ask the websites themselves to remove the photos, all without having to hire a lawyer–The Atlantic