Wednesday News: Harper Collins resists Canadian ebook settlement; Nancy Willard dies; “Alien Bounty Hunter;” and hilarious giraffe video
HarperCollins Vows to Fight Back in Canadian eBook Price-Fixing Case – So Harper Collins has decided that it does not want to join the Canadian ebook settlement that was negotiated in January with the Canadian Competition Bureau. The Bureau asserts that Harper Collins is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by not allowing retailers to discount ebooks, thereby raising prices for Canadian consumers. Harper Collins claims that there was no formal agency pricing agreement among four trade publishers (three of which have agreed to settle), and that even if there was an agreement, it too bad, so sad for the Bureau.
- Unlike the related case in the US, the Canadian Competition Bureau is not alleging any conspiracy to raise and fix ebook prices, merely that the four publishers set policies that limited competition in the Canadian ebook market by enforcing price controls (aka agency pricing) where the publishers set the retail price of an ebook.
- The settlement agreement is laughably weak; it only requires the publishers to give up price control for three calendar quarters and give up the MFN clause for around three years. (One would also think if price competition were important, the publishers would be required to give it up permanently, but no.)
- When this case first came up way back in 2014, HarperCollins agreed to the negotiated settlement. – The Digital Reader
Nancy Willard, Prolific Children’s Book Author, Dies at 80 – This is a really lovely obituary for Nancy Willard, whose book A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers was the first book of poetry to win the Newberry (I love that book!). She was one of those authors who wove both magic and science into her work, and she taught creative writing at Vassar (after earning an M.A. from Stanford and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan) from 1965 to 2013. She wrote a total of 70 books of fiction and poetry.
While she was best known for her children’s books, Ms. Willard also wrote novels for adults. In 1993 the Times critic Michiko Kakutani described her second, “Sister Water,” as “a luminous, lyrical novel about familial love and loss, a novel that almost literally hums with the power of her language.” . . .
Her first children’s book, “Sailing to Cythera: And Other Anatole Stories,” was published in 1974 after her son, James Lindbloom, was born. In addition to her husband, he survives her. (She published other “Anatole” stories, and James became a model for a character in several other books.) . . .
“Writing a book of poems for children is like sending a package to a child at camp: The cookies are fed to the fish, the books are fly swatters and the baseball cards are traded,” she once observed. “You never know the use to which your gift — or your poems — will be put. if you’re lucky, children a hundred years hence will be skipping rope to them or muttering them over the graves of dead cats.” – New York Times
Mark Wahlberg Making SciFi Comic Book in Hopes of Launching Movie Franchise – So the recent spate of successful comic book adaptation has at least two Hollywood producers attempting to reverse engineer the process by creating a comic book series – Alien Bounty Hunter – with an eye to having it adapted into a film. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, but Beth Elderkin makes some good points:
It makes sense that Wahlberg and crew would be interested in starting a franchise from a comic book, since so many upcoming films and TV shows are based on graphic novels, but this is an unusual case. Of course, comics have been launched before to promote or push different series, but this time around, they’re openly talking about how it’s mainly designed to lead to a brand-new film franchise.
Sadly, it ends up feeling a little disingenuous. Comic books are a well-respected medium, all on their own, and they shouldn’t be treated like a temporary stomping ground until some Hollywood moguls get what they really want. – i09
Pregnant woman re-enacts giraffe livestream wearing mask – Okay, so if you haven’t been obsessively watching April the giraffe pacing her enclosure, oblivious to the tens of thousands of people waiting for her to give birth, this may not be so funny to you. But if you have been watching April (I dare you not to become obsessed!), you will probably love Erin Dietrich’s home video. Dressed in a giraffe head and yoga pants, she paces off her own pregnancy insomnia while her husband films her (and tries not to laugh) from the doorway. Bypass the music-set video montage at the beginning of the story and watch the actual home video, which has garnered more than 29 MILLION views. It also looks like she’s got pearls on, which just adds to the joyful hilarity of the whole thing.
“I can’t sleep at night. I have pregnancy insomnia so I’ve become obsessed with this April giraffe,” Erin, 29, told ABC News. “It’s the most ridiculous thing. I’m 39 weeks pregnant with our fourth child. My husband thinks it’s so ridiculous how obsessed I am, so on Friday he said we should get a giraffe mask for when I go into labor.”
“Last night, after we put the other three kids to bed I was thinking it would be funny to re-enact April’s livestream, just pacing around,” she explained.- ABC News