HarperCollins has filed a lawsuit against digital publisher Open Road over the e-book version of Jean Craighead George’s Newbery Award-winning children’s classic Julie of the Wolves. Originally published in 1972 by HarperCollins, Open Road arranged to publish an electronic version directly with the book’s author. In a statement, HarperCollins spokesperson Erin Crum told Publishers Weekly that “HarperCollins Publishers believes in protecting its exclusive rights. Our contract with Jean Craighead George, the author of Julie of the Wolves, grants us the exclusive digital rights to the book, and Open Road’s e-book edition violates our rights. We intend to take all appropriate steps to protect our exclusive rights under copyright against infringement, in this case and in any instances that might occur in the future.” The e-book still appears to be for sale online. Read More
Print to Pixels
Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s interactive Harry Potter web site that will also be the exclusive vendor of Harry Potter e-books, will remain in Beta for longer than anticipated and will also go offline for “a few days” starting tomorrow. Pottermore opened for experimentation and feedback for a select 1 million Harry Potter fans starting in late summer and was scheduled to open to the wider public starting in October. Read More
Amazon has taken great pains to assure consumers that its forthcoming tablet device will not only rival the iPad in technology but also in content. All Things D reports that Amazon has already cut deals with Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith to offer magazine subscriptions and today the company announced a deal with Twentieth Century FOX that allows all Amazon prime members to stream FOX videos and movies. Presumably this will carry over to the new tablet — you can watch Mrs. Doubtfire sitting on the subway! Hurrah.
More importantly, however, Apple’s dominance in digital magazine apps will likely be broken, and publishers are salivating at the prospect of a duopoly. Will Amazon strike a subscription deal with Time, Inc., a feat that Apple has yet to accomplish? Will this give magazine publishers the power to re-negotiate the 30 percent cut retailers traditionally take for magazine apps?
“You’ve got beauty and design with Apple, which we love,” a publisher tells All Things D. “But with Amazon you have marketing, and ease of use. We’ve very optimistic.” Read More
Last month The Observer managed to “find the magic quill” and register for early access to a Beta version of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s online book store (this was all done with sober reportorial disinterest, with no childish excitement whatsoever.) It appears that yesterday Pottermore began sending out e-mails to a few of the Read More
The relationship between Apple and major magazine publishers ended the year on a sour note. Sales of magazine apps on the iPad, initially promising, had fallen off at a dismal rate.