A book is a book, except when it comes to eBook royalties. That's the premise of a class action lawsuit filed on Thursday, May 19, 2016, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York by class representative Sheldon Blau, MD.
The lawsuit alleges Simon & Schuster has been cheating its authors by improperly categorizing eBook transactions as "sales" rather than "licenses."
The distinction is significant, because the royalty rate for sales is much lower than the rate for the license of rights. If categorized as a license the author receives 50% of net receipts, rather than 25% of net typically paid to authors for the "sale" of an eBook.
The eBook royalty class action looks back approximately six years, the statute of limitations on contract actions in New York State. It alleges Simon & Schuster engaged in a "pattern and practice of paying Plaintiff and others similarly situated royalty payments for the distribution of licenses for electronic books, or "e-books," at a rate for book "sales," or some other lower rate than that required for "license" transactions."
This issue arose, in a different context, in F.B.T. Productions v. Aftermath Records, a 2007 federal lawsuit brought by Eminem's management company against his record label over digital royalty rate splits. Like the music industry, book publishers have taken the position that digital downloads should be accounted for as sales not licenses.
More at the sources, including a copy of the filing and commentary at TPV.
I'm thinking they'll need to round up a few more plaintiffs to get certified as a class action.
Where it could get...interesting...is during discovery, since the replacement of 25% of net terms for the previous 50% terms originated at Random House, not S&S, yet was adopted by all the BPHs and many others almost simultaneously. If discovery finds coordination...
It took Eminem a lot of time and money to beat his studio. This plaintiff has a steep uphill fight.
The Waterstones eBooks store is closing, but we have partnered with Kobo to ensure that you will still be able to access your library of eBook titles purchased with us.
On 14th June 2016 we will send you an email with a personalised link to transfer your eBooks to Kobo.
You will also be able to access your current library on Waterstones.com from now until Monday, 13th June 2016, to ensure we do not interrupt your reading experience.
Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services, empowering booklovers to read more. With Kobo, you’ll enjoy easy, instant access to their eBookstore of over 5 million of the world’s best eBooks that can be read anywhere, on any device. Plus, you’ll earn Kobo Super Points rewards with every purchase.
So, from the team at Waterstones, we want to extend our thanks to you for using our service and we wish you a happy reading future with Rakuten Kobo.
If you are happy to move your library, you don't need to do anything. In doing so, we will assume you are happy for us to share your Waterstones library with Kobo, so they can provide us with your personalised link to take you through to the library transfer process
If you do NOT wish to transfer your library to Rakuten Kobo, please click here.
If you do not receive the link to transfer your library on or soon after, Tuesday 14th June 2016, then please visit our Contact Us pages to get in touch.
Please check the Frequently Asked Questions page if you would like more information.
This is not good news: the Waterstones bookstore is a lot easier to find things in than Kobo. I guess, though, it continues the trend of recent years of consolidation of the smaller bookstores into a lesser number of large ones.
Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for June, 2016.
The nominations will run through midnight EST May 26 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.
The book selection category for June is: Science.
In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).
How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.
How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.
How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.
How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.
How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.
When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.
The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.
Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The scientific establishment of Europe-from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
(2) The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick Goodreads | Amazon US / Kobo US Print Length: 416 pages
At the end of the seventeenth century—an age of religious wars, plague, and the Great Fire of London—when most people saw the world as falling apart, these earliest scientists saw a world of perfect order. They declared that, chaotic as it looked, the universe was in fact as intricate and perfectly regulated as a clock. This was the tail end of Shakespeare’s century, when the natural land the supernatural still twined around each other. Disease was a punishment ordained by God, astronomy had not yet broken free from astrology, and the sky was filled with omens. It was a time when little was known and everything was new. These brilliant, ambitious, curious men believed in angels, alchemy, and the devil, and they also believed that the universe followed precise, mathematical laws—-a contradiction that tormented them and changed the course of history.
The Clockwork Universe is the fascinating and compelling story of the bewildered geniuses of the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.
In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.
This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory.
Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special relativity using a geometrical approach, emphasizing intrinsic space-time structure rather than coordinate systems or reference frames. He gives readers enough detail about special relativity to solve concrete physical problems while presenting general relativity in a more qualitative way, with an informative discussion of the geometrization of gravity, the bending of light, and black holes. Additional topics include the Twins Paradox, the physical aspects of the Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction, the constancy of the speed of light, time travel, the direction of time, and more....
The New York Times best-selling author of Physics of the Impossible, Physics of the Future and Hyperspace tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain.
For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist.
The Future of the Mind gives us an authoritative and compelling look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics. One day we might have a "smart pill" that can enhance our cognition; be able to upload our brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; send thoughts and emotions around the world on a "brain-net"; control computers and robots with our mind; push the very limits of immortality; and perhaps even send our consciousness across the universe.
Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about "consciousness" and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness.
With Dr. Kaku's deep understanding of modern science and keen eye for future developments, The Future of the Mind is a scientific tour de force--an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience.
(6) A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester Goodreads
[I]Print length:[/] 512 pages
Unleashed by ancient geologic forces, a magnitude 8.25 earthquake rocked San Francisco in the early hours of April 18, 1906. Less than a minute later, the city lay in ruins. Bestselling author Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities to this extraordinary event, exploring the legendary earthquake and fires that spread horror across San Francisco and northern California in 1906 as well as its startling impact on American history and, just as important, what science has recently revealed about the fascinating subterranean processes that produced it—and almost certainly will cause it to strike again.
...only now the program is called Send this Book. It allows you to send any book in your Audible library to as many as 100 recipients for free. The catch, you're only allowed to receive one free book; period! After that, if you want any further books that are sent to you, you'll have to pay for them. Basically, it's like getting one free credit.
Audible "Send this Book" Requests -- go to this thread in the Audiobook Discussions forum if you wish to request a free Audible book. This offer is in addition to any promotional offers or trial periods you currently have and does not count against any of your credits.
Last July I broke the news that Audible was beta-testing a program where listeners could share an audiobook in their library with a friend, more or less giving away a copy at Audible's expense.
That program, Audible Onebook, is now open to all Audible customers.
Audible announced on Wednesday that they've launched a new program where Audible customers can share an audiobook in their library with a friend. Strangely enough, this program is not named in the press release, but it sounds like the one I reported on last year:
Audible Inc., the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word entertainment, today announced the release of a new feature that allows listeners to give any audiobook they own in their “My Library” to others instantly via e-mail, text, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, using their iOS, Android and Windows 10 devices. Each recipient gets his or her first title through the program for free, and Audible will pay authors, actors and other rights holders the equivalent value of each recipient’s first title.
“Audible’s many millions of habitués know how our audio service can enhance the quality and character of daily life – whether driving, exercising, or working around the house. Audible is growing at historic rates as powerful words matched by powerful performances redefine reading and listening,” said Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz. “Audible customers also understand that they own each title they buy as members or a la carte purchasers, and they can carry their Audible libraries around forever. Now, for the first time, our listeners can send complete titles to anyone in the US and the cost is on us.”
Designed Specifically for the blind and visually impaired
Kindle Audio Adapter
The Kindle Audio Adapter activates VoiceView on your Kindle when plugged into the micro-USB port. Just plug your headphones or speakers into the audio jack on the Kindle Audio Adapter to use your Kindle e-reader with an audio interface.
VoiceView for Kindle
VoiceView for Kindle, which also uses Amazon’s award-winning natural language text-to-speech voices (formerly known as IVONA), enables blind and visually impaired customers to read books and navigate their Kindle e-reader via voice prompts.
Explore content and navigate your Kindle e-reader using accessibility gestures. You can navigate item-by-item as well as by touch.
No doubt something analogous is coming to Oasis, perhaps via Bluetooth for the audio feedback.