It's been several months now since any news has been heard about Apple's settlement in a class-action lawsuit over the company's ebook price-fixing. Reuters is now reporting that a U.S. District Judge has approved a settlement amount of $450 million in what was described as an "unusual" accord.
This morning Barnes & Noble's NOOK family expanded with an app that'll turn the audio on with books. The NOOK Audiobooks App is the first "no-commitment" app from Barnes & Noble to offer audiobooks for both Android smartphones and tablets - that means no subscription costs or anything - and it'll be released by the ned of this week. This release will not be limited to any one brand of Android smartphone or tablet, while Barnes & Noble will continue to offer their Samsung Galaxy Tab NOOK devices through the future.
Suddenly, and without much of the fanfare the actual dispute had, Amazon and Hachette have settled their differences. The two companies announced Thursday morning they’ve signed a new multi-year contract which will (naturally) see Hachette-published books on Amazon. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but both parties were complimentary of the agreement. In Amazon’s original complaint, they said their aim was to keep eBook pricing low. In announcing the deal, Amazon executive David Naggar noted “financial incentives” for Hachette to deliver on low-priced eBooks.
Amazon's negotiations with publishing companies don't often go smoothly (nor has it always gone smoothly with videos), something that has been demonstrated by the months of tussles between it and Hachette. At the heart of the matter are ebooks, and Amazon's desire to price them low -- something it has hailed as a benefit to authors, using numbers to back up its claims. Though the battle with Hachette is still ongoing, sources have cropped up saying it has struck a deal with Simon and Schuster.
Nook and OverDrive have partnered up to bring newspapers and magazines in digital form to public libraries utilizing the latter company's platform. The expansion in content will be available to OverDrive users in both the United States and the United Kingdom, says the companies, though the new digital wares won't start rolling out for an unspecified number of months. Because it is being offered through the OverDrive platform, the additional content will be free for users to download. We've got the rest of the details after the jump.
Home and mobile users might be more familiar with Adobe's Acrobat software for reading PDFs, but those who live on ebooks, particular in the EPUB format, also live in another program called Adobe Digital Editions or ADE. Popular (relatively) and widespread, this program has just been discovered to have one frightening flaw. Apparently, ADE transmits the app's activity logs to Adobe's servers, presumably for copyright protection purposes, but also seemingly includes unnecessary user data. Worse, it transmits them in a manner that can be easily read by unauthorized snooping third parties.
Battling piracy has proven difficult, but that hasn't yet stopped companies from trying, and as such it isn't surprising that a couple publishers have turned to a new option in an effort to pinpoint where, exactly, ebook uploads are surfacing from. Using Digimarc technology, the publishers' ebooks will be tagged with an invisible -- and traceable -- watermark.
Kobo has taken the wraps off its newest traditional ereader, the Aura H2O. As its name suggests, the newest e-ink device from the company is waterproof, setting it apart from some of its similarly-designed brethren. The device is supposed to be the first of its kind, and unshackles readers so they can enjoy their digital books poolside or in the tub.
A group of authors published open letter , wherein they detail their objections to the protracted assault Amazon has levied against Hachette. In response, Amazon published their own line of reasoning for the eBook cold war today, suggesting the shop-from-home giant is simply looking out for our best interest as consumers. What neither have done is fully appreciate the author or reader.
Earlier today, Apple was granted preliminary court approval for its ebook settlement plan, something that resulted from claims that the company was in cahoots with five publishers to jack up digital book prices. The settlement is for $450 million, with the agreement being made back in June.