Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

01/06/2014

Google Screwing Content Creators? Yes – But Change is in the Air


Google needs to be checked at times

Just like Craigslist devastated local classified advertising in newspapers, Google has also chipped away large chunks of advertising revenue from newspapers by ‘copying’ original content from newspaper articles and displaying it in their search results without compensating the newspapers and original content creators!

“Simply put, Google has not done enough to aid the newspaper industry. If the company continues their profiteering ways at the expense of original content creators, more papers will fold and less content will be created.” – Michael Kozlowski

Actually that first sentence in the quote above SHOULD read that Google has not justifiably compensated news sources for using their content. It has nothing to do with ‘aiding’. Newspaper content, if it is not already, should be considered copyrighted material with agreements for ‘fair use’ by the usual players — BUT, I don’t consider Google (or any other internet behemoths) using the work of others to make large advertising profits for themselves, at the expense of the original content creators and without proper compensation, a case of ‘fair use’.

Google apparently has woken up a little (with prodding) and has entered into commercial agreements to establish a €60m digital innovation fund that will help local news companies start to monetize their newspapers in digital form. This will allow media organizations to profit from Google advertizing platforms such as AdSense and AdMob for mobile phones.

More details provided in tonight’s interesting source article from Good E Reader by :

 

Has Google Demolished the Newspaper Industry?

There has been quite a number of journalists weighing in on the role Google plays in the newspaper industry. The company has made billions of dollars of advertising revenue at the expense of content creators. The newspaper industry has lost billions of dollars in the last 10 years, which is directly proportionate to the sheer growth Google has garnered .  Should Google be doing more for the newspaper industry?

In 2011 Google made 37.9 billion dollars, of which 96% derived from advertising. Each quarter from 2012 to 2013 earned Google 14 billion dollars on average with the same amount coming from their core advertising market. “Our top 25 advertisers are spending over $150 million per year” on Google’s ads business such as search, display and YouTube, said a Google Spokesman . Currently Google accounts for more than 41% of U.S. digital ad revenues, according to eMarketer.

When Google first introduced their Adwords platform in the year 2000, newspapers in the US peaked at $48 billion dollars from direct advertising. This has since declined to 18.9 billion in 2012. It is painfully obvious that most advertisers are getting more bang for their buck by advertising on the internet, instead of physical papers.

In the last few months many of techs leading innovators is trying to help journalism reach new heights and put a priority in the dailies. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos acquired the Washington Post for $250 million, then eBay founder Pierre Omidyar promised to spend a similar amount on a brand-new media entity called First Look Media.   Google so far as done nothing to give back to the industry.

Many European countries are not taking the advertising market share of Google laying down.  Google generates an estimated €1.5 billion, or $2 billion, in France.  The government is irate that the company pays almost no taxes in France, and instead is going to Belgium and Ireland. “We want to work to ensure that Europe is not a tax haven for a certain number of Internet giants,” the digital economy minister, Fleur Pellerin mentioned.

Article continues here

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05/21/2013

Re Publishing: Single Platform Domination – Risk or Not?


Is the Kindle a challenge to book publishers?

Many print publishing business executives, authors, literary agents, editors, booksellers and distributors – as well as their counterparts in the digital publishing business – recently sat down at a roundtable to launch this year’s Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Purpose of the roundtable? To plot a publishing industry survival story! (Which begs the question: Do we even need one?)

Even within this inner circle of professionals there is disagreement (and total misinterpretation on the part of some) of what the changing publishing landscape actually means.

Do the churning changes spell disaster or opportunity?

The title of this post was suggested by a fear expressed by Victoria Barnsley, chief executive of HarperCollins UK. She feels that “single platform domination” will be bad for the publishing industry.

Doesn’t she realize that ‘print’ was the single platform domination for the past 500 plus years! And that we are just recently being offered a choice of venues?

This piece by Robert Budden in The Financial Times dot com allows us into the roundtable and the minds of the attendees:

 

Publishing industry roundtable plots a survival story

Serial entrepreneur and Financial Times columnist Luke Johnson could be excused for having a pessimistic outlook on the publishing sector, having “lost a fortune” following his purchase of the UK arm of Borders, the book chain in 2007.

At a roundtable discussion to launch this year’s Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, the co-founder of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners says he “passionately” hopes books continue to prosper.

But, in references to GoogleAmazon and Apple, he warns that software “has become a very serious threat that may well eat” the publishing business.

Victoria Barnsley, chief executive of HarperCollins UK, probably speaks for many publishing executives when she highlights “single platform domination” as “the risk”. “I don’t think it was good for the record industry nor will it be good for publishing,” she says.

The conundrum for publishers is what to do about it.

Tim Harford, an author and also an FT columnist, says the industry needs to take action swiftly, especially in relation to the digital rights management (DRM) approaches of some ebook distributors that lock readers into their ecosystems.

“If you let Amazon and Apple lock in their devices, they are going to slaughter all of you,” he says, referring to book publishers and retailers.

Read and learn more

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09/17/2012

Google, The Courts, The Authors and The Democratization of Knowledge


Google began a rather noble project about eight years ago originally called Google Print (now known as Google Books). This project’s intention was (and is) to establish the world’s largest digital library.

Google began with out-of-print books and later got into getting permission to digitize more current books still covered under copyright. Apparently, though, they screwed up in the way they went about the permission-getting and that started generating lawsuits. Trying to shortcut the system often results in a clusterfuck.

Enter publishing intrigue — And we love to delve into intrigue on this blog, no?

I believe the procedure used by Google to try to get more books digitized faster was by some rogue legal procedure/document that said the authors had to opt out of the project rather than to opt in individually. In other words, they assumed all were in and started digitizing desired books like crazy.

Google has already scanned 20 million books (apparently not complying with copyright law) and are being sued by numerous authors through the Authors Guild to the tune of $750 per book. WHOA, you do the math.

These juicy details provided by AP on Crain’s New York Business:

Federal judge delays Google case pending appeal

The case will be stalled while the court considers an appeal by Google in a legal battle over the search-engine giant’s project to create the world’s largest digital library.

 

A federal appeals judge agreed Monday to delay a court challenge to Google Inc.’s plans to create the world’s largest digital library while an appeals panel considers whether authors should receive class status.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued its one-page after the matter was raised with Circuit Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr. The case will be stalled while the court considers an appeal by Google. According to the order, both sides agreed to the stay of district court proceedings before Circuit Judge Denny Chin, who began hearing the case seven years ago before he was elevated to the 2nd Circuit.

Judge Chin had granted class status in May, saying it was “more efficient and effective” for the authors to be considered as a class rather than suing individually. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Google asked to delay all proceedings pending its appeal. Judge Chin had refused to do so, saying a stay could delay proceedings for a year or more.

Lawyers on both sides did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google already has scanned more than 20 million books for the project. The Authors Guild has said it is impractical…

Read and learn more

 

 

04/14/2011

Publishing Nuggets


Have I got some publishing nuggets for you!

Lots of insightful publishing and publishing-related tidbits roaming around the internet today! Some I think you will find interesting and learn a good deal from:

IAB Reports 2010 Internet Ad Revenues Up Almost 15 Percent

2010 fourth quarter revenue increases 19 Percent over 2009 Q4.

I wanted to introduce the IAB (the Interactive Advertising Bureau) to you all in this one.

Grading the Tina Brown Newsweek

Packaging, graphics are much improved, but can she walk the “Newsbeast” line?

 

Sports Illustrated Launches App for Motorola Xoom

App is part of Time Inc.’s “All Access” digital subscription plan.

 

Could Google’s earnings feed doubt across the tech world?

Google’s earnings fell short of what analysts were expecting Thursday, sending shares in the tech giant sinking to a six-month low in after-hours trading.

 

AcademicPub Launches New Custom Publishing Option for Higher Education Community

Faculty Members and Their Students to Benefit from Copyright-Cleared Course Materials Delivered in Real Time and Sourced from Great Diversity of Content Sources

 

OnSwipe Brings Tablet Publishing To The Browser (TCTV Demo)

Or they can keep on publishing on the Web and display their websites differently to people who visit them via tablet browsers. OnSwipe is a new digital publishing tools company that wants to make mobile browsing as swipe-friendly as a tablet app.

Great reading and learning nuggets!

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12/18/2010

Publishers Claim Google Stuffs Competition


Some powerful newspaper and magazine European publishers have filed complaints that Google has stopped acting simply as a search engine and has entered into direct competition with them by adding more and more of their own related content and ads on search pages (placed right next to the requested service data) and are not properly compensating or ranking companies that offer similar services.

Looks like Google wants to expand but doesn’t know how with the proper online etiquette…and may be stepping on some toes…and that’s putting it politely!

I wouldn’t dare say that they are strong-arming the competition, trying to take over territories, taking without compensating and generally acting like 1930’s thugs and assholes.

The New York Times ran this pointed article by James Kanter:

European Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Is Broadened

BRUSSELS — The European Commission has widened its investigation into Google by taking on two German cases involving complaints from a powerful group of newspaper and magazine publishers and an online mapping company, officials said on Friday.

Joaquín Almunia, the European competition commissioner, announced a wide-ranging case against Google at the end of November, saying investigators would focus on whether the search engine company gave preferential treatment to its services when ranking search results, and whether it discriminated against competitors.

By taking over the German cases as well, Mr. Almunia will get access to additional evidence collected by authorities in Germany, where more than 80 percent of computer users rely on Google to search the Web.

The German cases also give a more European appearance to an investigation that so far has been dominated by complaints by companies that have received support from the software giant Microsoft.

Google said the decision was largely procedural because the European Commission takes over cases from member countries when there are overlapping issues.

“We continue to work cooperatively with the commission and national regulators, explaining many aspects of our business,” a Google spokesman, Al Verney, said. “There’s always going to be room for improvement, so we are working to address any concerns.”

Read and learn more

12/06/2010

Google Bookstore Snuffs E-Book Market Monopolies


In my post yesterday I ranted about the dumb Apple mis-management of their clients’ subscribers’ data; and mentioned that they would lose clients to Google and others if they didn’t change their hoarding of actual content provider subscription info…gained through docking on and selling through their iPad store.

Well Google opened their eBook store today! This should change the competitive landscape a little more than just a tad, my friends.

This account of the Google eBook store opening by Matthew Flamm of Crain’e New York Business:

Google shakes up e-book market

The long awaited Google e-bookstore opened for business Monday, heralding a possible sea change in the business of selling digital books.

Describing itself as the world’s largest e-books collection, Google eBooks has an inventory of more than 3 million titles, which includes millions of public domain books that are available for free, and several hundred thousand titles that are for sale.

Though some analysts have noted that Google is untested at e-commerce, the search giant’s digital bookstore has enough distinctive features to make it attractive for users, publishers and bookselling partners. Most significantly, Google is using a device-agnostic open e-publishing format, which makes its e-books compatible with computers and e-readers from Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo, which also use the open format.

A Google eBooks application can be downloaded for the Apple iPad and iPhone.

In addition, since Google has placed the titles in what is known as an “open cloud” platform, they can be accessed by the same user from a range of devices, each one picking up on the same page where the user left off.

Read and learn more

11/19/2010

French Intellectual Property Law Stronger than US Copyright Law for Authors


More clarity and detail RE the Google copyright infringement case with US and French authors and publishers…AND why the French agreement is superior!

For a little background on this intriguing issue, read my 11/18/10 post on Writers Thought for Today Blog .

Diane Mullenex and Jacques Mandrillon, legal beavers for the French legal firm, Ichay & Mullenex Avocats, write this for Lexology.com:

In 2004, Google launched its “Books Library Project” in order to create a universal library online by digitising books and making it available for consultation on one of its application. This initiative was followed, the next year, by a copyright infringement case brought by the US Authors Guild and five majors US publishers.

Finally, in October 2008, they reached a settlement which has been amended some months later. The Google Book Settlement is not finalized yet, awaiting US Department of Justice approval. Nonetheless, the deal was the best they could get at the moment.

On the 17th of November, Google and Hachette Livre, the largest publisher in France and the No.2 trade publisher by sales worldwide, have reached an agreement authorizing Google to scan and sell electronically its out-of-print French language titles under the control of the publisher. This agreement covers about 50,000 French titles, including literature and nonfiction works, still under copyright protection.

The two deals are different: but why?

Judicial history is different, culture is different and political background is different

In December 2009, the search engine company was found guilty of copyright infringement by the High Court of First Instance of Paris for digitising the books of the French publisher La Martinière and putting extracts online without its written prior approval. The case was brought by La Martinière, the French publisher’s union (SNE – Syndicat national de l’édition) and a publishers and authors’ group (SGDL – Société des gens de lettre). All the more, several French major publishers, including Hachette, declared their intentions to sue Google for the same reasons.

These cases are related to the initial version of the Books Library Project. In this Google application, in order to answer to their search queries, users were allowed to read the full text of public domain books but only few paragraphs in titles still protected by copyright.

Read and learn more

05/04/2010

Google eBook Service "Google Editions" Coming This Summer



Good ole Google is entering into the eBook market with a program that will be available through ANY computing device! How about that??…

Here is a report by Sarah Lai Stirland (pictured at left), Assistant Managing Editor of BroadbandBreakfast dot com:

Google plans on launching its open eBook service Google Editions by June or July, according to a Tuesday report in the Wall Street Journal.

Google Wants To Open Up the Market For Digital Books
Google’s manager for strategic partner development Chris Palma disclosed the company’s plans during a Tuesday morning panel discussion sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group in New York City. The panel discussion focused on cloud computing and the business of publishing.
Unlike Apple and Amazon’s eBook services, Google’s will be available through any computing device. The launch of the service appears to have been delayed by the negotiations over the different visions between Google and the publishing industry over how its service should function.

The Journal story says that the service will allow readers to both buy digital books directly from Google as well as from book retailers’ web sites. The pricing of the books will be closely watched as the publishing industry has fought Amazon’s push to sell books for a flat $9.99 on its electronic book device the Kindle.

Consumers have already downloaded more then 1.5 million eBooks through Apple’s new iBookstore, according to a company statement issued Monday. Apple sold its millionth iPad on Friday after just a month of its launch, according to the statement. TechCrunch reports that Amazon has sold around three million Kindles as of this January. The company first released the product in late 2007.

The future of digital book licensing and the separate issue of the impact of the Google’s book search settlement will be discussed at the inaugural Intellectual Property Breakfast Club meeting May 11 in Washington, DC. The panelists include: Jonathan Band, counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance, Michael Capobianco, vice president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and Sherwin Siy, Public Knowledge’s deputy legal director.

Now if they’ll only make a water-resistant book device that can brought to the beach. Perhaps they could charge a premium.

02/06/2010

Feds Troubled by Google’s Digital Book Deal


More drama and intrigue in the publishing world! You got to love it!

Michael Liedtke of Business Week reports further on the Google digital rights deal giving them exclusivity over millions of hard-to-find books…

The U.S. Justice Department still thinks a proposal to give Google the digital rights to millions of hard-to-find books threatens to stifle competition and undermine copyright laws, despite revisions aimed at easing those concerns.

The opinion filed Thursday in New York federal court is a significant setback in Google’s effort to win approval of a 15-month-old legal settlement that would put the Internet search leader in charge of a vast electronic library and store.

A diverse mix of Google rivals, consumer watchdogs, academic experts, literary agents, state governments and even foreign governments have already urged U.S. District Judge Denny Chin to reject the agreement.

The Justice Department’s perspective presumably will carry more weight with Chin, given its position as the chief U.S. law enforcement agency.

In its 26-page brief, the Justice Department praised the revised settlement for making “substantial progress” since it objected to the original agreement in September.

But the government advised Chin that the agreement still oversteps the legal boundaries of a class-action settlement, describing the proposal as “a bridge too far.” The Justice Department also raised concerns that Google’s partnership with the participating U.S. publishers could turn into a literary cartel that would wield too much power over book prices.

“The United States believes that the court lacks authority to approve” the settlement in its current form, the government’s lawyers wrote.

The filing also asserted that the modified agreement doesn’t adequately protect the copyrights and financial interests of “orphan works” — out-of-print books whose writers’ whereabouts are unknown.

Despite its misgivings, the Justice Department urged the parties to take another stab at making changes that would eliminate its legal concerns. The department provided a list of recommendations on how to achieve that.

In a statement, Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker gave no indication whether the company and other settling parties are willing to amend the agreement again.

“The Department of Justice’s filing recognizes the progress made with the revised settlement, and it once again reinforces the value the agreement can provide in unlocking access to millions of books in the U.S.,” Stricker said.

Chin has scheduled a Feb. 18 hearing to consider approving the class-action settlement.

Consumer Watchdog, one of the groups fighting the settlement, applauded the Justice Department for taking a stand against a deal “that unfairly benefits the narrow agenda of one company.”

But a former policy director for the Federal Trade Commission lashed out at the Justice Department and predicted Chin would approve the settlement.

“The DOJ’s view is clouded by taking a microscopic and static view of an incredibly dynamic marketplace,” said David Balto, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a think tank.

The government’s antitrust concerns extend beyond the settlement’s potential for driving up book prices. Thursday’s filings also pointed out that the deal could make Google’s search engine even more dominant by giving it a digital database of books built up largely by ignoring copyright laws.

“Content that can be discovered by only one search engine offers that search engine some protection from competition,” the Justice Department wrote. “This outcome has not been achieved by a technological advance in search or by operation of normal market forces; rather, it is the direct product of scanning millions of books without the copyright holders’ consent.”

Google already processes about two-thirds of the search requests in the United States, an advantage that led the company to rake in $79 billion in revenue during the past five years — mostly from short ads posted alongside search results and other Web content.

That success has emboldened Google to make digital copies of more than 12 million books during the past five years, it has shown only snippets from most of them while trying to revolve a class-action lawsuit filed in 2005 by groups representing U.S. authors and publishers. The suit alleged Google’s book-scanning project trampled their intellectual rights.

A $125 million truce reached in October 2008 has remained in a holding pattern while Google tried to notify the affected parties and overcome staunch resistance to the deal. Some of the most strident opponents have been Google rivals, including Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

The agreement also has prominent supporters, including college libraries, publishing groups and Sony Corp., which wants to tap into Google’s digital book index to feed its own electronic reader, which is competing against Amazon.com’s Kindle.

Tweaks made to the settlement in November were supposed to end the bickering.

Among other things, the revisions provide more flexibility to offer discounts on electronic books and promise to make it easier for others to resell access to the electronic library.

The changes also narrowed the settlement’s scope so it would only apply to books registered with the U.S. copyright office or published in Canada, the United Kingdom or Australia.

Nevertheless, the French and German governments still maintain the deal will infringe on the rights of writers in their countries. And groups representing authors in Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy remain opposed.

02/03/2010

New Service Aims to Help Publishers Bypass Google

Filed under: Bing,Google,MashLogic,publishing,site finder — gator1965 @ 7:28 pm

Publishers, do you want people to find and go to your site without having to look up related terms on Google (or Bing)? Well, Matt Kinsman of FOLIO magazine has reported on a new service, MashLogic, that allows searchers to find your site through related topics or terms without going through Google or Bing.

Matt reports: While the debate over “Google: Friend or Foe” continues with magazine and online content publishers, a new service from MashLogic offers publishers a way to keep readers at their sites without having to look up related topics on Google or Bing.

MashLogic has developed two semantic tools, “2Stay” and “2Go,” that identify and link to related topics and terms. “If you’re interested in a certain topic like sports or music, this would automatically identify links to those topics like players and teams or performers,” said CEO Ranjit Padmanabhan.”

The service is customizable for the host site. On Goal.com, a soccer-dedicated site and early MashLogic client, a series of red dots are visible under linkable terms which take the reader to other contextually relevant articles at the site. MashLogic is currently on 14 of Goal’s international language sites and in front of approximately 10 million monthly uniques. “This offers the ability to expose the reader to additional content,” said vice president of business development John Bryan. “There is a great degree of positive churn with stories and we’re making older content relevant by bringing it in front of the user. This also reinforces the relevance of your brand to the user and can increasing page clickthrough and time on site, which leads to higher CPMs and advertiser satisfaction.”

Bryan said the tool has particular appeal for publishers in three areas: fast-moving news, celebrity stories and sports. Past articles can be presented in a vertical timeline or horizontally across different categories. In a demo for the NewYorkTimes.com, the term “Meryl Streep” on the home page generated 10 related stories in the past seven days that had been on the site across blogs, movie reviews, fashion, finance and celebrity.

The minimum requirement for a publisher is to have an RSS feed which they can turn over to MashLogic for indexing, as well as implementation of a few lines of java script. Publishers can also restrict certain terms (such as the name of a competitive site).

“We have found MashLogic to be a valuable tool in both retaining users on Goal.com and encouraging them to return to the site for access to related content,” said Ron Elwell, president and COO of Goal.com. “We generate upwards of 60,000 articles each month, and MashLogic encourages our visitors to read and engage more with them. It also diverts users back towards Goal.com in coordination with our content, and the tool is in line with our aim of equipping each user with the functionality to seek out information.”

Free To Publishers (With an Eye on Revenue Sharing)

MashLogic is currently free to publishers and is looking at developing a revenue share model on product links to sites such as iTunes and Amazon, as well as product sales (such as a soccer jersey) on sites like Goal.com.

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