Content and Digital Asset Management

Buyer’s Guide 2015: Digital Conversion & Workflow Services
April 1, 2015

Few publishers are developing digital content alone. Partnerships are key for publishers to transition from print-centric production cycles to truly multi-channel production. Partnership may be as minimal as shipping print PDFs to a conversion service to create EPUB files or as involved as hiring an expert to implement a new production workflow.

Stop The Presses: Disney Tells Court About The Importance Of The Public Domain
March 20, 2015

It's not often you see Disney out there defending the public domain -- and the importance of keeping it vibrant and supported by new things. However, that seems to be (sort of) what Disney is, in fact, arguing in a Supreme Court case known as Kimble v. Marvel. There are, of course, a bunch of caveats here. First, it's a patent case, not a copyright case. Second, it's Marvel, not technically "Disney," but Marvel is wholly owned by Disney.

Rights on the Money: Publishers Need to Fully Monetize (and Protect) Their IP
March 13, 2015

In December, The Wall Street Journalreported that British publisher Harvill Secker UK pulled its ebook version of The Search Warrant by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Patrick Modiano from because "It turns out that Harvill Secker didn't have the rights to publish the ebook, which Mr. Modiano's French publisher, Éditions Gallimard, discovered after the prize was announced, according to Anne-Solange Noble, Gallimard's foreign-rights director." If Modiano had not won the Nobel Prize and been the focus of so much media attention, this situation might not have been noticed for some time.

Former Borders VP Seeks Backing for Startup Idea: Selling Book Content to Websites
March 2, 2015

A former vice president at Borders Group Inc., the onetime book giant that went out of business in 2011, is convinced there is money to be made from the book industry and has been meeting with angel and venture capital investors to help launch his startup company, ContentOro LLC. Bob Chunn, who has incubator space at Ann Arbor Spark, wants to license book content from publishers and sell it to websites in need of content. At least one local veteran entrepreneur, Chuck Newman, who founded ReCellular Inc., an Ann Arbor-based company that recycles cellphones, has bought into Chunn's vision, literally, as his first investor. 

University of California Press Launches Open Access Model
February 17, 2015

The University of California Press is building a new open-access publishing model around the idea that reviewers and researchers in the hard sciences can support new forms of scholarly communication by "paying it forward."

The university press last month introduced Collabra and Luminos, an open-access journal and monograph publisher, respectively. While Luminos is hoping to publish about 10 monographs this fall, Collabra is in beta testing and aims to accept submissions in a few weeks.

Neil B. Christensen, who joined the university press in 2013 after more than a decade in the commercial publishing sector, took the lead on developing Collabra.

“Trust Your Readers and Defy DRM,” Says No Starch Press
February 9, 2015

"We have never used DRM and we never will. It's just foolish," says Bill Pollock, founder and official "Big Fish" of No Starch Press, a small San Francisco publisher. DRM, or Digital Rights Management, is the technology used by publishers and other copyright holders in their attempt to control how digital content and devices such as ebooks are used after they are sold. No Starch Press, which publishes books for geeks on a range of tech-related subjects from hacking to programming for kids, plus lots and lots of books about Lego

Creating An Interoperable Publishing Ecosystem
February 1, 2015

new standards being developed and established standards being updated are increasingly produced in a spirit of collaboration, or at least with the goal in mind to avoid conflict with widely used standards. We're seeing real convergence occurring.

What is most striking is that folks who used to be firmly committed to doing things in proprietary ways (often for the perfectly reasonable goal of differentiating and competing in the marketplace) are coming to realize the benefit of conforming to standards