Content and Digital Asset Management
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 Amazon.co.uk 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.
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.
The publishing value chain has been completely transformed by technology. Speakers discuss some of the biggest issues to consider.
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.
"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
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
Depending on the audience, the case for open access (OA) varies. Opponents of intellectual property, for example, may favor OA simply on principle. To a researcher you might argue for a broader dissemination of his or her own work. A funding agency may accept the dissemination premise as well and tie it to an exercise in branding, where each published OA article becomes an ambassador for the sponsor of the research. A librarian may be persuaded on the basis of cost
Earlier this month at a writer's panel at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), Argentine poet Mempo Giardinelli lamented the current state of publishing in Argentina. Argentina, Giardinelli recalled, used to translate, edit, and publish mass volumes of foreign literature. That Argentina, he insisted, doesn't exist anymore. But a brief stroll down the aisles of Guadalajara suggested otherwise. Independent presses like Eterna Cadencia and La Caja Negra seem to carry equal parts literature in translation and Spanish language titles while one press, La Bestia Equilatera, is almost unilaterally focused on publishing literature in translation.
There has been some kind of book fair in Frankfurt since the 15th century - almost as long as books as we know them today have been printed. For much of the time since, we have been arguing in one way or another about who has the right to print them and profit accordingly. This year I made a modest contribution to this debate in a dialogue with Olav Stokkmo, CEO of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), and I wanted to share some in print as well.