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One of the baffling elements I’ve found in discussions of the history of OCLC is that of its tax exempt status under Ohio law. The latest example of this comes from documents filed in the SkyRiver/Innovative-vs.-OCLC case that make disparaging remarks about how OCLC got its state tax-advantaged status. (The text of the remarks in those documents are included below.) I was curious about this a while back and so did some research on the topic. I had set it aside and forgotten about it until this latest lawsuit brought it up again. So, to set the record straight, here is at least one version — hopefully written from a neutral perspective — of what happened nearly three decades ago.
From Media Bistro's Galley Cat: For her entry in a t-shirt contest, reader Kristin Walko created an entire t-shirt out of pages from Moby Dick. The final product is pictured above.
Walko entered the Novel-T Photo Contest, a chance to win ten shirts and eight books. All you have to do is post a picture of someone wearing a Novel-T literary t-shirt on the company's Facebook page. The deadline is October 3rd, and the winner will be the picture with the most 'likes' from readers.
Here's more about the entry: "Here's my entry for the totally awesome contest! I may ogle your site each week but I've yet to be so lucky as to own a Novel-T, so this is my go at making my own Ahab shirt! I've fashioned it from pages of the novel itself (which I printed out--no book sacrificing here!). Thanks so much for doing what you folks do!"
Oxford Bibliographies Online: More Rant Than Review
Oxford is certainly adding value to the work of the scholars who write the content for the OBO. There is significant organizational work (anyone who has edited a scholarly journal knows all about the cat-herding involved) and technical work; I imagine the academics who edit the Subjects do most of the editorial work, and the peer reviewers are minimally compensated. The product looks good and should be easy to use (we haven’t requested a trial). But is Oxford adding value to the tune of $1000 per subject per year? My beloved Jenkins cost me about $40, in paperback (I bought a personal copy), and I don’t have to pay for it annually.
Dave Farrow, who overcame dyslexia and ADHD to become a world-famous speed reader and Guinness World Record holder, is living and reading in a front window display at the Sony Centre in Toronto. For every book he reads, Sony will donate 2 Reader™ digital books to public libraries across Canada. Watch live on Facebook.
Beginning this past Tuesday, consumers were and are invited to view Farrow's progress and additional world record attempts online (also via Facebook). If you're in the Toronto area, you can also visit the newly renovated Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in person at One Front Street East in Toronto at the south-east corner of Yonge and Front Streets, where Farrow will be reading and living from September 7 through 24th. Consumers who visit the Sony Centre can receive an in-person demonstration of the new Reader Pocket and Touch Editions, "relief-read" for Dave Farrow, enter to win great prizes, and enjoy free frozen yogurt bars from 10:30-1pm daily.
Read more: SONY BRINGS DIGITAL READING EXPERIENCE TO LIFE WITH THE GLOBAL LAUNCH OF ITS STYLISH NEW LINE OF READERS - FierceMobileContent http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/press-releases/sony-brings-digital-reading-experience-lif...
Note from Senator Al Franken of MN:
A few weeks ago, Google and Verizon announced a proposed policy framework that they claimed would protect net neutrality, but it does not apply to wireless Internet services. It does not protect net neutrality -- it undermines it.
We've set up a special link so you can watch the hearing, courtesy of the UpTake -- it starts at 6:00 Central Time (7:00 Eastern) tonight.
Please invite your friends to watch by Tweeting and posting to Facebook. This is a big opportunity for us to stand up for net neutrality -- and stand up to big corporations who want to own the flow of information in America.
The maker of a once-hyped e-reader composed of plastic has ended plans to market the device after a sharp drop in the price of Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) Kindle.
Plastic Logic, a startup firm based in Mountain View, CA pulled the plug on its Que e-reader in a widely expected move late Tuesday. The company postponed the release date of the Que several times and canceled preorders in June, triggering speculation that the device would never reach the market. Wall Street Journal reports.
The Que was supposed to be released early this year, but at a starting price of $650, it was unlikely to generate sufficient sales. Consumers can now buy an Amazon Kindle for as little as $139 or spend $500 on an Apple (AAPL) iPad tablet computer that's more powerful but not much bigger than the Que.
Made of high-grade and innovative plastic technology, the Que drew lots of attention in 2009 as the market for e-readers took off. Yet Amazon has cut the price of the Kindle several times since then -- to as low as $139 for a Wi-Fi only version from a high of $359.
"We recognize the market has dramatically changed, and with the product delays we have experienced, it no longer makes sense for us to move forward with our first-generation electronic-reading product," said Plastic Logic Chief Executive Officer Richard Archuleta in a statement. "This was a hard decision, but is the best one for our company, our investors and our customers."
SkyRiver Files Antitrust Suit Against OCLC
July 29, 2010
Emeryville, CA—In a move that could have far-reaching implications for competition in the library software and technology services industry, SkyRiver Technology Solutions, LLC has filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. The suit alleges that OCLC, a purported non-profit with a membership of 72,000 libraries worldwide, is unlawfully monopolizing the markets for cataloging services, interlibrary lending, and bibliographic data, and attempting to monopolize the market for integrated library systems, by anticompetitive and exclusionary practices. -- Read More
We find this to be an implausible explanation given the remarkably large sums of money others and we already pay to NPG every year. The notion that other institutions are subsidizing “our discount” is nonsensical. If anything, other institutions are simply paying too much.
Publishers Need to Offer Popular E-Books through Libraries
Currently only a few publishers and distributors offer popular e-books in a manner that allows libraries to license and “lend” them or check them out to the public. E-books are a very exciting format that should dramatically change the “book” experience with the incorporation of multimedia, links to related sources, and of social networking.
A group of library folks have issued an Open Letter to E-Book Creators and Sellers encouraging them to take advantage of library buying power and make their popular e-book titles available to libraries and through them to the public. Done properly, everyone is a winner with libraries offering popular e-books.
Libraries and their customers have a long and mutually beneficial relationship with authors, publishers, and vendors, based on the printed word – books. Now, with the emergence of popular e-books and e-book readers, libraries are positioned to continue that partnership with these exciting new products.
Libraries have much to offer e-book sellers as you work to establish a new successful business model around the e-book format. At the same time libraries need e-book providers to offer e-pub materials in ways that enable and support use by libraries and library users. Here is the deal.
We will help you sell popular e-books.
- When users find e-books in library catalogs or on websites, they can borrow them and may have the option to rent or buy them. -- Read More
Nylink to Wind Down Operations Over Next 12 Months
Nylink, a non-profit membership organization, will phase out its operations over the next 12 months. Steep declines in Nylink’s revenue as a result of fundamental changes in its business environment have seriously degraded Nylink’s ability to remain fully self-supporting. Part of the State University of New York System, Nylink has operated as a self-funded entity serving libraries throughout New York.