Publishing

Gov. Patrick Signs Tech Tax Repeal

Last Friday, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick ended a two-month controversy by repealing the 6.25% “tech tax” levied on all computer and software services as part of a transportation bill passed in July. Software companies across the state challenged the tax the moment it passed into law, claiming it inhibited their ability to compete with firms

Massachusetts New Software Services Tax

On July 31, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a bill that established a sales tax of 6.25% on all software services offered in the state. Among the few states in the U.S. that have taxable computer services, the Massachusetts tax is by far the highest – New Mexico’s tax is 5.125%, Hawaii and South Dakota

Is that a Memex in your Pocket?

These days, with the ubiquity of mobile devices, it seems like we are living inside a kind of Memex. First envisioned by technology pioneer Vannevar Bush after World War II, a Memex is “a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications and which is mechanized so that it may be

Corporate Content Grab: The Elsevier Edition

Just weeks after Amazon’s highly controversial acquisition of GoodReads, major scientific publisher Elsevier has pulled a similar content grab by purchasing Mendeley, a cloud-based social media platform featuring open source content provided by academics. A detailed summary of the argument against Elsevier’s recent acquisition can be found at The Cost of Knowledge, but essentially, academics

Canary in the Coal Mine?

Faced with Amazonian Losses, Indie Publisher Sells Books out of Car Trunk An independent small publisher called recently, seeking to maintain control of, and expand market reach for his successful books on organic farming. His leading title, in its 9th edition, has sold over 18,000 copies. He wants to control business model, pricing, content, and

In Europe, Apple Concedes; in the U.S., Publishers Pay – Yet Another Argument for Distributing Digital Content Directly

(Reuters) An ongoing antitrust investigation of Apple’s pricing negotiations with European publishers in December 2011 may be coming to a close, though not in Apple’s favor. The four publishers – Simon & Schuster, News Corp (HarperCollins), Hachette Livre and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck (owner of Macmillan in Germany) – made deals that allowed Apple to

Lending Library or Intellectual Property Heist?

With the first shipments of its e-reader tablet, the Kindle Fire, Amazon announced its new “Lending Library”—a free service available to “Prime” subscribers that allows them free access to more the 5,000 e-books. This $79.99/year membership also offers free 2-day shipping on all orders and free streaming video and music on the Kindle Fire. Sounds