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E-books

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Andrew Maas-Crowell

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of E-books

Today, eBooks are almost fully integrated into the reading and publishing worlds. They have changed the way books are viewed, distributed, and created, and in general started the next great revolution in book history. The eBook actually rose to popularity quite rapidly, and while the history of the eBook is long and quite detailed, unfortunately, we can not nearly cover all of it, so instead I will outline a brief history and try to include as much as I can.
Introduction and Timeline
eBook Environment in Canada
Despite these issues, in a study on the eBook and Audiobook markets in Canada conducted by Library and Archives Canada in 2008, the researchers concluded that:
Mainstream audiences (digital natives) are in the perfect place to easily receive the new digital format, conversely, the aging population of those who aren't digital natives may require or prefer digital formats to help them counter reading disabilities that may occur with age
Digital devices are still on the rise
Digitization of books and book content is increasing exponentially, and thanks to the digitization of the publishing process, publishers accumulate tons of digital production files which are easy to turn into eBooks
In turn, eBook sales, print-on-demand technology, and the need to stay competitive are driving publishers to go digital, suggesting it is the marketplace that is driving change, not the publishers
The digital medium allows the creation of new sales channels
libraries are developing digital collections
However:
there is very little Canadian content, as our market is mostly international
digital readers are expensive and require computer know-how
acquiring digital rights has historically not been done, and will require new contracts and market strategies.
Piracy still runs rampant, despite everyone's best efforts to control it

I suppose we have to...
Books or eBooks? It seems unlikely that the eBook is going to run publishing or physical books into history anytime soon, but the industry IS changing, and the eBook becomes more popular by the day. Knowing what you do now, what do you prefer? Do you think the digital revolution will eventually engulf books as we know them?
Considerations
E-books
By Andrew Maas-Crowell
But the very existence of eBooks created a large variety of problems for the publishing industry the world over. Both the world and the industry was changing rapidly as we entered the information age. And as everything was digitized, the new format for books presented several big problems.
Changing Industry
Copyright and Contract Law
Piracy
Author/Publisher Relationships
Effect on Libraries
1971:
The eBook was born three years before the internet went live, with the creation of Project Gutenburg.
Project Gutenburg was the brainchild of Micheal Hart, a student at Illinois U, who had the idea to digitize the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and then to create a digital library for books from the public domain
1974-1994
: The internet came online and began spreading as a network for universities and research labs, after the invention of the world wide web in 1990, and the very first web browser Mosaic in 1993, the internet quickly gained popularity
1993:
a graduate student named John Mark Ockerbloom created a webpage called The Online Books page, whose goal was to facilitate access to online books. By 1999, it provided access to 12,000 books
1994:
The National Academy Press, in a bold move, was the first traditional publisher to post the full text of some books for free, with the consent of the author. They were followed in 1995 by MIT Press. By 1997, digital publishing became the latest step in the changing role of traditional publishing.
1995:
The launch of the online bookstore Amazon.com completely changes the entire book industry. They started with 10 employees and 3 million books, and by 2000 had 7,500 employees, 28 million cataloged items, and 23 million clients worldwide. In only 5 years they became the biggest international bookseller of all time. Book stores the world over are forced to a close because they simply cannot compete.
1996:
More and more services online begin to collect electronic texts of all kinds. Etext Archives, E-zine List, etc. In this year newspapers and magazines began offering websites with partial for full versions of their latest printed issue. either for free or with a subscription. Additionally, several online-only magazines began to appear on the web.
1997:
With digital technology rapidly expanding in use, information and media industries were converging into one industry, with massive job losses. There was nothing that could not be digitized.
1998:
The Helsinki City Library in Finland was the first library to create a website, it went live in 1994. By 1998, many libraries had not only web pages, but online catalogs of physical and digital content. Library treasures such as Beowulf became available online.
2000:
The internet diversifies. It had before been predominately English, but as its user base expanded to include other language speakers, many programs and web pages began to appear in all the languages of the world.
2001:
Heated debates about the free trade of copyrighted information over the web leads to the creation of the Creative Commons, with the intention of marking online content with a license that expresses the wishes of the creator. By 2008, 130 million works were licensed. This changes the laws, reduces public domain, and does almost nothing to stop the free trade of copyright protected materials.
2002:
Sees the development of such information sites as Wikipedia, the Public Library of Science, Citizendium, and the Encyclopedia of Life
2003:
new online-only bookstores begin to appear in 2000 and sell only eBooks, these stores attempt to convince publishers that the world is ready for all books to be available in two formats. By 2003, the market is taking off and books begin to be published simultaneously in print/digital. More and more eBook reading formats begin to appear on PCs in the early 2000s including Adobe and Glassbook Reader. Adobe's PDF format becomes the norm for viewing information. The digital industry eventually decides on the need for a standard format and creates the Open eBook format (OeB) which quickly evolves into the ePub format by 2005.
2004
: during this time, authors the world over have been using the internet to spread their works, create websites and using the web to self-publish. The information allows authors to expand their knowledge of the world and of writing
2005:
Google begins to get interested in eBooks, and launches Google Print in May of 2005, at first in order to show users previews of physical books they may want to purchase online. It was shut down however for infringing on copyright laws by showing those online texts without permission. It reopened in 2006 under the name Google Books after settling the lawsuit out of court.
2007:
Amazon launches the Kindle Reader. Before this, people read mostly on their desktops, and then their laptops, and then their palm pilots, and also on the first smart phones. The kindle entered a market with only a few dedicated eBook reader competitors such as Sony. With advances in memory technology, these readers could hold thousands of books at once. They are met with general acceptance and widespread use by the public. Great debates arise over the future of the printed book, though those who still prefer print books equal in number the number who prefer the new e-readers. eBooks continue to be produced at an astonishing rate, and in 2009 Amazon released the Kindle 2 into a market full of devices capable of reading eBooks.
From this timeline, what issues can you see arising in how the eBook changed the world, the industry, and how we view books?
If you wish to see a more detailed history, please visit:
http://listserv.cddc.vt.edu/gutenberg/2/9/8/0/29801/29801-pdf.pdf
Changing Industry
Because eBooks circulate almost entirely as digital files, market data is hard to track. They have multiple sales channels and are able to ignore national boundaries, as shown by this chart. According to Ingram Digital, one of the largest suppliers of digital content, most eBooks are in english, and have secured global rights, and most are sold to the US, UK, and Canada. The international Digital Publishing Form also reports that eBook trade wholesale sales grew from 5.8 million in 2002, to nearly 90 Million million in 2010, However, eBook sales still only account for about 9% of the total trade market. The format's growing popularity and convenience is influenced by our digital upbringing and society's growing rate of "instant availability" and technologically driven growth.


The earlier market included multiple file formats and many different readers for each format, which contributed to the eBooks slow start. As more open file formats were adopted, and readers became less selective and more capable, introducing features such as E Ink (which creates a paper like surface), one-touch dictionary look up, internet capability, integration into multimedia devices, and more. The two most popular Readers today are the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle. However, eBooks today are available on a wide variety of devices, including almost every apple product.
Copyright Law
People expect a lot of the eBook. A 2006 study showed that consumers think that a wide selection of eBooks should be available, that they should cost less than print books, that buying one should allow them to use it in any way they would use a print edition. In particular, they want to be able to read their books where, when and how they wished and to share them with friends if they so chose.
The copyright act defines a book as "a volume or part or division of a volume, in printed form" thus eBooks present a difficult challenge for copyright law. A physical book follows the idea of a first sale doctrine. After you buy it, it belongs to you, and you can sell it, keep it, throw it away, or lend it to a friend. It becomes your property. The only thing you can't do it make physical copies of it and sell them for money. That is the essence of copyright, it protects things from being copied.

eBooks however, exist only in digital form, when you purchase it, it is stored on your device as an electronic file, and when you are done with it. There's nothing you can do with it. You cannot sell it, move it to another device, you cannot even lend it to a friend because all of these activities require creating a copy of the file, which breaches the copyright of the author. Digital Rights Management (DRM) are built into the eBook file which prevents this. So aside from giving your whole device to your friend (which is expressly forbidden in the terms of sale of most readers) you don't really have any options.
Many argue against this, saying it violates our rights as a consumer, and are calling for change to the way that copyright law works, to encorporate the new digital age, and in many ways changes are beginning to happen.
`copyright amendments may be made to allow resale of eBook files
Readers have been changed to accept multiple file formats, and for files to be copied to another device that you yourself own, as long as you verify online first.
The next Kindle is going to have a book-lending feature

Piracy
Piracy is an issue that effects any form of multimedia, though the law and the devices itself prevent any copying of eBook files, it has nearly no effect on today's tech-savvy, file-sharing society. DRM keeps getting better, but so do the piraters who live to undermine it. However, the digital book industry has the advantage of being able to learn from the mistakes of the audio and visual industries
Some facts:
Not a lot of data exists on digital book piracy
closest estimates think that around 10% or 2.75 billion dollars worth of pirated downloads are taking place
sales for books that are pirated tend to increase
However, piracy is not necessarily a bad thing, a lot of users pirate books or movies to see if they like them, then progress to purchasing it. It works as a sort of publicity. Most people trying to pirate books aren't criminals or even in it for money, these are books after all. Most pirates are enthusiastic fans who want to share books with their friends and with others. It's a sort of parasitic cycle, where authors are happy enough people like their book to pirate it, but do not enjoy the way they show their enjoyment. Most consider piracy of digital books to be more of a nuisance than a problem. There are several ways the digital book industry can learn from other industries:
The Don't Make Me Steal Manifesto
Variable Pricing and no DRM, as apple has done (people are willing to pay more for content they have more freedom with)
Most arguments about eBook piracy revolve around price: No one has any idea what it should be. The industry needs to find a price that meets the views of the consumer and the needs of the producers
educate consumers, do not punish them
meet consumer demands as the format develops
Author Publisher Relations
With eBooks, self-publishing has become easier than ever before, and perhaps an even a better option than traditional publishing. Anyone, anywhere, can publish an eBook
In the late 90's Stephan King published Riding The Bullet exclusively on the internet, and put eBooks on the map. The eBook sold 500,000 downloads in 48 hours, at a price of $2.50 per copy. All without printing, storage, distribution, or publisher costs.
King stated that a publisher may have paid him $10,000, but he made$450,000 from the eBook
Stephan King is a well known and famous author, but the implications of his self-publication are far-reaching, as the eBook format has the potential to unravel the centuries old business models of the publishing industry. After all, who wants to make less money?
Authors, agents, publishers and distributors are all blending together
Why should an author give a publisher an eBook or a traditional book when they can simply publish it themselves and retain the rights?
Out of print, Reserves Against Return, Territorial Rights, and Royalty contract clauses are rendered meaningless in the world of eBooks and the ease of Self-publishing
The industry, and the relationships that compromise it are in for rapid and great change
The Changing Landscape of Libraries
Due to the factors we just discussed, adding eBooks to public libraries becomes a difficult issue as well, if you cannot lend digital files, then how can they be offered fairly in libraries? Beyond that, how does licensing and selling to libraries work?
files are usually hosted on a remote server, and "streamed" to a device or computer, but some libraries allow you to download files to your reader from within the library
there is a global discussion on how to sell eBooks to Libraries, and already some mistakes have been made
Harper Collins has limited libraries to 26 downloads of a title before they have to renew their license, essentially costing the libraries, a public service, tons of money for no good reason, ignoring both the needs of the public and common sense
Overdrive, the leading content provider to libraries, limits one person at a time to use a library's eBook file, and only for a certain amount of time, usually 3-5 days
there are few providers of eBooks directly to libraries, though it is a growing list, adoption of eBooks in Libraries is way behind consumer markets
Authors and publishers asserting their digital ownership rights denies libraries access to content, which slows content acquisition, which turns enthusiasm into frustration for library users, and the loss of middle and low class readers
only one reader at a time is allowed to access an eBook, which makes literally no sense, an old business model applied unnecessarily to a new technology, User patience for eBooks is much lower, why should they have to wait for something that should be available instantly?
Libraries can't get books people want to read
concern over piracy leads publishers to deny library access rights
libraries are circulating readers both to introduce people to the new medium and encourage reading
licensing plans to libraries are still not standardized and largely remain a work in progress, if the licensing ends or becomes too expensive, libraries and library users immediately lose access to all titles instantaneously.
PLR is attempting to stabilize these issues, however, the publishing and library industrys are too in flux to establish any type on standard for eBook lending.
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