Most people don’t know but in the UK it is currently illegal to put a CD into your computer and copy the music to the hard drive, it’s just as illegal to copy it from that PC onto your iPod but everyone does it all the time.
The government have realised that this is a bit of an oddity and have indicated that “format shifting” (the act of changing the media the music/video etc is on) is going to be allowed when the new copyright laws are framed. Continue reading
It’s another self inflicted nail in book publishers’ coffins although I doubt they think so. France has passed the law allowing the publishers to set the price of ebooks.
Apparently “Signs are, consumers expect e-books to be priced considerably lower than physical books”. Well yes, I expect that the copy of the book that just required you to a digital copy of the book you already have should be cheaper than the one you have to send to print, bind, deliver and stock.
However unlike the music industry, I don’t think digital piracy will be the problem, self publishing will. Already self-publishing in the kindle store is make some people serious money and successful authors are moving away from the publishing houses.
The reality is, most of what a publishing house does is rapidly being replaced by the web. The cost of publishing has gone, marketing is now also much easier and cheaper, the wisdom of crowds is filtering the good form the bad and you can get yourself a copyeditor online.
A combination of self promotion and the fact that the author gets more of the book sale, means self-published books are often among the cheapest on eBook stores and end up at the top of the sales chart.
In the mean time, heads are still in the sand, and we are trying to protect the ‘independent bookshop’ by keeping the price of the digital copies artificially high.
It saddens my little heart when I pickup a book and see my Kindle lying unloved next to the bed, but until some quite fundamental things change, I think I will be do that more often in the future.
A Kindle, they're very good.
Don’t get me wrong, the Kindle is an amazing reading device, it really is one of the best thing to read on, ever. I prefer reading on it to books by quite a long way, but the efforts of the publishing industry and the reluctance of government to move with the times is beginning to get in the way of what should really be a pleasurable experience.
At the moment there are 4 main reasons why I am turning back to real books
- Tax: in the UK there is no VAT on real books, because sometime ago we decided books are a necessity for society to function and flourish, ebooks however are an electronic service, and we tax them – so all ebooks have a 20% VAT on them.
- Publishers: The net book agreement was broken sometime ago; mainly because it was price fixing, but that hasn’t stopped publishers putting a ‘pricing agreement in’ that means the publishers are setting the price of ebooks. (The EU are looking in to this)
That is why eBooks are sometimes more expensive than the print ones! – Why? It can’t possibly cost more for me to download something; compared to it being printed on paper, stuck in a van, sent to a warehouse, put on a shelf, taken of a shelf, put in a package, put on a van, sent to a sorting office, put in a bag, carried to my house and shoved through my letter box!
Publishers don’t like eBooks: That can be the only reason they are still not putting half the books they print out as ebooks.
For the ebook world this means there are loads of books, that you can just not get, because they are out of print and no one can legally scan them in and sell them to you, and because of point 3 the publishers won’t let this slip.
This to me is a bit of an economic nonsense, you are a publisher / author your 30 year old book is out of print, someone wants to without expense to you, digitise your book, then sell it online and give you some money – where previously you had none.
This (oversimplified) is what the publishers and authors don’t want Google to do with it’s Google books library project.
The net effect of all this is:
- Books that cost more as ebooks , for example Freakenomics (paperback £5.51, eBook £7.99)
- Classic Books you cannot get eBook copies of for example Catcher in the Rye
- Books that have just fallen out of print, that can’t be revitalized online.
- Books you can’t share because publishers are scared of that too.
And I am being driven to put down my kindle and start buying real books again.
How to Analyze People on Sight
A very scary book from 1921 on how to analyse people. Apparently their are five types:
- The Alimentive Type (the enjoyer)
- The Thoracic Type (the thriller)
- The Muscular Type (the worker)
- The Osseaus Type (the Stayer)
- The Cerebral Type (the thinker)
some fantastic bits like
Thus the fat man’s mind acts as his body acts—evenly, unhurriedly, easefully and comfortably. The florid man’s mind has the same quickness and resourcefulness that distinguish all his bodily processes. The muscular man’s mind acts in the same strenuous way that his body acts, while the bony man’s brain always has an immovable quality closely akin to the boniness of his body.
He is not necessarily a “bonehead,” but this phrase, like “fathead,” is no accident
and really there is a chapter called “Types That Should and Should Not Marry Each Other”
1921 was a funny time