Publishing News Round-Up

Continuing in its quest for world domination, Amazon has confirmed that it will purchase the digital comics vendor ComiXology. In case you’re unfamiliar, ComiXology is a cloud-based purveyor of digital comics through mobile apps and its website. It features comics from Marvel, DC, and many other publishers, as well as providing its fans with a self-publishing platform—a service that Amazon has also embraced. ComiXology doesn’t only do business in the cloud, though: they also offer partnerships with brick-and-mortar stores through their “Online Pull List” feature, which allows customers to pre-order comics to be picked up at their local comic book stores, as well as offering a suite of tools for comic shop owners to create their own websites and sell comics online. One might expect Amazon to quickly do away with any feature that supports outside sales, but according to ComiXology’s CEO, David Steinberger, that isn’t a danger: “As a wholly owned subsidiary, we get to continue our relationships the way they are, we get to keep moving in the direction we’ve been moving in, and we get to explore the possibilities.”


On Friday, April 11th, the Authors Guild filed an appeal in its ongoing lawsuit against Google’s infamous Library Project. The Guild’s initial lawsuit accused Google of copyright infringement for unauthorized storage of complete copyrighted texts in its databases. U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin disagreed, issuing a ruling dismissing the guild’s lawsuit and stating that it is his belief that Google’s Library Project “advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.” According to Judge Chin, Google’s efforts should be considered “fair use” under copyright law. In its appeal, the Authors Guild contends that Google’s aim in scanning copyrighted material for inclusion in its Library Project is not out of a noble desire to provide more people with more books, but that it is instead an attempt to bolster its own search engines in order to sell more ad space and “build its financial empire on the backs of authors.”

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