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Author Topic: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal  (Read 22568 times)
IainB
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« Reply #125 on: April 07, 2012, 11:04:30 AM »

Amen! The scientific journal scam has to end -- these scientific articles, funded in good part by public dollars, need to be free.
Yes, I think it is very heartening to see this.
It could be the start of freeing up a lot of publicly-funded research (knowledge), but I think that could be wishful thinking. From experience, I strongly doubt that it will happen. The Wikipedia entry on Elsevier indicates that:
Quote
...In 2010, Elsevier reported a profit margin of 36% on revenues of $3.2 billion.
In separate discussions in the DC forum, we have probably pretty well explored the boundaries of power of the Corporation and its obligations to its stockholders. This is all about money and power. So the prospect of earning forward potential revenues amounting to many billions of dollars will likely not be abandoned easily, unless (say) some form of government anti-trust regulation kicks in, in a deliberate market restructuring.
 
What it might need is (say) for someone like Amazon to take a hand in disruptively restructuring the market that is Elsevier's niche. Given what Amazon has been and is doing in aggressive fashion, this is not outside the bounds of possibility, but I wouldn't care to make a guess on the probability of Amazon becoming that kind of white knight. It might be more likely that Elsevier could (say) decide to pre-empt that and diversify by buying up Amazon anyway. Who knows?

A bit of background as to why I say the above:

The Elsevier website's "history" page is here, but it does not really reflect any of the above, though you can get an idea of the company's impressively comprehensive market breadth and scope from their website.
Money, locked-up knowledge, and power.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 11:20:04 AM by IainB » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #126 on: April 17, 2012, 10:12:15 PM »

Interesting take on the US Department of Justice charging Apple and five large book publishers with conspiring to raise e-book prices:
A dark day for the future of books
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IainB
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« Reply #127 on: May 06, 2012, 11:27:16 PM »

Thought-provoking. Not sure whether this warrants a new thread of its own.
Exercises in democracy: building a digital public library
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...How much content should be centralized, and how much should come from local libraries? How will the Digital Public Library be run? Can an endowment-funded public institution succeed where Google Books has largely failed (a 4,000-word meditation on this topic is offered by Nicholas Carr in MIT's April Technology Review)?
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IainB
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« Reply #128 on: May 18, 2012, 07:43:02 PM »

More steps in Amazon's groundbreaking progress into the market:
Amazon Createspace Launches in Europe
(Post content copied below, but without the links.)
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IainB
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« Reply #129 on: May 20, 2012, 08:52:29 PM »

Much as I love books, the main reason I have held off buying an e-book reader is that there are too many devices in the market, each with their own proprietary DRM. It's all designed around Lock-in of the user, and is archaic anti-competitive marketing behaviour by psychopathic corporations.

The only reader I would probably like right now is what seems to be the lowest common denominator - the latest Amazon Kindle 4 (basic model, without supporting advertisements).

Otherwise the situation looks a bit like a repetition of the early industrialisation of the UK - when they constructed parallel rail tracks of differing gauges. Stupid, but true.
That's why I thought this news was a rather hopeful sign:
e-Books may take a page out of digital music's book
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IainB
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« Reply #130 on: August 03, 2012, 04:50:45 AM »

Simply the removal of public financed services.
I just saw this today (written by a UK MP): Library closures. Is that so bad?

It makes the case for library closure on a purely cost-effectiveness basis, which doesn't seem all that unreasonable if the foot traffic in public libraries is dwindling at the rate stated.
I wonder if the same is happening in US libraries?
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IainB
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« Reply #131 on: August 06, 2012, 04:23:03 AM »

Very interesting blog post at the Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics (Cambridge): Elsevier replies about hybrid #openacess; I am appalled about their practices. Breaking licences and having to pay to read “Open Access”
This is a long post with lots of hyperlinks, so may take a few minutes to read.

Looks like Elsevier may have shot themselves in the foot.
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