Apple’s legal team has been waging a war for years now against Android OEMs, and if Reuters sources are to be believed, they probably should have spent a bit more time reviewing e-book negotiations instead. Word on the street is that the Justice Department is close to reaching a settlement agreement with Apple, and several of the major book publishers will probably be on the hook as well. The allegations began several years ago when Apple launched iBooks, and Steve Jobs boldly declared to the world how he planned to take on Amazon.
Several content companies have experimented with “Pay-Walls”, but the ongoing NYT implementation reminds us why they never seem to work, they are just too bloody complicated. According to PR representatives the previously announced five article limit which was to be applied to “Google Only” referrals, are now instead being extended to all search engines. The company attempted to explain the communication confusion over current policies by admitting that some limitations are currently being tested in Canada, and may be different than what they eventually end up implementing.
Amazon has posted a note to Kindle users in the Kindle community forums confirming that lending ebooks will come to the platform later this year. This has been a sorely missed feature since the device's introduction. Before you get to excited, there are some caveats here.
The loans will only be for 14 days and you can only loan a book once. It was unclear if that meant once per recipient, or once for the life of the ebook. While the book is lent out, the lender will be unable to read it. Also, not all books will be available for lending. It will be up to publishers to enable this feature; much like the Kindle text to speech ability.
All the restrictions on this makes the whole endeavor much less appealing. We don't see why you can't just transfer your license for a book to someone else and be done with it. Certainly Amazon could handle that on the back end. If we have to rely on publishers to enable lending, it's unlikely it will be widely available.
The standoff betweent News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch and Google may have just come to an end. Murdoch, who in a recent interview said he was considering making his sites invisible to search to prevent aggregrators like Google from profiting from the works of others, is likely to back down now that Google has tweaked its "First Click Free" policy, which previously allowed users unfettered access to subscription-based content.
"Previously, each click from a user would be treated as free," Josh Cohen, Google Senior Business Product Manager, said in a statement. "Now, we've updated the program so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing. If you're a Google user, this means that you may start to see a registration page after you've clicked through to more than five articles on the website of a publisher using First Click Free in a day."
Google hopes the announcement will put to rest concerns in the newspaper industry that the search giant is using newspaper content unfairly and profiting from that use. Under the revised First Click Free policy, users will no longer be able to avoid paying subscription fees by looking up pages through Google. The reason this was possible before is because Google searches often link directly to newspaper articles, bypassing subscription systems.
Is Google's latest move a fair trade off? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.
Google had to go down on its knees, reach out for its checkbook and write a $125 million check to settle its legal disputes with authors and publishers, who had been opposing its Google Book Search service. The settlement has yet to receive court approval and that will not happen until October 7, 2009 – the date for the final hearing. But Google can be rest assured that there is going to be no dearth of hurdles during the intervening period.