Apple’s support for building Safari ad blockers in iOS 9 was sure to be controversial as they negatively and directly impact writers/publications like us here at 9to5Mac and others that rely on advertising for revenue. And while a few ad blockers climbed the App Store’s top paid chart this week, the highest ranked Safari content blocker has been pulled after being sold for just 48 hours. Developer Marco Arment announced today that he decided to pull his ad blocker app Peace from sale, citing that it “just doesn’t feel good” to [profit from] the negative impact to “many who don’t deserve the hit.” expand full story
Publishing Stories September 18, 2015
Publishing Stories April 2, 2015
Adobe is out today with its latest app for content creators on the iPad. The new Adobe Slate app is available for free and joins the similar Voice app Adobe launched last May. Where Adobe Voice focused on using the iPad and later the iPhone for story telling with the spokenword backed by visual elements, the new Adobe Slate app pairs text with fluid and customizable attractive layouts that look great whether you’re a designer or not. expand full story
Publishing Stories May 8, 2014
GoodReader update adds masses of editing flexibility, offers 60 percent discount
GoodReader, the popular PDF management app for iOS, has been updated to version 4 – with a mass of new editing features. New features are:
- Insert blank pages for notes and drawings, solving the problem of not having enough space to annotate or draw images on a document
- Rearrange pages in a document
- Rotate individual pages – or even all of them
- Delete any pages from a document
- Extract individual pages as separate files, and split PDF files into halves – enabling a sub-set of pages to be shared as its own file
- Email individual pages rather than the entire document
- Append pages from other PDF files …
Publishing Stories March 6, 2014
Apple’s prospects of a successful appeal against the ruling in the ebooks trial may be improved by a brief filed by two economists from Caltech and NYU who suggest that the ruling was in error and call for it to be reversed.
Apple was found guilty of anti-competitive practices on two grounds. First, it asked publishers to switch from a wholesale pricing model – where publishers sold books in bulk and retailers set their own prices – to an agency model, where publishers set prices and retailers took a percentage cut. This, the court found, reduced price competition … expand full story
Publishing Stories July 18, 2012
WSJ: Sen. Schumer presses DOJ to drop Apple eBook suit
Sen. Charles Schumer pleaded with the U.S. Justice Department in the Wall Street Journal yesterday to drop its antitrust lawsuit against Apple and publishers by suggesting it will only lay the foundation for Amazon to reclaim control over the eBook industry.
According to the New York senator’s Op-Ed piece:
Recently the Department of Justice filed suit against Apple and major publishers, alleging that they colluded to raise prices in the digital books market. While the claim sounds plausible on its face, the suit could wipe out the publishing industry as we know it, making it much harder for young authors to get published.
The suit will restore Amazon to the dominant position atop the e-books market it occupied for years before competition arrived in the form of Apple. If that happens, consumers will be forced to accept whatever prices Amazon sets.
The Justice Department filed suit last spring against Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin Group for allegedly fixing eBook prices, while Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster settled to dodge the legal dispute.
Amazon set its eBook prices at $9.99, but, according to the government (via The Hill), Apple and the publishers supposedly colluded to build a new business model that drove the standard price of eBooks up and placed pricing in the hands of publishers instead of retailers.
Schumer claimed the business model would effectively relinquish the eBook market from Amazon’s dominion. He also mentioned Amazon’s share dropped to 60 percent after the publishers launched the new pricing matrix, while older eBook prices also lowered.
The Justice Department has ignored this overall trend and instead focused on the fact that the prices for some new releases have gone up. This misses the forest for the trees. While consumers may have a short-term interest in today’s new release e-book prices, they have a more pressing long-term interest in the survival of the publishing industry.
Like Apple contended in its legal response, Schumer is concerned the Justice Department’s lawsuit allows “monopolists and hurt innovators,” while having a “deterrent effect not only on publishers but on other industries that are coming up with creative ways to grow and adapt to the Internet.”
He further beseeched the Justice Department to “reassess its prosecution priorities” and assemble inclusive guidelines before filing antitrust suits in the future.
Check out the full memo at The Wall Street Journal.
Publishing Stories April 12, 2012
Apple finally commented late this evening on the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against the company. What did Apple think up with those extra 48 hours? Peter Kafka got the scoop from Apple’s Tom Neumayr:
The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.
The civil antitrust suit alleged that Apple’s move to let publishers set their own prices—and it is a requirement that publishers do not sell their digital books for cheaper elsewhere—forced consumers to pay millions more for books than they should have.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Apple and five other publishers over eBook price-fixing. The Department of Justice reached a settlement with three of the publishers in the suit, but Apple, MacMillan, and Penguin are standing strong (the U.S. is also after Simon and Shuster). Yesterday, MacMillan’s CEO released a letter on the matter and explained why the publisher chose not to settle. In the note, he said the Department of Justice’s settlement demands “could have allowed Amazon to recover the monopoly position it had built before our switch to the agency model.” He also said it is “hard to settle a lawsuit when you know you have done no wrong” and called the agency model the future of an “open and competitive market.”
As CNET noted, the Department of Justice may have a more difficult case against Apple. For one, Apple does not have a strong-hold in the eBook market, because Amazon has the commanding lead with its Kindle sales. The Department of Justice has a case against the publishers rather—and that is most likely why three of them have already chosen to settle. Apple only holds open the store, while publishers are the ones who choose the prices to set.
The settlement reached with three of the publishers yesterday is said to give them “freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles,” which allows Amazon to go back to its previous wholesale model.
A key point that the Department of Justice is using in its lawsuit is when all five of the publishers met together at a hotel in London to talk over eBook prices. Apple was not present at the meeting, so this may give the Department of Justice a harder time to press the Cupertino-based Company. Of course, the Department of Justice could still come out victorious, but it may have to dig a little deeper against Apple than it did with publishers. We are sure there will be more out of this case as time goes on.
Publishing Stories March 8, 2012
The Wall Street Journal reports that the United States Justice Department threatened to launch an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the nation’s biggest book publishers over an alleged price-fixing that has resulted in higher prices of e-books.
Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle. If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers. However, not every publisher is in settlement discussions.
The government is specifically aiming to probe CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster Inc., Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group (USA), Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, and HarperCollins Publishers Inc., a unit of News Corp. that also owns The Wall Street Journal.
At question: The so-called agency model where publishers freely set prices of their titles on Apple’s iBookstore before the Cupertino company reaps 30 percent of the proceeds. The freedom to pick the price has led most—if not all— publishers to allegedly raise prices of e-books across the board as they feared customers would get accustomed to inexpensive $9.99 Kindle books from Amazon.
Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch already gave a deposition to the U.S. Justice Department. He said abandoning the agency model would allow a single party to achieve dominance in the marketplace, alluding to Amazon. According to the people familiar with the matter, the U.S. Justice Department believes that Apple and the publishers “acted in concert to raise prices across the industry, and is prepared to sue them for violating federal antitrust laws.”
Publishing Stories December 15, 2010