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Industry News: Collusion dismissal motion strongly rejected, Houghton Mifflin enters bankruptcy reorganization, 50 Shades ban unconstitional?

May 19, 2012

Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Suit Against Apple, Publishers

US District Judge Denise Cote strongly rejected a motion by Apple and five publishers to dismiss the anti-trust lawsuit filed against them. Judge Cote’s rejection insisted that “Apple did not try to earn money off of eBooks by competing with other retailers in an open market; rather, Apple ‘accomplished this goal by [helping] the suppliers to collude.” The rejection doesn’t mean Apple and the publishers have lost the lawsuit, but that the lawsuit can move forward. When the judge hearing your suit effectively says you are guilty in rejecting your dismissal motion, that’s not good. Meanwhile, there are three suits in Canada charging that Canadian buyers were similarly damaged. Sixteen states have also filed suit.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will file for bankruptcy based on an agreement with its creditors to restructure $3.1 billion in debt.  In an e-mail to employees, president and CEO Linda Zecker said day-to-day operations would continue, and that the bankruptcy re-organization was positive news for the company. No layoffs are currently expected. The publisher has recently entered an agreement with Amazon to license books acquired by Amazon’s new publishing ventures, including titles by Timothy Ferris, Penny Marshall, and Billy Ray Cyrus.

50 Shades a Mothers Day Hit, but Are Bans Unconstitutional?

A couple weeks ago, Saturday Night Live aired a parody commercial (some adult-ish content) describing the mommy-porn book 50 Shades of Grey as the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Only it’s not parody any more. Sales of 50 Shades rose 40% the week before Mother’s Day. Some of that rise could be attributed by the word-of-mouth marketing that’s driven sales since the beginning. Undoubtedly, some people purchased the book, which includes bondage scenes, as a Mother’s Day gift. That’s not creepy at all.

Meanwhile, an unnamed representative from Random House has said that library censorship of 50 Shades is unconstitutional. Given that you can find the book for purchase in stores and online, the future of the republic is probably safe.

  1. May 20, 2012 9:11 am

    It really bothers me when people confuse curation with censorship. Librarians have to work within limited budgets and shelf space. They must choose, from among the countless books available to them, which books to add to their collections. They need to make those choices based on what will be of greatest benefit to their constituents. I have no problem with a librarian deciding a given book isn’t worth spending taxpayer money on or giving up shelf space for.

  2. Chris Hamilton permalink
    May 20, 2012 11:31 am

    Not sure I’d completely agree. For instance, I wouldn’t be a fan of a librarian who viewed book selection as an extension of their political activism (regardless of their views). But I can see how some communities might not collectively want 50 Shades on their library shelves. And I think that’s okay, too.

  3. May 23, 2012 8:04 pm

    Yes, I suppose there is a fine line between being choosy and being activist about it.

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