Industry News

A couple of articles caught my eye today and I thought I’d pass them on.

In a move that tends to reinforce the belief that the EPUB format will become the main digital format for books, Japan’s publishers have decided to go with that format for their e-books.  Specifically, they’ve agreed to adopt the EPUB 3.0 standard.  This strengthens the position of e-readers like the Nook while it is another knock against the Kindle which does not support EPUB documents.  (Note, however, that the article says the Kindle does support this format.  As a Kindle owner, I can only say I wish it did.)

In other news, from the realm of WTF, can this really be happening?, comes this.  Author Karin Calvo-Goller is suing Joseph Weiler, editor of European Journal of International Law, and — if I’m reading the reports correctly — Thomas Weigend for what basically is nothing more than a negative review of her book, The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court. Calvo-Goller is a senior lecturer at the Academic Centre of Law and Business in Israel and Weigend is director of the Cologne Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law and dean of the faculty of law at the University of Cologne.

Whew, that’s a lot of lawyers and professors all rolled up in one.

Long story short.  Calvo-Goller complains that the review was defamatory and demanded it be removed from the site.  Instead of complying with her demand, Weiler instead offered to post her response to the review.  This response would be available to be read immediately after the review.  Calvo-Goller refused this and filed suit in France.  It is her stance that the review was libelous and would do damage to her reputation and, to support this, provided a positive review from a German reviewer.

From the Cheat Sheet on this topic:  The final absurdity is that the review of her book, The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court, wasn’t even that bad: Though condescending in tone, it praised Calvo-Goller, saying she “meticulously covers all relevant topics,” and faulted her for minor problems like “rehashing the existing legal set-up.”

In news closer to home, Random House announced today it is offering early retirement to employees over 50 who have been with the company at least 5 years.  This offer expires April 15th.  Of course, they are also quick to say that this is NOT an indication that RH is going to downsize.  I really wished I believed them.  But, in my experience, when companies start offering this sort of a deal, particularly with employees who have not been there for long, it is a sure sign of downsizing in the future.

Finally, another short bit on Borders.  This is from Trident Media group chairman Robert Gottlieb, and let’s hope Borders is listening:  “[W]ith the right leadership in place and the right outlook” Borders can emerge from bankruptcy and find success.

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