Archive for Online Publishing
By Andrew Longstreth
NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the only remaining defendant in the U.S. government’s e-books antitrust case, Apple Inc appears headed for a high-stakes trial that could significantly increase the personal computer company’s liability in related litigation.
Apple faces a June 3 trial date over civil allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice that it conspired with five publishers to raise the price of e-books and to fight the dominance of Amazon.com Inc.
On Friday, Macmillan became the fifth and final publisher to settle with the government. The Justice Department alleges that Apple came to agreements with each of the publishers meant to ensure that e-book prices at its iBookstore and other retailers would remain higher than those offered by Amazon.com.
At the Apple trial, to be overseen by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, the Justice Department will seek not monetary damages but a judicial decree that Apple violated antitrust law, court papers said.
Among other things, government lawyers want the judge to issue an order enjoining Apple from engaging in any conduct similar to that alleged in the case. Such a judgment could make Apple vulnerable to steep damages in related litigation.
Apple and the publishers also face a class-action suit filed on behalf of consumers and a similar suit filed by dozens of state attorneys general. Neither suit puts a figure on the exact amount of damages sought.
The Consumer Federation of America estimated in a letter last year to the Senate antitrust subcommittee that e-book price fixing would likely cost consumers more than $200 million in 2012. State and federal antitrust laws allow plaintiffs to recover triple the amount of actual damages established at trial.
If Apple loses against the Justice Department, those plaintiffs would be in a “powerful position” to win their cases, according to Harry First, a professor at New York University School of Law specializing in antitrust.
Under the Clayton Act, an antitrust statute, plaintiffs can use judgments obtained by the U.S. government as evidence against defendants.
If Apple loses, it is unclear whether both the states and the private plaintiffs will be able to seek and recover damages for the same conduct.
By contrast, if Apple were to prevail, it would cause “a lot more trouble” for the plaintiffs in the other cases, First said.
Apple declined to comment. It still may settle with the U.S. government.
In December, Apple and four publishers came to an agreement with European Union regulators over their antitrust probe into e-books. The fifth publisher, Pearson Plc’s Penguin group, also under investigation, was not part of the European deal announced in December.
LITTLE TO GAIN
Apple may have little to gain by going to trial in the United States, according to some legal experts.
Under settlements with the Justice Department, the five publishers were required to terminate or not renew deals with Apple and other retailers that the government claimed were anti-competitive.
Apple and the government have less to argue over since those deals have been undone, Daniel Crane, a law professor at the University of Michigan Law School, said.
“What are they fighting over?” he said.
Crane added that Apple may be interested in going to trial to establish an antitrust principle that might help other aspects of its business such as content deals with entertainment companies.
The trial would be a big test for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, which has sought to enhance its reputation for its trial capabilities under the Obama administration.
The government has been represented by Mark Ryan, who is director of litigation, a new position in the Antitrust Division. Ryan, who began in January 2012, was hired by Joseph Wayland, the former acting assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division.
Last year Wayland cited Ryan in a speech about the Antitrust Division’s focus on enhancing its litigation capabilities. Under the Obama administration, the Antitrust Division has scored a number of high-profile trial victories, including a criminal price-fixing case against Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp last year and a successful challenge of H&R Block Inc’s acquisition of 2SS Holdings Inc, developer of the TaxACT digital tax preparation business, in 2011.
Apple is represented by lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. One of the law firm’s attorneys who recently made an appearance in the case, Orin Snyder, won a favorable settlement last year for Voom HD Holdings, once a unit of Cablevision, following a trial against Dish Network.
Voom sued Dish for $2.4 billion alleging it violated a 15-year contract to carry a suite of high-definition channels, including those devoted to Kung Fu and video games. Under the settlement, Dish agreed to pay $700 million to Cablevision and AMC Networks, which Cablevision spun off last year.
The case is United States v. Apple Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-02826.
(Reporting by Andrew Longstreth; Editing by Howard Goller and Eric Beech)
With the holiday season getting ready to move into full swing, two exciting new stories make up the third month of Eclipse Online, and the end of the first calendar year (sort of) of bringing you the very best in short fiction.
This month opens with a novelette by the fabulous Christopher Barzak, “Invisble Men,” that touches on H.G. Wells’ territory, but manages to be fresh and engaging. If you love this story, check out his new short story collection, Birds and Birthdays, and new novel Before and Afterlives.
The second story this month, and the last for the year, is World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar’s latest Central Station story, “The Memcordist.” Tidhar’s Central Station stories, “The Smell of Orange Groves,” “Strigoi” and others, form one of the most compelling future histories you’ll encounter. Just wait to see the Central Station mosaic novel he’s working on.
And with that, 2012 is over for Eclipse Online. Six fantastic stories by Christopher Rowe, K.J. Parker, Eleanor Arnason, Christopher Barzak, and Lavie Tidhar have already been purchased. And they have new stories in the pipeline from F. Brett Cox, Genevieve Valentine, Peter M. Ball and others. Thanks to Night Shade Books for supporting Eclipse through its print incarnation and on to this exciting new online world.
Lavie Tidhar’s latest Central Station story, “The Memcordist,” doesn’t appear to have been posted yet.
It’s Ghost Week on Tor.com! All week long they’ll be hanging out with spooks, spectres, slimers, spirits, hauntings, poltergeists, full-torso free-roaming apparitions, and more. They’ll be sharing some classic ghost fiction from Mark Twain to H.P. Lovecraft, essays about your favorite ghosts, a look at ghosts in specific cultures, the ghosts of Edith Wharton, an original comic from Faith Erin Hicks, the science of ghosts, the boys in grey, and of course, the ghost with the most. So step inside their haunted spaceship, and never mind that slight chill in the airlock. It’s just the ghosts!
The stories and articles are all online and free to read. Here are the links:
- The Terrible Old Man, H.P. Lovecraft
- The Shadowy Third, Ellen Glasgow
- Ghosts in the Machines, Neil Gaiman
- “Where a Ghost and a Prince Meet…” Steven Padnick
- Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is Beautiful, Sara Eileen Hames
- Who is Dead? The Tense Mystery of Horror Ghost Anime Another, Madeline Ashby
- Ghost Stories While You’re Waiting for Downton Abbey: Why Edith Wharton Gives Us The Whim-Whams, Anne Ray
Since 2008, Tor.com has been a leading market for science fiction and fantasy short fiction. Several of their stories have been Hugo and Nebula finalists, Charlie Jane Anders’ “Six Months, Three Days” won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2012 and Kij Johnson’s “Ponies” won the Nebula in 2011. Since the beginning, much of their fiction has been acquired and edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden. In 2010, Liz Gorinsky began buying and editing for the site, and earlier this year, Ann VanderMeer also joined the team.
Now, Tor.com is pleased to announce that Ellen Datlow is joining them as a Consulting Fiction Editor. Ellen has had an impressive career in the field, having edited fiction at Omni from 1981-1998. She’s also edited The Years Best Fantasy and Horror from 1988-2008 and is responsible for Night Shade’s The Best Horror of the Year anthologies. Ellen was won numerous awards for her editorial achievements including the Hugo, three Bram Stoker Awards, and nine World Fantasy Awards. She’s been the co-host of the Fantastic Fiction series at the KGB bar since the year 2000.
Tor.com is very excited to welcome Ellen aboard the rocket and can’t wait to see what stories she will bring to the team.
On Monday October 8th Eclipse Online will launch with, “The Contrary Gardener” by Christopher Rowe.
Christopher Rowe has published more than twenty short stories, and been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. His work has been frequently reprinted, translated into a half-dozen languages around the world, and praised by the New York Times Book Review. His story “Another Word For Map is Faith” made the long list in the 2007 Best American Short Stories volume, and his early fiction was collected in a chapbook, Bittersweet Creek and Other Stories, by Small Beer Press. His Forgotten Realms novel, Sandstorm, was published in 2010 by Wizards of the Coast. He is currently pursuing an MFA in writing at the Bluegrass Writers Studio of Eastern Kentucky University and is hard at work on Sarah Across America, a new novel about maps, megafauna, and other obsessions. He lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife, novelist Gwenda Bond, and their pets.
Then on Monday October 22nd Eclipse Online will bring you, “One Little Room an Everywhere” by K. J. Parker.
K.J. Parker was born long ago and far away, worked as a coin dealer, a dogsbody in an auction house and a lawyer, and has so far published thirteen novels, two novellas and a gaggle of short stories, including the Fencer, Scavenger, and Engineer trilogies, as well as standalone novels The Company, The Folding Knife, The Hammer, and Sharps, and novellas Purple and Black and Blue and Gold. Married to a lawyer and living in the south west of England, K.J. Parker is a mediocre stockman and forester, a barely competent carpenter, blacksmith and machinist, a two-left-footed fencer, lacklustre archer, utility-grade armourer, accomplished textile worker and crack shot. K.J. Parker is not K.J. Parker’s real name. However, if K.J. Parker were to tell you K.J. Parker’s real name, it wouldn’t mean anything to you.
To maintain the levels of awesome, Eclipse Online will also have brand new stories from Eleanor Arnason, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Christopher Barzak and Lavi Tidhar all coming up before the end of the year.
Eclipse Online can be found at the Night Shade Books website: Eclipse Online
If you’ve been thinking about selling your fiction (short stories, novellas, novels, serials) on the Kindle, there’s no better time than now. Amazon is selling almost one million Kindles a month now. The mass of readers is growing larger by the day. And they’re all looking for great reading material.
Contrary to popular belief, fiction actually outsells nonfiction on the Kindle.
That’s why we put together Kindle Fiction, a comprehensive guide that takes you, the author, through the entire process of getting signed up to promoting your books.
The best news of all? We’re releasing this one for only $7. You just can’t wrong.
So get started today publishing and selling your fiction on the Kindle. There’s no better time than now.
Check it out: Kindle Fiction
Tor.com has posted the final story in David G.Hartwell’s Palencar Project. The story is from Gregory Benford: “The Sigma Structure Symphony” follows Ruth, a math-obsessed SETI worker in a future where humanity has made contact with alien life. When one of her co-workers meets an untimely end, she finds herself curious about the circumstances of his death…
Gregory Benford lives in Southern California, where he is a professor of physics at a the University of California at Irvine. He won the Campbell and Nebula Awards for his 1980 novel Timescape, and is the author of the Galactic Center novels. The illustration is by John Jude Palencar.
You can read the story online for free here: The Sigma Structure Symphony