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Judge Dismisses Google E-Book Scanning Case

Reuters reported today that U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin has dismissed author claims against Google for digitally copying books into an online library without permission. Google argued that the partial text it makes available falls within the fair use limitations of U.S. copyright law.

Authors and publishers sued Google in 2005, a year after Google’s scanning project began, with authors asking for $750 per book scanned. Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said the group will appeal Chin’s decision. Publishers settled with Google last year.

The Library Copyright Alliance, whose members include the American Library Association, the Association of College & Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries, applauded Chin’s decision.

“This ruling furthers the purpose of copyright by recognizing that Google’s book search is a transformative fair use that advances research and learning,” said Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association.

The Authors Guild is also appealing a 2012 decision by U.S. District Judge Harold Baer regarding HathiTrust’s digital library, a partnership among five university libraries.

PEN Report Shows Authors Self-Censoring Due to Surveillance

PEN American Center has released a report that looks at writers’ responses to the NSA surveillance program. The report, Chilling Effects: NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor, surveyed more than 500 American writers in October 2013.

The survey indicates that 85 percent of respondents are worried about government surveillance of Americans. The initial survey results showed that writers are significantly more likely than the general public to disapprove of “the government’s collection of telephone and Internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts” — 66 percent of writers vs. 44 percent of the general public.

Writers also said that they now assume their communications are monitored and that has led them to self-censor their writing and speaking, the research they conduct, and their communications with sources and friends abroad.

Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN American Center, said that PEN’s report “shows that recently disclosed U.S. surveillance practices are having a tangible and chilling effect on writers here at home.”

World Book Night Donates to Operation Gratitude

Celebrating the spirit of Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2013, Ingram Book Company shipped several hundred 2013 World Book Night boxes to Operation Gratitude, which delivers packages of necessities to military personnel stationed overseas.

Executive Director Carl Lennertz noted this is the second shipment that has been made to the group and that WBN continues to receive applications from givers that share books at military bases in the U.S. and overseas as well as at VA hospitals and Wounded Warrior facilities.

Survey Shows Early Holiday Shopping Among Americans

A new survey from the National Retail Federation found that 53.8 percent of shoppers have already begun their holiday shopping, while 46.2 percent, the smallest number in the survey’s history, have not yet started. October sales helped spur the early shopping.

Survey respondents said that the most sought-after category for gifts this year will be clothing and accessories at 60.7 percent, followed by gift cards at 59.2 percent, toys at 44.3 percent, jewelry at 23.3 percent, and sporting goods and leisure items at 19 percent. Electronics remain a popular category, with 33 percent of shoppers purchasing items as gifts, the highest number seen since 2006.

When coming up with gift ideas, 47.9 percent of consumers said they will look to the Internet, 36 percent will look at retailer circulars, 33.7 percent will use catalogs, 22.2 percent will check magazines, and 21.5 percent will look at e-mail advertisements. Online, fourteen percent will use Facebook, 10.1 percent will use retailer apps, and 7.2 will use Pinterest.

SCBWI Creates Spark Award

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has unveiled The Spark Award, which will be given out annually in recognition of excellence in a children’s book published through non-traditional means. Kobo Writing Life has provided a grant to help with the administration and marketing costs of the award.

Current SCBWI authors and illustrators who have independently published a board, picture, or chapter book or a middle grade or young adult novel through a self-publishing route are eligible for the award.

A panel of industry professionals will choose one winner and one honor book, focusing on the quality of writing and illustrations (if applicable), as well as professional presentation and editing and design. The winner will receive a Spark seal for display on the book, a commemorative plaque, and the opportunity to sell the book at SCBWI’s Summer or Winter Conference. The winning book will be featured on SCBWI’s online bookstore and social networking sites.

Gaiman’s Neverwhere Returned to Classrooms

Following protests from the Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) and other organizations in early October, Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere has been returned to high school classrooms in the Alamogordo school district in Alamogordo, New Mexico. After review, the district announced on last Friday that the book was found to be “educationally suitable, balanced and age-appropriate.”

“We’re thrilled to hear that Neverwhere will be returning to classrooms,” said Kids’ Right to Read Project Coordinator Acacia O’Connor. “We hope that the administration will continue protecting the academic freedom of its teachers and students as the district evaluates its policies.”

Frommer’s Returns Due to Wiley by December 15

Wiley’s distribution of Frommer’s Travel Guides ends on December 31, with all Frommer’s products, including Unofficial Guides, due in the returns warehouse no later than December 15 for credit processing.

The returns address for Wily has changed from Edison, New Jersey, and is now: Wiley Returns Center/Wiley Bldg., 4406 Industrial Park Road, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, 17011.

Booksellers can contact their Wiley sales rep with any questions. Any books not returned to the warehouse by December 15 will remain the property of the bookstore and no credit will be offered.

Ingram Publisher Services to Distribute for Indiana University Press

Indiana University Press has chosen Ingram Publisher Services to distribute its titles in the United States and Canada. The distribution is integrated with Ingram’s print and digital services, including e-book distribution from CoreSource®, and print-on-demand manufacturing and fulfillment from Lightning Source®.

Indiana University Press publishes 150 new books and 29 journals per year and has a backlist of 2,000 titles.