By Edward Nawotka
“For the first time this year, bookstore sales rose in June, increasing 3.4% compared to June 2008, to $1.10 billion,” but “for the first six months of 2009 were down 2.7% compared to the first half of 2008, with sales falling to $7.41 billion,” reports Publishers Weekly.
Sony has announced it will convert its e-bookstore to the ePub format in partnership with Adobe. While technically ePub should be open source, allowing books bought from the Sony store to be transferred to other devices (something Sony underscores in its release), Sony’s books will be served up using Adobe’s proprietary Content Server 4, a technology which applies a proprietary DRM to the file. Thus the whole issue of transferability comes into question, something pointed out (at length) by David Rothman at TeleRead.
Also in e-News, PlasticLogic — the company that is producing a new e-reader for Barnes & Noble — has partnered with Olive Software, a company which has helped digitize numerous newspapers (and has a development office in Israel, among other places).
According to The Bookseller, the impending battle between various European constituencies and Google over their proposed Google Settlement is drawing more combatants. Recently, the Syndicat National de l’Edition, the French publishers’ association joined the fray, adding that a group of Scandinavian publishers associations have also recently voiced their disapproval. The Financial Times offers a concise summary of the debate.