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Candidates Hits Chicago And ALA Midwinter

Politics makes for heated conversations. Any warmth will be welcome in Chicago in late January, though, where the American Library Association is holding its annual Midwinter Meeting. There, the race for ALA President is underway and promising to be generate excitement. “ALA politics is generally not of much interest, but this year, I think it’s […]

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Obama Echoes Libraries For Free & Open Internet

In this week’s State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, President Barack Obama promoted the value of education and entrepreneurship as well as pledged a response to global warming. But a major plank in the speech specifically singled out a “free and open Internet” as a top Administration concern. […]

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We Are Charlie

The world is coming to see the murderous attack in Paris on the staff of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly magazine that regularly poked fun at Mohammed and mocked Islamic fundamentalists, as an assault on free speech and freedom of expression. While a dozen died in a hail of automatic weapon fire, Charlie Hebdo lives […]

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Author Survey Weighs Risks, Rewards of Writing

In almost every war, the factions all imagine that God sides with each one of them. Last summer, as a war of words raged over e-book pricing, Hachette and Amazon each cited reasons why authors should stand with their business model and against the other’s. What’s an author to do? This week sees the annual […]

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The Zuckerberg Book Club

The emphasis this week was on the book in Facebook. Company founder and Harvard drop-out Mark Zuckerberg announced intentions to share his personal reading list with Facebook friends and others. The new book-of-the-month club from the social media genius drew inevitable comparison with a similar endeavor from another self-made billionaire. Whether Mark can measure up […]

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Belling The Amazon Cat

The lawyers amused themselves and their courtroom audience with a variety of picturesque, even playful images to describe the behavior of global leaders in technology and media. Apple’s encouragement of illegal price-fixing by publishers, said the US Deputy Solicitor, was like someone who chauffeured drug dealers to their deals – making the iPad manufacturer as […]

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The Battle For Media Democracy

Under the United States Constitution, the First Amendment protects free speech from government restriction or interference. Yet government has a significant oversight role for a variety of media. In his new book, America’s Battle for Media Democracy, Victor Pickard asks how well public policy has served the public interest or only protected private business. In […]

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What Apple Wants From Santa

When lawyers for Apple enter the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan next week, they will carry a brief that in its content is as hopeful as a child’s extravagant holiday wish list. Indeed, the attorneys for the computer and smartphone maker would seem to believe in Santa Claus – even if just a […]

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HarperCollins CEO Is “Person of the Year”

As December opens and the year approaches its end, ‘tis the season – for awards. In the publishing industry, Publishers Weekly is handing out the latest round of ribbons and medals. The magazine’s list of notables for 2014 in the book trade includes Fiona McRae, director for two decades at the leading indie house Graywolf […]

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LeGuin Shakes Up Book Awards

Presented with a plaque for “lifetime achievement” in writing at the National Book Awards on Wednesday, Ursula LeGuin replied with a jeremiad on the state of publishing. The audience applauded – “bravely,” she noted. Clearly, the 85-year-old novelist of science fiction and fantasy relished the chance to see that more than cocktails were shaken at […]

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