Kindle garten, jeff bezos

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  • 1. 03/12/14 1 ‘Kindle’-garten, Jeff Bezos, and the Future of Reading: Property rights and the ownership of learning The Sixth International Conference of the Book Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. 25-27 October, 2008 Michael A. Peters The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2. 03/12/14 2 Googlization of reading  1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded a company called Google developed out of work on hypertextual search engines in 1996 as graduates in Stanford’s Digital Library Technologies project  2002 Google Library Project – alma mater at U of Michigan; began digitizing the library in 2004  December 2004 "Google Print for Libraries" project  Google partnered with five major libraries--Michigan, Stanford, Harvard, Oxford's Bodleian, and the New York Public Library--in an attempt to scan the pages of 15 million volumes.  Google is now aiming to scan at least 32 million books Source: Jonathan V. Last (2007) Google and Its Enemies
  • 3. 03/12/14 3 Criticisms of Google Reading  book-reader interface is unwieldy  difficult to navigate through the books  what may be read is full of poorly explained limits  "page unavailable" messages often appear in the middle of books  for some books ads are embedded in the browser window  American Library Association proclaim superiority of brick and mortar libraries
  • 4. 03/12/14 4 Digitization of books: Google Competitors (1)  OnDemandBooks - "Espresso" can take the digital text of a book, print it, and bind it into soft cover in about four minutes -  Open Content Alliance (OCA) est. Microsoft and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2005 – building joint digital collections for free public access (400,000 books) -  Yahoo! provides web hosting for the OCA  HarperCollins announced that it would scan 20,000 of its titles and provide the texts to all search engines free.  "Million Book Project" - China (18 digitization centers) and India (22) joined with the Library of Alexandria and eight U.S. universities -
  • 5. 03/12/14 5 Google competitors (2)  Carnegie Mellon's "Universal Library," already has about 500,000 books digitized.  "Quaero" (Latin – seek) – French initiative for state- owned search engine (€300million) consortium led by Thomson - multimedia indexing and search tools; production & distribution of multimedia documents; access to cultural heritage  Japanese Ministry of Trade allocated $151 million, to a three-year multimedia search project led by Hitachi Consulting  Germany to invest €120 million over five years in next- generation search technology in a project called Theseus, involving companies like SAP, Siemens and Bertelsmann (breakaway from Quaero).
  • 6. 03/12/14 6 Google & Copyright  Twin sources: Partner Program & Library Project  works published after 1978 are protected by copyright for 70 years from the author's death  works published between 1923 and 1978, they were given an original copyright protection of 28 years from first publication and another 67 years of protection upon renewal of the copyright  Out-of-copyright books account for about one-sixth of all titles. Most books--75 percent of them--are in copyright, but out of print. Only about 10 percent of all books are both copyrighted and in print
  • 7. 03/12/14 7 Copyright ownership  Google ignore copyright protection - If a book is in the public domain, its full text is displayed to users; if the book is protected, then Google shows users only a "snippet" of the text surrounding the search result  Authors Guild filed suit in New York's Second Circuit on the grounds of copyright infringement  Publishers are seeking only to stop Google from scanning books without explicit permission  Google maintains that by giving copyright owners the chance to opt out of the program, it has performed due diligence with respect to the copyright.
  • 8. 03/12/14 8 Failure of ebook but success of online ‘libraries’  The SONY Bookman, an eBook reader, debuted with a CD-Rom, cell phone-sized screen and keyboard in 1992  the Softbook, the eBookman and RCA’s REB 1100 debuted in 1998 - bigger viewing surface, touch screens instead of keyboards, faster, longer battery life but more expensive than PDAs  Sony’s new eBook reader with E Ink screen – new screen flexibility touted as new Guttenberg – released in 2006  Form and reading experience are critical; light, portable and legible as traditional paperback
  • 9. 03/12/14 9 iRex Technologies Digital Reader What is the iLiad?  The iLiad is a portable device that lets you read and write as you do on paper everywhere you go.  Everything you like to read, like books, newspapers and documents, you can now take along on a device as small and light as a single book. Even in bright sunlight the display of the iLiad offers you perfect readability. With the iLiad can you also send, receive and share documents with family, friends or business colleagues.
  • 10. 03/12/14 10 Mission & Partners  Our mission is to provide solutions for reading written digital content with the ease and comfort of print on paper, combined with the interactivity, flexibility and up-dating ability of digital information.  Partners: E-Ink, Phillips, Micronix, WACOM, VisionObjects, 4D Objects, Arinc, Solidam
  • 11. 03/12/14 11 – Jeff Bezos  In the spring of 1994, I came across a startling statistic: Web usage was growing at 2300 percent a year. I had never seen anything grow so fast, and I don’t think many people had, except for perhaps in a petri dish.  So the question was: What’s the first best product to sell online? I made a list of 20 different products and force-ranked them according to several different criteria. I was looking for something that you could only do online, something that couldn’t be replicated in the physical world.  I picked books. Books are incredibly unusual in one respect, and that is that there are more items in the book category than there are items in any other category by far. There are more than 3 million different titles available and active in print worldwide.  Source: Jeff Bezos, A BOOKSTORE BY ANY OTHER NAME, July 27, 1998
  • 12. 03/12/14 12 ‘A bookstore by any other name’  ‘First of all, you can use computers to sort, search and organize. Second, you can create a super-valuable customer proposition that can only be done online, and that is selection. There are lots of categories where selection is proven to be important: books, in particular, with the book superstores, but also in home construction materials, with Home Depot, and toys with Toys ‘R Us. Online, you can have this vast catalog of millions of titles, whereas in the physical world, the largest physical superstores are only about 175,000 titles, and there are only three that big.’
  • 13. 03/12/14 13 Book 2.0  ‘Kindle – Amazon’s amazing wireless reading device $359.00’
  • 14. 03/12/14 14 Cellular broadband  The Amazon Kindle incorporates cellular broadband service.
  • 15. 03/12/14 15 Electronic paper
  • 16. 03/12/14 16 The Future of Reading Jeff Bezos and Kindle – ‘a portable reading device’
  • 17. 03/12/14 17 Release of Kindle, Nov 16 2007  “Kindle is a purpose-built reading device with wireless access to more than 110,000 books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. The wireless connectivity isn’t WiFi— instead it uses the same wireless network as advanced cell phones, which means it works when you’re at home in bed or out and moving around. You can buy a book directly from the device, and the whole book will be downloaded wirelessly, ready for reading, in less than 60 seconds. There is no “wireless plan,” no year-long contract you must commit to, and no monthly service fee. It has a paper-like electronic-ink display that’s easy to read even in bright daylight. Folks who see the display for the first time do a double-take. It’s thinner and lighter than a paperback, and can hold 200 books.”  Source: Jeff Bezos’ Letter to shareholders, April 2008
  • 18. 03/12/14 18 ‘Surpassing the book’  We started by setting ourselves the admittedly audacious goal of improving upon the physical book. We did not choose that goal lightly. Anything that has persisted in roughly the same form and resisted change for 500 years is unlikely to be improved easily. At the beginning of our design process, we identified what we believe is the book’s most important feature. It disappears. When you read a book, you don’t notice the paper and the ink and the glue and the stitching. All of that dissolves, and what remains is the author’s world.  We knew Kindle would have to get out of the way, just like a physical book, so readers could become engrossed in the words and forget they’re reading on a device. We also knew we shouldn’t try to copy every last feature of a book—we could never out-book the book. We’d have to add new capabilities—ones that could never be possible with a traditional book.
  • 19. 03/12/14 19 Beyond the traditional book  You can search your books.  Your margin notes and underlinings are stored on the server-side in the “cloud,” where they can’t be lost.  Kindle keeps your place in each of the books you’re reading, automatically. If your eyes are tired, you can change the font size.  Most important is the seamless, simple ability to find a book and have it in 60 seconds.  Our vision for Kindle is every book ever printed in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.  From a publisher’s point of view, there are a lot of advantages to Kindle.  Books never go out of print, and they never go out of stock. Nor is there ever waste from over-printing.  Kindle makes it more convenient for readers to buy more books.  Anytime you make something simpler and lower friction, you get more of it.
  • 20. 03/12/14 20 Bezos’s ‘anthropology’ of Kindle  We humans co-evolve with our tools. We change our tools, and then our tools change us. Writing, invented thousands of years ago, is a grand whopper of a tool, and I have no doubt that it changed us dramatically. Five hundred years ago, Gutenberg’s invention led to a significant step-change in the cost of books. Physical books ushered in a new way of collaborating and learning. Lately, networked tools such as desktop computers, laptops, cell phones and PDAs have changed us too. They’ve shifted us more toward information snacking, and I would argue toward shorter attention spans.  If our tools make information snacking easier, we’ll shift more toward information snacking and away from long-form reading. Kindle is purpose-built for long-form reading. We hope Kindle and its successors may gradually and incrementally move us over years into a world with longer spans of attention, providing a counterbalance to the recent proliferation of info-snacking tools.
  • 21. 03/12/14 21 The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts) Act I: The act of buying Act II: The act of giving Act III: The act of lending Act IV: The act of reading Act V: The act of remembering Act VI: The act of learning
  • 22. 03/12/14 22 The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts)  Act I: The act of buying  When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this.  Jeff Bezos, Open letter to Author’s Guild, 2002
  • 23. 03/12/14 23 Act I: The act of buying  You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content.  Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service, 2007
  • 24. 03/12/14 24 Act II: The act of giving  [I]f he lent her his computer, she might read his books. Aside from the fact that you could go to prison for many years for letting someone else read your books, the very idea shocked him at first. Like everyone, he had been taught since elementary school that sharing books was nasty and wrong…  Richard Stallman, The Right to Read  [Y]ou can’t give them as gifts, and due to restrictive antipiracy software, you can’t lend them out or resell them.  Newsweek, The Future of Reading
  • 25. 03/12/14 25 Act III: The act of lending  As you may have read in the newspapers over the past few days, we’ve been criticized by the leadership of a small, but vocal organization because we sell used books on our website. This group (which, by the way, is the same organization that from time to time has advocated charging public libraries royalties on books they loan out) claims that we’re damaging the book industry and authors by offering used books to our customers.  Jeff Bezos, Open letter to Author’s Guild
  • 26. 03/12/14 26 Act III: The act of lending  Libraries, though, have developed lending procedures for previous versions of e-books — like the tape in “Mission: Impossible,” they evaporate after the loan period — and Bezos says that he’s open to the idea of eventually doing that with the Kindle.  Newsweek, The Future of Reading
  • 27. 03/12/14 27 Act IV: The act of reading  It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself — anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face… was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime…  George Orwell, “1984″, Book One, Chapter 5
  • 28. 03/12/14 28 Act IV: The act of reading  The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files and signal strength) and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device). Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make in your Device are backed up through the Service.  Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service
  • 29. 03/12/14 29 Act V: The act of remembering  Another possible change: with connected books, the tether between the author and the book is still active after purchase. Errata can be corrected instantly. Updates, no problem.  Newsweek, The Future of Reading
  • 30. 03/12/14 30 Act V: The act of remembering  Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.  George Orwell, “1984″, Book One, Chapter 3
  • 31. 03/12/14 31 Act VI: The act of learning  If they can somehow strike a deal with textbook publishers, I could see a lot of college students switching to this. Get rid of all your text books and have this single electronic device.  Ankit Gupta
  • 32. 03/12/14 32 Act VI: The act of learning  School policy was that any interference with their means of monitoring students’ computer use was grounds for disciplinary action. It didn’t matter whether you did anything harmful — the offense was making it hard for the administrators to check on you. They assumed this meant you were doing something else forbidden, and they did not need to know what it was.  Students were not usually expelled for this — not directly. Instead they were banned from the school computer systems, and would inevitably fail all their classes.  Richard Stallman, The Right to Read
  • 33. 03/12/14 33 Act VI: The act of learning  Your rights under this Agreement will automatically terminate without notice from Amazon if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement. In case of such termination, you must cease all use of the Software and Amazon may immediately revoke your access to the Service or to Digital Content without notice to you and without refund of any fees.  Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service