An announcement jointly made by Cengage CEO Michael Hansen and McGraw-Hill CEO Nana Banerjee is sure to raise questions among authors of both organizations. The two entities are planning a merger in 2020 that will, according to the company’s public release, “accelerate innovation and accessibility” and provide “seamless integration across our range of learning sciences, adaptive solutions, and learning tools.”
TAA has joined nearly 40 national and international organizations in an appeal to librarians and readers to discontinue a practice called “Controlled Digital Lending (CDL)”, an initiative started by the Internet Archive that supports libraries in making unauthorized digital copies of print books to distribute to readers online.
The joint statement, released by the groups on February 13, calls CDL “a flagrant violation of copyright and authors’ rights”, and appeals “for a dialogue among writers, authors, publishers, and librarians on how to enable and create the digital libraries we all want, in ways that fully respect authors’ rights.”
Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is an effort to provide broader access to works held in libraries by creating a digital…
Textbooks have a very different challenge from journals in converting to online businesses. First, readers have not embraced longer works online quite as enthusiastically as they adopted shorter journal articles. Print continues to have strong appeal as a reading format.
Another critical barrier to developing sustainable online textbook business models is working out the complexities of author royalties.
With the new administration in Washington, I anticipate that the scholarly community will face challenges unlike any it has seen before. The community’s skill at communicating scholarly findings and values, and marshalling public support for them, will be tested.
To cast a light on the immediate and long-term disruptions we are facing, I will focus on just one current policy controversy. As I am writing this message, only a few scant weeks into this administration, universities around the country have joined amicus briefs, issued cautionary advice to their communities, and taken other public stands against the President’s Executive Order banning most travel from 7 predominantly Muslim countries. And things are moving unnervingly fast. The ban has been temporarily halted by courts, but the ever-present threat that it will eventually prevail in court, or be reissued in revised form, creates a dampening effect on scholarly exchanges, while instilling fear and uncertainty among visiting scholars.
Paul Aiken, a lawyer, and the leader of our sister organization the Authors Guild for nearly 20 years, died on Friday, January 29, 2016, after a struggle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Over the years, many TAA members may have encountered Paul in a professional capacity. He was a tireless advocate for authors and creators of content. His influence and impact extended well beyond his own organization, and benefited all of us.
Of Monkeys and Machines The ‘Infinite Monkey Theorem’ is the notion that if a monkey were to type random letters…
Did you hear it? The clarifying question…the laughter of recognition…the applause of approbation at seeing a colleague’s excellent work recognized…the intent…