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Europeans Approve Flexible VAT for E-books

The European Union has voted to allow the 28 member states to adjust the value added tax (VAT) rates applied to e-books and downloadable audiobooks to align with the lower taxes on print books. Until now e-books have been subject to the higher VAT rates applied to computer software, rather than the lower, privileged VAT rates allowed for print books under E.U. law.

Source: Europeans Approve Flexible VAT for E-books

The EU is targeting platforms for copyright violations, but could end up hurting publishers, too 

The concern is that smaller publishers, those who rely on news aggregators and platforms for a lot of their audience, will get cut by the tech platforms that will be wary of breaching the law. Those standing to benefit would be large publishers, those with recognizable brands and engaged direct audiences, which have an ax to grind with platforms like Google and Facebook sharing their content without receiving their fair reward.

Source: The EU is targeting platforms for copyright violations, but could end up hurting publishers, too – Digiday

You won’t own copyright in photos taken with Google’s new camera

The new product ,named the Google Clip, resembles a tiny camera, except for the fact that, instead of users taking photos, an AI program in the Clip uses machine learning to judge when “interesting moments” happen in its field of view, based on factors such as the appearance of faces it recognises, at which point it will automatically take a photo.

Source: You won’t own copyright in photos taken with Google’s new camera

18 African countries to automate online intellectual property registration 

471523596Following the successful trial in Kenya, the software giant, Microsoft handed over the source code for an online intellectual property (IP) registration system to IP authorities across Africa, including the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO). The online registration system replaces the traditional manual process of submitting paper-based forms, making the registration of IP fast, accessible and more efficient

Source: 18 African countries to automate online intellectual property registration – Vanguard News

The Hidden Danger of Big Data

As the Internet expands into new realms of physical space through the Internet of Things, the price of anarchy will become a crucial metric in our society, and the temptation to eliminate it with the power of big data analytics will grow stronger.Examples of this abound. Consider the familiar act of buying a book online through Amazon. Amazon has a mountain of information about all of its users – from their profiles to their search histories to the sentences they highlight in e-books – which it uses to predict what they might want to buy next. As in all forms of centralized artificial intelligence, past patterns are used to forecast future ones. Amazon can look at the last ten books you purchased and, with increasing accuracy, suggest what you might want to read next.

But here we should consider what is lost when we reduce the level of anarchy. The most meaningful book you should read after those previous ten is not one that fits neatly into an established pattern, but rather one that surprises or challenges you to look at the world in a different way.

Source: The Hidden Danger of Big Data by Carlo Ratti and Dirk Helbing – Project Syndicate

Google Hopes Taylor Swift Will Finally See Green In YouTube Red 

Now that it has a paid subscription option like Spotify and more recent entrants like Apple Music and TIDAL do, it’s logical to assume YouTube will begin to generate more revenue for the music industry, based on the charts and figures cited above. YouTube’s chief business officer believes so, too; in an interview with the Financial Times, Robert Kyncl mentions YouTube Red as a new source of revenue for disgruntled rights holders who feel like they haven’t received a fair shake.

But in talking to individuals inside the music industry, including those who work on behalf of major labels and independents alike, their outlook for YouTube Red is far less optimistic.

Source: Google Hopes Taylor Swift Will Finally See Green In YouTube Red | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Blockai’s new tool combines tweeting and claiming copyright 

Blockai is supposed to help photographers and artists defend their intellectual property. Now it’s launching a new feature to make that process easier — or at least better-integrated with Twitter.

Previously, Blockai users would go to the startup’s website to upload their work, creating a record in a public database (namely, the blockchain) stating that they’re the creator. However, CEO Nathan Lands said, “We don’t imagine artists are sitting on Blockai all day,” so it’s also trying to integrate with other tools, starting with Twitter.

Source: Blockai’s new tool combines tweeting and claiming copyright | TechCrunch

Nielsen ISBN Store a Hit

After nearly 50 years of promoting and selling ISBNs and prefixes to publishers in the UK & Ireland via a manual process, Nielsen has launched an online store that enables publishers and self-published authors to go to one site and purchase ISBNs, Book2Look widgets and a subscription to their BookData Enhanced service, enabling publishers to enrich their title records.

Publishers and self-published authors can purchase these services 24/7 enabling them to work and shop at their convenience. The Nielsen ISBN Agency for UK & Ireland still offers publishers the opportunity to talk to an adviser.

Source: Nielsen ISBN Store a Hit

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