Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Authors are protesting against a Green Party proposal to
reduce the length of copyright terms to a maximum of 14 years. The UK copyright term is currently set at the life of the
author plus 70 years, but in the "Intellectual Property" section
of a policy
statement the Green Party says it wants to “expand the area of cultural
activity, that is ways that culture can be consumed and shared, reduce the
role of the market and encourage smaller and more local cultural
A global piracy ring has been found guilty in a US federal
court of intentionally infringing copyright, sharing copies of books from
up to 16,000 international publishers. The maximum damages allowed under US
law - $37.5m – were awarded. The case of Elsevier Inc v Victor Kozlov and Pavel Kazutsin,
which was brought to court as a joint action by the global publishing
industry, concerned the defendants' websites Avaxhome and Avaxsearch, which
illegally provided access to digital copies of millions of books, as well
films, music, games and other copyrighted content.
Penguin Random House UK and taxi ordering app Hailo have
partnered on a new scheme which will see free physical and audiobooks given
away. Free books will be left in cabs which use the Hailo service,
under the #BlackCabBooks scheme, while audiobook extracts will be available
through the app itself. The new promotion has launched today, World Book
Night (23rd April), where people are encouraged to spread the joy of
reading by giving books.
Ken Michaels has been appointed chief executive officer of
Macmillan Higher Education and Macmillan New Ventures.
Currently the global chief operating officer of Macmillan Science and
Education (MSE), Michaels will begin his new job upon the closing of the
between parts of MSE and Springer Science+Business Media.
Farmer and writer John Lewis-Stempel has won the Thwaites
Wainwright Prize 2015 for Meadowland:
the Private Life of an English Field (Black Swan). Worth £5,000, the annual book prize is awarded by publisher
Frances Lincoln, in association with the National Trust, to highlight the
best books in UK nature and travel writing. Lewis-Stempel beat off
competition from five other shortlisted titles, including Helen
Macdonald’s H is for
Hawk (Jonathan Cape).
A new independent bookshop has opened in Boyne Valley in
Ireland, selling new books with a focus on children’s literature. Last weekend husband and wife team Shane and Lorraine Breslin
“quietly opened” Blackbird Books on the Old Corn Market in Boyne Valley,
County Meath, which is about a 40-minute drive from Dublin. The two-storey shop will stock books across a 1,000 sqft
space, with new books downstairs and a secondhand section upstairs.