Amazon Settles Orwell “Homework” Suit, NYPL Launches Digitize-on-Demand Program, and More

Adrian Versteegh

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Amazon is paying a Michigan teen $150,000 to settle a “missing homework” lawsuit filed after this summer’s Kindle deletions (Los Angeles Times).

In other Amazon news, a federal judge has rejected a motion by the bookseller to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit filed by Maine-based BookLocker, which alleges that Amazon violates the Sherman Act by restricting direct sales of print-on-demand titles to those produced by its own subsidiary, BookSurge (Mainebiz).

A thriller, a romance novella, and a fitness guide are among the four “Vooks”—digital books that blend text and video—released last week by Simon & Schuster (New York Times).

Using the same technology adopted for the recently launched Cambridge Library Collection, the New York Public Library is making 500,000 of its public domain titles available for digitization-on-demand (Press Release).

Alternative comics icon R. Crumb will release his take on the Book of Genesis this month (Financial Times).

The European Union commissioner for information, society, and media has called for a concerted European digitization program to counter Google’s controversial book-scanning project (Bookseller).

Fiction Showdown: The National Book Foundation is asking readers to vote for The Best of the National Book Awards.

A multimillion-pound restoration project is underway to save the Warwickshire church where William Shakespeare was buried in 1616 (BBC).

The next Napster? Online document-sharing service Sribd has been sued by an author who says the site profits from piracy (Guardian).

Citing funding cutbacks, Stanford University is shuttering its three-decade-old Publishing Course for Professionals (Publishers Marketplace), while Columbia University is discontinuing the book-reviewing seminar that fledged a generation of critics (New York Observer).

NYRB Classics, an imprint of the venerable New York Review of Books, is celebrating its tenth anniversary with events in England, Boston, and, of course, New York City (A Different Stripe).

A fitting end to Banned Books Week: According to Amazon charts in both the U.K. and the United States—where it currently holds the top spot in three different children’s categories—sales figures have surged for the most frequently challenged book in the US, the penguin true-story And Tango Makes Three (Guardian).