Ebook readers in the European Union will soon have to spend more.
An EU court deems ebooks “electronically supplied services” rather than products, preventing them from being taxed at the lower rates print books can.
The standard value-added tax (VAT) rates in EU member states varies, but in Luxembourg and France, it’s 17% and 20%, respectively, compared with the 3.3% and 5.5% rates those countries reserve for print.
Authorities say they’re open to amending tax rules to eliminate the distinction between print and digital, which some European governments and publishers are already pressing for.
EU tax law is still evolving for the digital market. VAT rates recently began being applied based on buyers’, rather than sellers’, locations, a change some worried would tamp down Europe’s nascent ebook markets.
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Amazon Appstore Gains Momentum (CNet)
With just under 400,000 apps on offer, Amazon’s Appstore is picking up the pace. It has a way to go before catching up with Google and Apple, whose app stores both boast some 1.2 million apps, but Amazon’s renewed progress comes in the wake of last year’s disappointing Fire Phone rollout.
Amazon Makes a Play for Customers in China (Bloomberg)
By launching a store on the Alibaba-owned Tmall.com, Amazon moves to gain a firmer foothold in China’s growing e-commerce market, which remains largely dominated by Alibaba itself.
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Why an App Publisher Went into Print (Futurebook)
The digital children’s content developer Made in Me announced a partnership earlier this week with Macmillan to turn some of its titles into print products. Here’s how Made in Me wound up heading in that direction.
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Findaway World Builds Kids’ Tablet for Libraries (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The new device comes bundled with select children’s content geared to particular age groups and is fully locked to prevent library patrons who borrow it from removing or uploading anything on their own.
Nook Tightens Ebook DRM (Good E Reader)
A change to Nook’s digital rights management system makes it more difficult for customers to download and store the titles they purchase outside its own ecosystem of devices and apps.
Some Indies Wary of Penguin Random House (The Bookseller)
One independent publisher says the sizable market share commanded by Penguin Random House poses a real threat to small and independent presses, and it’s no wonder; this week Penguin Random House published sixteen of the top 25 best-selling ebooks.
Related: How Publishers of All Sizes Can Compete for Authors and Readers
A Modest Proposal for Easing Rights Restrictions (The Scholarly Kitchen)
Finding himself knee-deep in requests to reproduce previously published material in a forthcoming scholarly book, one author suggests academic publishers take the lead in driving change: “What is to prevent university presses from agreeing among themselves to adopt big-hearted and charitable understandings of a principle so insistently vague?”