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Weekly News Digest

October 13, 2003 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Amazon Partners with Microsoft Office

Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com, Inc. have announced a joint development project that will offer desktop integration of their services. The project leverages Amazon Web Services and the Extensible Markup Language (XML) capabilities of Microsoft Office System programs to provide users with access to Amazon.com products and data via the Research Task Pane in Microsoft productivity applications. The solution, called Amazon.com Research Services for Microsoft Office System, will be available for download in the Office Marketplace (http://www.office.microsoft.com/marketplace/) at no additional charge later this fall.

Users will be able to access Amazon.com information and make purchases without launching a browser or leaving their document, e-mail message, or presentation. For example, a customer reading a bibliography in a Word document could easily click on a book title and purchase it from within the Research Task Pane without having to leave the Word document. Alternatively, a user will be able to add a footnote, bibliography entry, and even cover art for books without needing to manually enter the information into a document.

The Research Task Pane, a feature in the Microsoft Office 2003 Edition desktop applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access) and in Microsoft Office System products (OneNote note-taking program, Publisher, and Visio drawing and diagramming software), uses industry-standard XML to enable users to retrieve and navigate relevant internal or external Web-based information, all from within Office programs.

Source: Microsoft Corp.

Jury Awards $20 Million for Copyright Infringement

Legg Mason, Inc. announced that a federal district court jury in Baltimore found that Legg Mason had infringed the copyrights of Lowry's Reports, Inc., a newsletter covering stock market conditions, and ordered Legg Mason to pay Lowry's approximately $20 million. According to Lowry's, the heart of the infringement was Legg Mason's daily posting of Lowry's newsletter on its firm intranet, known as "Legg Works," where all of its brokers had access, and systematic circulation of electronic copies within a Legg Mason group that provides marketing strategy to brokers. Lowry's Report, Inc. is a six-person business located in Florida that publishes a U.S. stock market analysis written by its longtime owner Paul Desmond.

In a press release, Legg Mason expressed its shock at the extent of the damages awarded to Lowry's by the jury and its belief that those damages are grossly excessive. Legg Mason said that over the course of the next few weeks, it will aggressively pursue all options to protect the interests of its stockholders. Legg Mason, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, is a holding company that provides asset management, securities brokerage, investment banking, and related financial services through its subsidiaries.

Sources: Legg Mason, Inc. and Lowry's Reports, Inc.

Swets Blackwell Acquires W.H. Everett & Son Subscription Business

Swets Blackwell announced the acquisition of the subscription business of W.H. Everett & Son Ltd., known as "the world's oldest independent bookseller and subscription agent." All subscription activities currently handled from Everett's head office in London will be integrated into Swets Blackwell's system by the end of October. Current Everett customers will be served from one of 23 Swets Blackwell regional offices located around the world.

Since 1793, W.H. Everett & Son has provided uninterrupted service to people who need information. Managing director Colin Harrison commented: "I am sad that a company which has managed to stay independent for over 200 years is finally being taken over. At the same time I am very happy that the subscriptions sale is to Swets—a company where we have many friends, especially in their U.K. company, but also in Holland and overseas."

Eric van Amerongen, CEO of Swets Blackwell, added: "We are extremely pleased that Everett's subscription services will become a part of Swets Blackwell. The addition of their prestigious government, academic, and corporate clients will complement our existing customer base nicely. Swets Blackwell will ensure that all customer queries and concerns about the acquisition are handled carefully."

Source: Swets Blackwell



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