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iPublish in Deals with Lightning, Reciprocal
John Mutter -- 7/24/00

iPublish.com, the Time Warner e-publishing division that was announced in May (News, May 29), has signed up Lightning Source and Reciprocal to handle its digital fulfillment services.

Lightning Source will provide secure fulfillment and content and digital rights management for retailers as well as manage content for iPublish and retailers. Lightning Source, which inked a similar deal with Simon & Schuster late last month, will also handle the digital conversion of all iPublish original content as well as all titles from the Time Warner Trade Publishing Group, which includes Warner Books and Little, Brown.

For its part, Reciprocal will provide digital rights management and transaction services support for iPublish's direct e-commerce activities, including content management, financial transaction clearing, customer support and report generation.

Lightning Source and Reciprocal will work together to develop clearinghouse services for both retail and direct e-commerce. "When it came to selecting a digital fulfillment service, it turned out that the best company for the job was two companies," said Gregory Voynow, senior v-p and general manager of iPublish.

Like many recently announced digital fulfillment service agreements, this one will be nonexclusive. Both companies are, however, iPublish's "preferred and primary e-book fulfillment providers."

Although iPublish officially d sn't launch until the first quarter of next year, the company will unveil its first list in September, which will be distributed via online retailers. The company, which has partnerships with Microsoft Reader and Gemstar's Rocket eBooks, plans in the near future to announce more of what it calls "content acquisitions and distribution, and promotion partnerships" with e-book software companies, e-book device makers and online retailers.
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