• <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio!</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio!</b>
  • <b>Cowan’s Auctions: Fine Books, Including the Alan Culpin WWI Art Collection – Live Online Auction. Dec. 18, 2017</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> Unique Association Copy of Signed Limited Roosevelt, African Game Trails, Extra-Illustrated. $5,000 - 7,500
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> 24 Volumes Henry James in 1/2 Morocco - Alvin Langdon Coburn Frontis Illustrations. $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> French Surrealism by Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, 1930 Limited Edition in Lovely Condition. $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: Fine Books, Including the Alan Culpin WWI Art Collection – Live Online Auction. Dec. 18, 2017</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> Unique and Beautifully Written Manuscript of 650 Quarto Pages - Unpublished History of Belle-Isle-En-Mer, 1754. $3,000 - $5,000
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> William Beebe's Classic 4 Volume Work on "The Pheasants," Signed and Inscribed in 1919. $2,000 - $3,000
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> Three Volumes of Washington's War Era Letters Published in New York in 1796. $1,500 - $2,000
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: Fine Books, Including the Alan Culpin WWI Art Collection – Live Online Auction. Dec. 18, 2017</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> 19th C. Vintage Album with 48 Sepia Toned Albumen Prints by Fratelli Alinari et. al.<br>$1,500 - $2,000
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> Report of Phipps' Voyage in 1773 In Search of a Passage to India Via the North Pole. $1,500 - $2,000
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> 17 Volumes of Wallace's American Trotting Register, 1874-1891. $1,500 - $2,500
    <b>Cowan’s Auctions: Fine Books, Including the Alan Culpin WWI Art Collection – Live Online Auction. Dec. 18, 2017</b>
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> Rare First English Edition of Monardes, Joyfull Newes, 1577, Woodcut Illustrations.<br>$1,500 - $3,000
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> 6 Volume Shakespeare Presented to Virginia Congressman Involved in the "Trent Affair". $1,200 - $1,500
    <b>Cowan’s, Dec. 18:</b> Classic Lothar Meggendorfer Movable Book Complete with 8 Chromolithograph Plates, Ca. 1890. $750 - $1,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 95. Turing. <i>Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals</i>. Offprint. London, 1939. Robin Gandy's Copy. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 98. Zernike, Fritz. The 1953 Nobel Prize for Physics: The Invention of the Phase-Contrast Microscope. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 111. Apple 1 Computer, operational, with exceptional provenance. $400,000 to $600,000
    <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1074. Bruce, Lenny. An unreleased 16 mm film by "Count" Lewis DePasquale featuring Lenny Bruce. $7,000 to $10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1254. Hirohito. Manuscript in Japanese, "The Emperor's Monologue," transcribed by Terasaki Hidenari. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1095. Goldman. Emma. Large archive of correspondence, much of it to Warren Starr Van Valkenburgh. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 109. Wozniak and Jobs. The First Digital "Blue Box", Berkeley, 1972. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 46. Newton, Isaac. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. 1st issue. London, 1687. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 49. Newton. Autograph Manuscript in English, a portion of a draft of Newton's study on revelation. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1027. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1st edition, 1st issue. Scribners, 1925. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1042. Hemingway., Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Presentation copy, one of 15 copies. Scribners, 1940. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec. 6:</b> Lot 1215. A 48-star American Flag, flown from LCT-703, sunk on Omaha Beach, December 1944. $15,000 to $20,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2011 Issue

Barnes & Noble Takes Over Borders' Remains... After Some Last-Minute Wrangling

Bordersemail2

B&N's second email was terse and to the point.

There was a time when a sale of Borders to Barnes & Noble would have stirred great controversy, perhaps even an examination by the Attorney General for antitrust violations. By the time it happened, it caused hardly a stir. In late September, Barnes & Noble bought the name, website, and customer list and data of the now bankrupt Borders chain. Well, it caused a stir to hardly anyone except the bankruptcy court appointed Consumer Privacy Ombudsman. He felt B&N was not being entirely forthright with Borders' old customers.

While Barnes & Noble didn't have much interest in Borders' stores, perhaps having more than enough of their own, they did want Borders' intangibles. They purchased them from the bankruptcy court for $13.9 million. However, Borders had promised its customers that they would never give their names and data to anyone else. The court therefore required that Barnes & Noble inform Borders' customers that they had purchased their information, but that those customers had the right to stop that data from being transferred to B&N. If they so chose, their customer data would be deleted.

In keeping with this requirement, Barnes & Noble sent out an email to Borders' customers. It was a friendly email from B&N CEO William Lynch. Lynch informed the Borders' customers that, “Our intent in buying the Borders customer list is simply to try and earn your business.” However, he also informed the customers that they had “the absolute right to opt-out of having your customer data transferred to Barnes & Noble.” Customers were told they had until October 15, 2011, to opt out of the transfer of information to B&N. Lynch then concluded his message with, “We hope you'll give us a chance to be your bookstore.”

Consumer Privacy Ombudsman Michael Baxter immediately cried “foul.” Baxter had been appointed by the Court to watch out for the privacy interests of Borders' customers. When the deal was originally put together to sell the Borders' data, Baxter had wanted the message to be an opt-in, not opt-out. In other words, he wanted B&N to obtain affirmative approval from Borders' customers before their data could be transferred, rather than having it transferred automatically if those customers did not say no. To B&N, that may have been a deal killer, as a large number of customers, probably most, were not likely to respond to an email either way. They would not likely opt in if required, nor opt out if they had to either. Most of the 40+ million people in Borders' files could be expected to simply ignore the email.

Baxter backed down on this issue, agreeing to B&N's opt-out rather than fighting for an opt-in. The one concession he was able to obtain was the wording of the e-mail header, which stated simply “Important Information Regarding Your Borders Account.”

However, there were still two other things Baxter did not like about B&N's email, and having conceded on the important issue of opt out, he was evidently not in a mood to back down on a couple of smaller ones. B&N was unwilling to be more accommodating than it had already. The result was a couple of emails flying back and forth between Baxter and B&N before the customer email was sent. It concluded with B&N's attorney saying they had accommodated what they described as Baxter's “only significant comment,” that regarding the wording of the header. Baxter fired back that he would raise his objections with the court if a couple of other changes were not made. B&N ignored his further demands and sent the email as worded. For his part, Baxter did as he promised, filing an objection with the court.

In his objection, Baxter found two faults with the B&N email. First, he found the lack of notification that the email had been ordered by the court to be misleading. Lynch's folksy, friendly email might imply, Baxter believed, that B&N was sending this message as a favor to Borders' customers, rather than because they had been ordered to do so by the court. That, he believed, might make Borders' customers less inclined to opt out. Secondly, Baxter objected to the vague language of a “customer list” being transferred to B&N. Customers might believe all that B&N was obtaining was their names and email addresses, when in fact, B&N was obtaining their entire purchase history. It is easy to imagine a customer who years ago bought a book that might embarrass him today not wanting that information passed on to another company.

So, who won this little skirmish? Well, it appears that Baxter won on one out of two of his objections. However, we doubt that the same is true for B&N, though you would think that would follow from their opponent being one for two. On October 15, Barnes & Noble sent out a follow up email. This one was not so long and folksy. It was a one-paragraph, unsigned, business-like message. Introduced as a “reminder” to the earlier email, it stated with specificity, “The transferred personally identifiable information in the customer list includes customer email address and purchase history.” It added that credit card information was not transferred, and those that wished could opt out by November 2. It did not mention Baxter's other point, that the notice had been ordered by the court, so B&N must have won on that issue.

Nonetheless, we see this as a loss for B&N, not a tie. A couple of bad things happened to them. First, Borders' customers, whose last chance to opt out of the transfer of their data would have ended that day (October 15), got 18 more days to do so. People who might have chosen to opt out, but forgot the earlier email, or maybe never even read it, got a reminder. The greater clarity of this email may drive some people away, but we suspect the simple fact that a second opt-out email was sent will lead to thousands more Borders' customers opting out. B&N could have repeated the exact same email as the first and many additional people would have deselected themselves. It's just the nature of the beast. Each time you give a group of people an opportunity to opt out, some more will do so. Barnes & Noble would have been smarter if, instead of challenging the Ombudsman, they had accommodated his needs in one email. A second email could only lead to more opt-outs, and a smaller customer list for B&N's money.


Posted On: 2011-11-01 00:00
User Name: stephenb

I never got the opt-out email. Although I have a more than 400 emails from Borders (mostly borders rewards), there was nothing like this. I wo


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> SAINT-EXUPERY, ANTOINE DE. Kodachrome Film (16mm) showing Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Consuelo on a boat, 1942. JOINED: Guestbook for the Boat, signed, with a drawing of the Little Prince. 15 000 to 20 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> CANDEE, HELEN CHURCHILL. Autograph manuscript. TITANIC, 40 leaves. Original account of the most famous shipwreck, by a survivor of the ordeal. 300 000 to 400 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> TITANIC. Collection of 7 documents relating to the shipwreck of the Titanic (14 April 1912). 20 000 to<br>30 000 €
    <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> DUPLEIX DE CADIGNAN, JEANBAPTISTE. Signed autograph manuscript. Thirty years of memoirs related to military services and important information on the American War of Independence.<br>40 000 to 50 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> CURTIUS. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre [Histoire d'Alexandre le Grand]. In French, illuminated manuscript on paper and parchment, 16 large miniatures. 300 000 to<br>500 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> NELSON, HORATIO. Signed autograph letter, ‘Nelson & Bronte,” aboard the Amazon, 14 October 1801, addressed to Sir William Hamilton. 4 000 to 5 000 €
    <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> GIROLAMO FRANCESCO MARIA MAZZUOLI DIT LE PARMESAN. Le couple amoureux. Pen and brown ink. 80 000 to 120 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> SADE, DONATIEN-ALPHONSE-FRANÇOIS, MARQUIS DE. Autograph manuscript. The 120 Days of Sodom, or the School of Libertinage, 1785.<br>4 000 000 to 6 000 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> MIRÓ, JOAN. Signed autograph correspondence to Thomas and Diane Bouchard (1949-1976). 50 000 to 60 000 €
    <b>Les Collections Aristophil:<br>December 20, 2017</b>
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> BALZAC, HONORÉ DE. Signed autograph manuscript, Ursule Mirouët, [1841]. One of only two manuscripts of novels by Balzac in private hands. 800 000 to<br>1 200 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> LENOIR, ALEXANDRE. Essai sur l'histoire des arts en Egypte pouvant servir d'appendice au grand ouvrage de la Commission. autograph manuscript with numerous additions and corrections. 40 000 to 50 000 €
    <b>Collections Aristophil, Dec. 20:</b> SCHRÖDINGER, ERWIN. Autograph manuscript [Spring 1946, sent to Albert Einstein]. 1 500 to 2 000 €
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14:</b> William Oden Waller studio, <i>Manhattan Mary</i>, gouache and graphite, 1927. Sold for $77,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28:</b> Missionary archive of Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond, Minnesota, 1833-93. Sold for $112,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:</b> Richard Hakluyt, <i>Novus Orbis</i>, first printed use of “Virginia” on a map, Paris, 1587. Sold for $80,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17:</b> Aegidius Romanus, <i>Lo libre del regiment dels princeps</i>, first edition in Catalan, Barcelona, 1480. Sold for $50,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14:</b> William Faulkner, <i>The Marble Faun</i>, first edition, signed & inscribed, Boston, 1924. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5:</b> Henry Ossawa Tanner, <i>Flight into Egypt</i>, oil on canvas, circa 1910. Sold for $341,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>The Lonely House</i>, etching, 1923. Sold for $317,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7:</b> George Washington, Autograph Letter Signed, to his spymaster Benjamin Tallmadge, New Jersey, 1780. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:</b> Saul Leiter, <i>Waiter, Paris</i>, chromogenic print, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: </b> A. M. Cassandre, <i>Normandie / Maiden Voyage</i>, 1935. Sold for $20,000.

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