Byline: Vic Caleca
Oct. 13--There's no bigger dilemma facing the fledgling electronic book industry: How do you persuade best-selling authors and publishers to put digital versions of their books on the Internet when chances are good they could be pirated and distributed to millions of readers for free?
It's a particularly key question for Carmel-based Thomson Consumer Electronics and its California partner, Gemstar-TV Guide International, which have been developing two new e-book readers for release this fall.
On Thursday, at a crowded news conference in New York City, they unveiled their answer: Bypass the Internet.
Instead, Gemstar and Thomson announced that the new RCA-brand readers won't plug into personal computers or access the Net at all.
They'll be stand-alone devices with …