Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: DOJ

“Federal Court Finds Apple Guilty of E-Book Price Fixing”


The title of this post is from an article on WIRED.

Forbes, a major money magazine, has Apple Loses E-book Case After Judge Says It Played A ‘Central Role’ in Price-Fixing Conspiracy.

Back in March last year, when the story broke, I wrote Authors/Readers vs Publishers vs the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

Then in June I wrote Public & Publishers Speak Out To U. S. D. O. J. on Pricing Collusion.

The March post linked to a conversation between authors Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler and I quoted part of it in the June post:

“…if you’ve not been following the story, the publishers involved are all pointing fingers at Amazon as the company that must be stopped

“I’ll put a bit of conversation between authors Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler, from the March postwith their opinions about Amazon as the Bad Guy:

“Joe: The Big Publishing Cartel monopolizes distribution for decades and that’s fine, but some upstart comes in and starts treating authors and readers with consideration, and it is a call to arms.

“Barry: This argument is just bizarre. I mean, Amazon, which sells more books than anyone, is destroying bookselling? Amazon is destroying bookselling by selling tons of books?”

So, the case has reached a verdict (with probable appeals approaching) and the site GigaOM has an article that deals with DRM, Amazon, and the Big Six Publishers.

If you don’t know what DRM is, watch this video or check out this article

GigaOM’s article is called The real villain in the ebooks case isn’t Apple or Amazon — it’s publishers’ addiction to DRM and there’s a subheading that says The Big Six gave Amazon the keys

Here’s a short excerpt from that article, just to encourage you to go read the whole thing:

“The Big Six’s pig-headed insistence on DRM on ebooks is handing Amazon a stick with which to beat them harder. [Their] insistence on DRM has proven to be a hideous mistake. Rather than reducing piracy, it has locked customers in Amazon’s walled garden, which in turn increases Amazon’s leverage over publishers.”

Wondering where this will all end—though, many folks are going to speculate themselves into a frenzy………
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Publishing News Is Having A Crisis


publishing news [Author’s Edit: This post is from the past but certainly is not dated…]

Authors who want to be published have, possibly, more options than they need right now.

Traditional, Indie, POD, Small Imprint, Publishing Aid companies, and full Self-Publishing, to name the major options.

Plus, all those categories are mating and producing offspring

It’s no wonder news about publishing has become as confusing as the act of publishing itself.

I believe, one day, things will calm down to just a few of the best new ways to publish along with a transformed “traditional” option

I’ve had a couple polls on this blog to gauge what readers want—the most recently available survey HERE—and, considering the three main areas of concern on this blog (Reading, Writing, and Publishing), publishing is the least interesting to visitors who’ve voted.

Of course, not all visitors give their opinions and that latest survey is definitely still open for voting

Still, whether I “cover” the news about publishing or not, I still scan the headlines—I am a published author who will be publishing again.

Some of the most interesting coverage of happenings in publishing are over at Kristine Kathryn Rusch‘s blog, Business Rusch.

I’ve referenced her before in the posts Are Traditional Publishers Really All That Bad? and Further Considerations On Traditional Publishers.

So, as the United States Department of Justice leveled a law suit against Apple and a few of the Big Trads, Rusch’s take on the proceedings became of interest. Let me quote a bit from her Writers and The DOJ Lawsuit:

“A reporter is only as good as her sources. And on a story like this, reporters usually have no sources at all because publishing is a poorly covered industry. Most reporters hope to break into ‘real’ writing one day (‘real’ writing being getting a book published), so they’re both in awe of the publishing industry and afraid of rocking a boat while covering it.

“In other words, what you read in the mainstream press comes from sources of dubious provenance, press conferences (the DOJ), statements from the parties involved (usually drafted by lawyers to avoid any legal issues), and whatever is in the media already (usually misinformation or partial information). Add to that the need to cover a complicated case in either a story that lasts 30 seconds to two minutes (TV/radio) or in about 1,000 words (print/blogs), and you have the makings of severe misunderstandings.

“What does the DOJ case mean for writers, traditional or indie?

“Um…no one knows.”

Of course, this woman is a writer so she does go on, at length, to give her experienced opinion

I’ve only published four books and only have two more I’m working on for publishing.

I have few solid opinions about what’s going on but I do share what others I respect say.

And, so far, Joe Konrath makes the most sense to me.
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