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Links I found interesting for 15-06-2012


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2012 12:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure Amazon are distinctly evil - they are just capitalism writ large, surely? It should be for governments to act where monopolies are coming into being, since they are supposed to act in our interests, so once again it would seem to be a regulatory failure. If the last 30-40 years has taught us anything, it is surely that laissez-faire policies can have unfortunate and (perhaps) unanticipated consequences.
Jun. 15th, 2012 01:20 pm (UTC)
I dunno, Paul, it seems to me that Amazon have made choices as well, and it's reasonable to hold them to account for bullying publishers and constraining readers' choices - and also for encouraging the awful ripoff self-publishing phenomenon.
Jun. 15th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
My assumption would be that corporations usually act in their own interests, which will often be at odds with the interests of everyone else - I don't think Amazon is a special case, it's the norm for monopolies or near monopolies. One of the main purposes of a state is to limit the degree to which corporations can pursue their own interests when they conflict with everyone else's. If the state is failing to do so, it has reneged on its responsibilities.
Jun. 15th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Though of course Charles Stross prefers the term monopsony:

Jun. 15th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
Amazon has been a major force in pushing for a switch from paper to e-books, but I can't help wondering if it's stocked up trouble for itself. Amazon's competitive advantage is its economy of scale and low overheads—but with e-books any publisher can do just as well. Back in the old days of paper books, I used to buy loads of them from Amazon, but now that I mostly read e-books, I check the publisher's own website to see if I can source the book direct (and without DRM). Amazon made it's fortune by cutting out the middleman (bookstores) but with e-books publishers are in a position to cut out the middleman (Amazon).

Edited at 2012-06-15 06:30 pm (UTC)
Jun. 16th, 2012 09:03 am (UTC)
One can only hope. I regret the passing of smaller bricks-and-mortar bookstores, but I think smaller publishers can still be saved!
Jun. 16th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
with bookshops, I get the sense that the smaller shops will outlive the larger ones. In Dublin there has been the weird phenomenon of small bookshops opening and large ones closing. Maybe the small bookshop owners are delusional, but maybe they have a viable business model.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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