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February 23, 2012
Und you VILL Sign Zis Contract Or Else!
Dear publishers, I believe you were warned that wrapping your e-books in DRM was, in effect, handing the Amazons and Apples and Barnes & Nobles of the world a loaded gun that was pointed back at yourselves. Now it looks like Amazon pulled the trigger.
Earlier this week Cory pointed on Boingboing to this piece by Michael Calder on the PublishersLunch blog. In it IPG (Independent Publishers Group - the second-largest independent book distributor in the world) reports that Amazon presented IPG with a new contract and when IPG didn't go along, Amazon yanked all IPG-distributed ebooks from its Kindle store.
Hey, no problem, Kindle users, you can just move your ebooks over to a Nook, right? And continue buying your independent tiles over there, right? Wrong. Don't get me started. You, dear e-book readers, are screwed. You are locked in, locked down, and at the mercy of every sand-throwing bit of childishness that the e-book world can devise. Amazon didn't yank the physical books; had it done so we could trivially get them from another seller. But since those Kindle bits are DRM-locked you can't do anything with them that Amazon doesn't want you to do and moving your reading to another e-book reader is probably #1 on the list of things it doesn't want.
You can read Cader's column for the details if you care. The gist is that Amazon wanted better terms for itself and it's now holding every Kindle user's book purchasing list hostage until it gets what it wants. I don't actually have an opinion on which side is right in this latest stupid dispute. I just wonder why anyone pays hundreds of dollars for an e-book reader so they can put up with this shit.
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