Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, February 01, 2021

This past weekend’s tussle between Amazon and Macmillan over the right to set pricing on ebooks included some curious phraseology by Amazon:

We will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles…

A “monopoly over their own titles”? In other words, Macmillan does, indeed, control the wares that it provides for sale — just like any other company that puts together products for mass consumption. And somehow, Amazon in implying that this is wrong. The term “monopoly” here is intentionally loaded: It makes the publisher seem exclusionary and greedy — again, for simply asserting the right to set its own prices. In other words, just like any other wholesaler or manufacturer (i.e., the “manufacturer’s suggested retail price” that’s an accepted part of retail).

Sour grapes, basically. It also reflects Amazon’s roots as a Web company, and the general ethos that intellectual property should be free for the taking, business be damned. It’s hard to see how you can sympathize with Amazon at all, given this attitude.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/01/2021 11:31 PM
Category: Business, Publishing
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