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Japanese Publishers Lash Out At Amazon's Policies

Soulskill posted about three weeks ago | from the does-not-play-nice-with-others dept.

Books 113

Nate the greatest writes: Amazon is in a bitter contract fight with Hachette in the U.S. and Bonnier in Germany, and now it seems the retail giant is also in conflict with publishers in Japan. Amazon has launched a new rating system in Japan which gives preference to publishers with larger ebook catalogs (and publishers that pay higher fees), leading to complaints that Amazon is using its market power to blackmail publishers. Where have we heard that complaint before?

The retailer is also being boycotted by a handful of Japanese publishers who disagree with Amazon offering a rewards program to students. The retailer gives students 10% of a book's price as points, which can be used to buy more books. This skirts Japanese fixed-price book laws, so several smaller publishers pulled their books from Amazon in protest. Businesses are out to make money and not friends, but Amazon sure is a lightning rod for conflicts, isn't it?

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First sale (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785489)

Once you sell something to me, it's none of your business if I choose to re-sell it. In particular, the price I charge is none of you business.

Re:First sale (2)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785691)

Japan doesn't have First Sale doctrine.

Re:First sale (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786309)

In Japan, when someone buys a book, is it stuck with him for eternity? Is it, for instance, buried with him? If not, what does Japan have instead of first sale doctrine for books?

Re:First sale (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about three weeks ago | (#47785723)

Once you sell something to me, it's none of your business if I choose to re-sell it. In particular, the price I charge is none of you business.

First Sale Doctrine [wikipedia.org] is American law, not Japanese. Book publishing in Japan is a cozy protected racket. Even magazines can cost the equivalent of $10-15 per issue. Amazon is going against deeply entrenched special interests. I wish them luck, but it will not be easy.

Re:First sale (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786077)

There are several such cozy protected rackets in japan. Video games is another.

Re:First sale (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about three weeks ago | (#47786089)

The great thing about ebooks is that this is tempest in a teacup. There is NO barrier to entry so the protectionist rackets will have to come down. The end of their era is over, and its time to apply force to show them the future. I love what is amazon is doing to force everyone to see that ebooks are way WAY overpriced for the Information Age.

Amazon has until September 2017 (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786211)

There is NO barrier to entry so the protectionist rackets will have to come down. The end of their era is over

Or at least it will be in three years and change. That's how much longer the 1-Click patent family (U.S. Patent 5,960,411 and foreign counterparts) has left, based on the priority date of 1997-09-12 and the common worldwide patent term of twenty years.

Re:First sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786315)

All book publishers are ancient relics entrenched in business practices more than 100 years old. They used to serve a purpose when printing and book distribution was a serious undertaking. Today they're little more than entrenched middle men wielding lobbyists and lawyers and anti-competitive business practices to keep their undeserved share of the pie.

I'm not saying they don't serve a purpose, but the services they offer can be replaced by a handful of skilled people. An agile publishing start up company can do everything the old dinosaurs do thanks to digital publishing. (Footing the bill for a paper print run is a different story, but it's still a racket today)

Difference between publisher and vanity press (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786343)

An agile publishing start up company can do everything the old dinosaurs do thanks to digital publishing.

Including promotion? Even if its illustrators and editors work on an hourly or fee for service basis, how would a startup publisher establish a reputation of sorting worthwhile books from not-so-worthwhile ones? Otherwise, it could be seen as more of what some people might call a "vanity press".

Re:Difference between publisher and vanity press (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about three weeks ago | (#47786781)

Including promotion?

Yes. An individual author can promote their book on social media. It is unlikely to become an instant bestseller, but if it is good, word will spread. This is especially true if the author is writing for a niche market that can be targeted in specific online forums.

Re:Difference between publisher and vanity press (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about three weeks ago | (#47787195)

Sell that to one of the lesser known authors that the trad publisher does little or no promotion for yet retains the copyright for that particular contract.

Re:First sale (1)

gunnnnslinger (793553) | about three weeks ago | (#47787327)

All book publishers are ancient relics entrenched in business practices more than 100 years old. They used to serve a purpose when printing and book distribution was a serious undertaking. Today they're little more than entrenched middle men wielding lobbyists and lawyers and anti-competitive business practices to keep their undeserved share of the pie.

I know right?!?! I'm so tired of these mom-and-pop companies like Uber and Amazon getting hassled by all these book-store and multi-thousand dollar local cab company cartels!

Re:First sale (2, Interesting)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about three weeks ago | (#47788337)

First Sale Doctrine is American law, not Japanese. Book publishing in Japan is a cozy protected racket. Even magazines can cost the equivalent of $10-15 per issue. Amazon is going against deeply entrenched special interests. I wish them luck, but it will not be easy.

Coming from Australia, I find books incredibly cheap in Japan. 750yen ($7.50) for a novel. I'm not sure where you are getting $10-$15 for magazines either. Most I've seen are about half that. For example Toyo-keizai (Japanese equiv. of the economist) is only 650yen ($6.50). The manga magazines are even cheaper than that.

Re:First sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47789677)

I read several Japanese magazines: Shuukan Manga Goraku: 340 Yen (approx 4 dollars), Weekly Playboy: 400 Yen, Young Animal: 440 Yen, Kindai Mahjong: 400 Yen, Gundam Ace: 650 Yen. The only expensive magazines are specialized magazines targeting an upscale market: Japanese History, Hobbies, Beauty and of course photo magazines of female or male idols. Books and Magazines in Japan are cheaper than any western country and less than half the prices western companies sell translations of Japanese books for. Yes Japanese publishing is a closed-market racket but so is western publishing and unlike western publishers, Japanese publishers have sales numbers Amazon would kill for and so face Amazon from a position of strength. Japan also has the best used book marketplace in the world: Book-Off is pure used book/cd/game/comic/movie heaven and dirt cheap; Tokyo suburb Jinboucho has the highest concentration of used book shops anywhere on earth.

Re:First sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786565)

It is interesting to see how you read an article about Japanese publishers and then apply US laws.
Perhaps Japan needs "first sale" laws, but you assumed too much.

PS.
US "first sale" laws can be bypassed, see "costco vs Omega" as an example.
Another fine example is the re-importation of text books.

Re:First sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786801)

OP here. I didn't make any references to the law at all.
When I buy something, I own it. It's none of the business of any previous owner.

Re:First sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786921)

I think you will find that with many things you "bought" you in fact have more of a "lease" agreement.

Take my Apple TV2, i can "jailbreak" it and get it to do what i want, but it is a cat and mouse game.

If i bought it, and i own it why cant i install whatever i want on it?
if Apple wants to extend control like this, why not call it a "rental" agreement and charge $1/month instead of $99?

Try re-importing text books from overseas where they typically sell for less then 1/2 the price in North America and see if your "first sale" rights are enforced.

Re:First sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786963)

If i bought it, and i own it why cant i install whatever i want on it?

Because you continue to grant someone else access to it.

Try re-importing text books from overseas

Customs issues. Yes, I'm not free to move my property between countries on my own terms, but that doesn't make it not my property.

Re:First sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47787695)

Not a customs issue. It is a copyright issue which will prevent you from reselling items you own (therefore superseding your "right to first sale").

Re:First sale (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about three weeks ago | (#47788583)

Not a customs issue. It is a copyright issue which will prevent you from reselling items you own (therefore superseding your "right to first sale").

You assume too much. For the record I worked in an airport with two major carriers (one of which is International and services Europe and Asia). If I buy a textbook in London, I can bury it in my checked bags and it will make it. If choose to not inform customs, thats on me as I am an American and both Customs and TSA have better things to do than care about my paper text book. At best they will make sure its not a bomb. Once I leave the airport, I can actually do as I please with it include selling provided I don't use: social media or the public internet. (TSA cares more about cheese than books. Cheese looks like C4 on x-ray) Copyright issues don't stop anything. They aren't a wall that you hit and its hurts. They are at best the ink-pack on a bundle of 100s the teller tosses in you rob a back, Over 50% nothing happens. The problem is people are stupid and do stupid things. Like make it obvious they are engaging in illegal activity. Movies, Magazines and Hell the whole underworld is the corrupt seedy part of Japanese culture. Kudos to Amazon for trying to poke it hard. My right to first sale IS absolute provided that it remains known only to me and the buyer. Not the middle men and snoopers in the govt

Businesses are out to make money and not friends (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about three weeks ago | (#47785531)

Halve your margin and triple your sales.

>NO BREAKS TO ANYBODY, ESPECIALLY STUDENTS

It's like they're begging for piracy to happen.

--
BMO

First legitimate monopoly complaint I've seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47787001)

If the assertions that Amazon is giving preference to large publishers, then this is the first valid complaint about them abusing their monopoly status. The rest are cartels whining.

Re:First legitimate monopoly complaint I've seen (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about three weeks ago | (#47787795)

Or could be that they offer better pricing when dealing in bulk.

Most businesses will give a discount when ordering in large quantities. Someone needs 10 shirts, the get to pay $20 each, someone else orders 10,000 then they pay only $12 for each; is that somehow unfair to first person?

Wither larger quantities there can be less man power required, and less estimation on the part of everyone so economies of scale come into play.

Re:Businesses are out to make money and not friend (1)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about three weeks ago | (#47788403)

Halve your margin and triple your sales. >NO BREAKS TO ANYBODY, ESPECIALLY STUDENTS It's like they're begging for piracy to happen.

Text books in Japan aren't actually very expensive. A typical text book might be about $20~$30 and doesn't include bullshit attempts to circumvent your ability to resell it.

I am posting as Anonymous Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785533)

Horse shit . Not at all when Slashdot recognised me!! FSCK you gay niggers! I see my login!!

Comfortable, were we? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47785557)

Time to compete.

Oh and by the way, welcome to capitalism.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (2)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about three weeks ago | (#47785581)

Unsure about the concept of monopolies and the pressures they can bring to bear suppressing competition are we?

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47785635)

What praytell is preventing them from starting their own Amazons? It's not like they're short of a few bucks. Although to be honest I expect the ultimate fallout from this conflict to be writers circumventing publishers entirely and just working with editors and artists directly.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (2)

machineghost (622031) | about three weeks ago | (#47785737)

What praytell is preventing them from starting their own Amazons?

Sure, because it's *so* easy to create a successful online bookseller. Gee, why didn't anyone think of that before? Those Japanese people must be idiots. Baka yaroo.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47785831)

It is if they're willing to play it smart enough.

I mean you didn't think that computer you're typing on was so cheap because the manufacturers decided to give you a winning personality discount, did you?

Also I'd advise anyone whining about monopolies to take a good long look at the standard contracts existing publishers make authors sign, as we're on the subject.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

Anonanonaon (3425201) | about three weeks ago | (#47786949)

Also I'd advise anyone whining about monopolies to take a good long look at the standard contracts existing publishers make authors sign, as we're on the subject.

Old individual-punishing contracts were the result of the vaunted Free Market model as well. Which suggests to me that the free market model sucks. It rewards psychopaths, results in shitty systems which punish the public and takes the creative principle for ransom.

It would be much better for everybody if we were to rationally decide what kind of system would best serve all of society, (in books as well as any other industry), then agree upon behavior models which encourage a non-random, non-greed aligned growth of said system.

Because if we wait around for greed-based thinking to miraculously create healthy systems which don't result in restrictive, over-priced crap, we're going to be waiting forever. -We unerringly end up with frickin' Amazon. And rolling blackouts. And shitty healthcare. And most of the world living in conditions of slavery. Go "Free Market"!

The only people who sing the praises of the Free Market are idiots who don't realize how they're being used, and budding psychopaths who hope that they can scramble their way up the mountain of bodies and secure some of the top real estate and not have to share. Sharing isn't fun! The psychopath's happiness only comes if somebody else is doing the work and suffering.

The Free Market might work well if a significant portion of the intent going into it wasn't focused on taking at the expense of everybody else. Slavery. Remove the psychopathic element, add some basic requirements, (you have to not be a dick) and it could probably hold some merit. A bit of balance allowing for good ideas to rise to the top while preventing damaging results.

The law of the jungle is an evolutionary throwback favoring tigers and other predators. The monkeys, when they work together for the common good, have the ability to out-smart the free-for-all and do away with the fear of tigers. We have the ability to do much better than the Free Market allows, so long as we don't let tigers dictate the rules. We can, horrors, use our advanced brains to deliberately sculpt systems which favor positive results! Whoa!

Problem is, psychopaths look like us, and they're bent on Winning, which means everybody else loses. They love the law of the jungle because it favors them. They hate socialist practices, because it means they get shot at.

As they ought to be.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (0)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47787125)

It rewards psychopaths, results in shitty systems which punish the public and takes the creative principle for ransom.

Bwahaha you slackjawed imbecile, you realise you've just described the actual outcomes of everything marxist?

and budding psychopaths who hope that they can scramble their way up the mountain of bodies

For reals, over 100 million people would like a word. And they seem a bit pissed.

Possibly just maybe your polisci 101 lecturer wasn't giving you an honest education, dipshit.

Food for thought.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about three weeks ago | (#47787177)

Bwahaha you slackjawed imbecile, you realise you've just described the actual outcomes of everything marxist?

Bwa-ha-ha you slack-jawed imbecile, you realize there are more possible ways to structure an economy than capitalist so-called "free markets", and Marxism-degraded-into-Stalinism-or-Maoism, right?

On maybe, like most Americans brought up on a century of Red Scares, you don't.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (0)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47787223)

Go ahead and ask the average person in Eastern Europe what they think about marxism and they won't be long setting you very straight indeed, tms. But of course they weren't doing it right were they. Nobody seems to do it right, despite millions dying. Odd, that.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about three weeks ago | (#47788609)

It rewards psychopaths, results in shitty systems which punish the public and takes the creative principle for ransom.

Bwahaha you slackjawed imbecile, you realize you've just described the actual outcomes of everything marxist?

And the MPAA, RIAA , IPFI and the goverment of Taiji, wakayama prefecture of Japan

Re: Comfortable, were we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47788387)

Idiot, free market has served people well for a few thousand years.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47788771)

If I had a time machine I would drop you into 1932 Berlin. You would have a good job, and a nice house. You'd speak excellent German. best of all you would be blond haired and Blue eyed. You would get to witness first hand one of the best tries at socialism by one its best practitioners. Oh you would be able to speak Russian too, so in 1945, you could go live in Uncle Joe's country as well. He was the best of all of the socialist practitioners. His society lasted from its founding in 1917 until the 1990s. You should really enjoy it. Expect for oh, the four million dead during the holocaust, the millions dead during the destruction of Germany in WW2 and the slaughter of the Russians prior to Uncle joe's death.
So let me clear things up since you don't have a grasp on reality:
It is human nature to be a dick or bitch
If you get really good at it you become a sociopath.
Every successful socialist has been a sociopath. Their documents prove it. How about reading other things Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote. Or research the fact that neither were ever involved in much other than revolutionary events, journalism, philosophy. You know where they got their money from? first his father, who was a wealthy capitalist cotton producer. Then it was stolen, via those revolutions, from the very workers they claimed to support.
As for Engels personality. He was the 19th century equivalent of our hard partying celebrities. He hunted, listened to music, went to parties, drank copiously. And died in poverty, just like Marx did. Marx or Engels were not successful socialists because they were like if one of our movies stars hid the fact he worked crushing rebellion in china.
Now, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler were very successful.
TL;DR Socialism wont work because human nature is to fuck people over, own our own stuff and hoard things. It hasn't changed in 5000 yrs and everytime someone tries its causes death. pain and suffering.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about three weeks ago | (#47785891)

Why should it be easy? Amazon didn't have it easy.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785741)

So you ARE unsure of the concept.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785749)

What praytell is preventing them from starting their own Amazons?

Reality. It will be impossible to break Amazon's control of e-book publishing with a few exclusive titles.
Search results will favor Amazon and they can easily out advertize and undercut any competition (and then claim its for the poor starving students).

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about three weeks ago | (#47787843)

Well that's it, I guess once someone large exists there will be no stopping them and we should not even try. Even if we have access to capital that would rival them. Amazon is listed for around $30b net worth, while the publishing industry does billions a year, and has multiple billionaires owning publishing companies.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about three weeks ago | (#47787799)

Would be kinda interesting having an eBay for talent like that. The more busy or talented they were the higher the price.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about three weeks ago | (#47788593)

What praytell is preventing them from starting their own Amazons?.

The major publishing houses, freedom of speech and a billionaire who knows how to conduct business in the countries with the highest corporate tax on the planet.

Re:Comfortable, were we? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785827)

Compete with a company that pays virtually no taxes and whose share holders don't mind that it does not make a profit?

Marketplaces also sorta tend towards monopolies (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about three weeks ago | (#47785561)

Every marketer and customer gets some easy benefit from a single marketplace to go with the most customers(for marketers) or marketers(for customers), maximizing the competitiveness of their respective markets. In the physical world, this naturalmonopoly is mitigated more than a little by the utility of physical proximity.

It's a bit like how social networks are successful because that's where all your friends are, but more complex since it involves multiple kinds of participants.

Amazon has filled that role online, particularly for books. And that advantage is can be leveraged for quite a premium. I'm not sure I see a nice clean solution to the problem either.

Editorial control of the monopoly market (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786287)

Every marketer and customer gets some easy benefit from a single marketplace

Until the single marketplace uses its market power to exclude sellers entirely from a market. This has allegedly happened in the markets for iOS apps and console games. What editorial power does Amazon exercise over its Kindle store, other than to remove obvious copyright infringements and erotica [slashdot.org] ? Is the "preference to publishers with larger ebook catalogs" a way of dealing with the likes of VDM [slashdot.org] and 30 Percent Fewer Shades of Grey [yahoo.com] ?

Re:Editorial control of the monopoly market (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about three weeks ago | (#47786471)

Until the single marketplace uses its market power to exclude sellers entirely from a market. This has allegedly happened in the markets for iOS apps and console games. What editorial power does Amazon exercise over its Kindle store, other than to remove obvious copyright infringements and erotica [slashdot.org]? Is the "preference to publishers with larger ebook catalogs" a way of dealing with the likes of VDM [slashdot.org] and 30 Percent Fewer Shades of Grey [yahoo.com]?

What do you think is going to happen when Amazon runs everyone else out of business?

Re:Editorial control of the monopoly market (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786925)

What do you think is going to happen when Amazon runs everyone else out of business?

That depends on what you think keeps other companies from going into business.

Re: Editorial control of the monopoly market (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about three weeks ago | (#47787941)

That depends on what you think keeps other companies from going into business.

Right. All another company has to do is make distribution deals with all the major publishers, get people to give up their e-ink readers and make apps for every major platform....

And then Amazon starts back selling below cost just long enough to run them out of business...

That should be real easy....

Re: Editorial control of the monopoly market (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47788301)

All another company has to do is make distribution deals with all the major publishers

Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant from the perspective of a publisher seeking to distribute its own works.

get people to give up their e-ink readers

How closely are e-ink readers coupled to their respective stores? Can they not read epub or mobi format?

and make apps for every major platform

Which major platform doesn't already have a reader for epub or mobi format?

Re: Editorial control of the monopoly market (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about three weeks ago | (#47788911)

You really think major publishers are going to give up their DRM? Even if you assume they will, are customers suppose to go to 8 different websites and know which publisher publishes which book?

If you don't like what Amazon is doing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785585)

If you don't like what Amazon is doing to these 'poor' publishers then shop elsewhere.

You can buy books from other bookstores but you can't by one publishers book from another publisher.

Re:If you don't like what Amazon is doing.. (1)

neoritter (3021561) | about three weeks ago | (#47785757)

That's what I do, pretty much if there's something I know I can get somewhere else than Amazon, I get it there. Books, clothes (for the most part), games, computers, etc.

Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse. (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about three weeks ago | (#47785595)

Time to sue Apple again and make sure there is zero viable competition remaining for eBooks. Make that rubble bounce.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (3, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about three weeks ago | (#47785739)

Apple was only ever competing in the eBook industry on their own devices - and they were hurting the rest of us reading eBooks on other platforms.

When I can read my Apple eBooks on anything other than an IOS device, then they are in competition, until then they are just a negative on the industry as they are treating IOS as the entire market when dealing with publishers, which affects me over here on a platform Apple will never touch.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | about three weeks ago | (#47785807)

When I can read my Apple eBooks on anything other than an IOS device

You can also read it on any Apple computer.

The point is there was competition, without competition consumers eventually suffer. it doesn't matter if that competition is on devices from a particular company.

It's a shame you are too short sighted to understand this simple fact. You are the very definition of the phrase "those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it".

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about three weeks ago | (#47785959)

Oh wow, on an *Apple* computer.

That makes all the difference! There is competition in the market!

Of course it fucking matters if the competition is only within one very small segment of the market, it means a much higher cost of entry for the consumer - to read my Amazon Kindle book all I had to do was download the free Kindle reading app on any one of my Android phone, Android tablet, Apple phone, Apple tablet, Windows Phone, Windows 8 device, Apple computer, Windows 7 computer, Blackberry or a web browser for the web reader. Or buy a Kindle.

To take advantage of your "competition" I would have to buy an Apple device...

If you can't see why that is important, then you are a retard.

Amazon is providing the better service, and they are doing it without meaningful competition. Apple are locking you into their hardware ecosystem and were raising the price I have to pay on another platform to do it.

Again, if you can't see why that is important, then you are a retard.

Apple brings no competition to the market at all, they compete in one relatively small segment and have no interest in providing any service to those not using Apple devices. Fuck them.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about three weeks ago | (#47786125)

Hey retard, are you making a career of utterly missing a point or what? Yes the kindle is on multiple platforms, DUH DUH DUH.

What that does not help you with at all is that time ten years hence when no competition remains even on niche platforms, and Amazon decides the price should really be 10 what you are paying now...

Good luck with your plan of reenforcing a dangerous monopoly!

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (1)

Kohath (38547) | about three weeks ago | (#47786255)

What that does not help you with at all is that time ten years hence when no competition remains even on niche platforms, and Amazon decides the price should really be 10 what you are paying now...

Fewer and fewer people read books every year. In 10 years, the market will be much smaller than it is now.

Plus, you're trying to pretend there will somehow be a monopoly on books. Or on electronic distribution of text. Because no one could possibly figure out how to print a book or distribute text without Amazon -- so they'll pay 10x what they're paying now. It's not even the tiniest bit realistic.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786381)

"Fewer and fewer people read books every year."

No, that's just you.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786377)

You should probably learn to realize when you're beat, kid.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about three weeks ago | (#47789473)

Which is why you are posting a response as AC so I won't notice and hurt you anymore... riiiiiiight.

Glad you realize when you have met your better - at least you've learned to retreat well. Next time make an argument that doesn't suck.

Hint: Multi-platform does not mean Amazon is competing against itself... what a tool.

I'll let you have the last response as idiots will go on without end or purpose.

Not a lot of phones (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786159)

to read my Amazon Kindle book all I had to do was download the free Kindle reading app on any one of my Android phone, Android tablet, Apple phone, Apple tablet, Windows Phone, Windows 8 device, Apple computer, Windows 7 computer, Blackberry or a web browser for the web reader.

True of books but not video. The only phones that stream Amazon video are the iPhone and Fire Phone. And because the Fire Phone is exclusive to AT&T, that's reduced to one if you happen to live outside AT&T's 4G coverage.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786453)

It doesn't matter if you personally "can't" take advantage of the competition that Apple provides; there are hundreds of millions of people who do, which is a large enough group that Amazon had to take note. (Shame on Amazon, their collaborators that inevitably included Google, and the corrupt or incompetent parts of the American legal system that have perpetuated their monopoly.)

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47787951)

Pretty pathetic, Dick.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786145)

You can also read it on any Apple computer.

"any current" yes, "any" no. If I could drag out my IIGS (joking) or even an older Mac, that'd be one thing, but it needs to be a sufficiently recent Mac.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786629)

Apple and ebooks, didnt they just settle a price fixing issue not long ago?
If memory serves, they conspired to RAISE ebook prices and ensure Apple always had the lowest price right (MFN Clause)?

JOBS:
"We’ll go to [an] Agency Model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway"

That sounds exactly like the type of "competition" the ebook market needs.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785809)

...because price fixing is just great!

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785939)

There has been zero viable competition for ebooks for quite some time now.
And guess what? Amazon's "monopoly/market power" doesn't hurt consumers, just publishers. I'm fine with that.

Re:Amazon riding rough over industry? One recourse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785961)

Apple was competing? I thought they got sued for doing the opposite?

Simple. Easy. (2, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about three weeks ago | (#47785659)

Boycot Amazon. I do, and a lot of people here in central Europe do ( although almost all of the boycotters do live in large cities, with easy access to book stores ). It is actually a physical delight to go, in persona, to a a book store, browse, take your time, and buy -- or place an order for something they don't have in stock. In the latter case, getting the phone call that "your book has arrived, Mr. Faustus" is delightful, too,

Re:Simple. Easy. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785775)

Those got driven out of America by big chains 30 years ago. Frankly, I don't enjoy books enough to ever want to deal with a B&M store as mostly what I am buying is technical books, I'd much rather have reviews from people in the field rather then some local bookstore proprietor taking a markup for friendly service. I'd much rather deal with amazon and I'm fine with them putting the screws to the middlemen in that industry after dealing with textbooks, karma is a bitch publishers.

Re:Simple. Easy. (2)

TarDruggan (3498481) | about three weeks ago | (#47785785)

You are correct it is a delight to go to a bookstore in person. What is not a delight is to pay the cost being charged for book. I rejoice for every brick knocked out of the publishers monopoly wall. Remember monopolies and high barriers to entry are the antithesis of capitalism.

Barnes and Noble (1)

tepples (727027) | about three weeks ago | (#47786169)

Is BN.com really that much more expensive than Amazon?

Re:Simple. Easy. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785867)

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the joys of brick and mortar bookstores. I worked at Borders back during its last gasps, and I heard a lot of the same things from customers. The reason they went tits up however was largely due to failure to price things competitively. Even with a decent employee discount I still mostly bought off of Amazon, because Borders refused to acknowledge that they were basically the only company out there that sold at MSRP. If I buy a lot of books (and I do) and I can get them for $3 cheaper per from Amazon, plus no sales tax, I'm going to be willing to wait the two or three days that shipping takes. Or buy $20 at a time and get free shipping.

I'm also an author, with my first book coming out in the next month or so. (Lulu, nothing fancy or impressive.) Without print-on-demand and online sales there's really no way that I would be able to put out a low interest niche market work: the economy of scale just isn't there to make it worth a real publisher's time. But being able to have a no overhead sales channel through Amazon it becomes possible for my book to be picked up by some of the small independent brick and mortar stores out there who service the target market. (Read: lets me put my voice, mediocre as it might be, out there when otherwise I never would be able to.)

So it's kind of a double edged sword, providing an outlet for us nobodies but requiring established business models to adapt or die. Adapt or die is good, I just hope the brick and mortar chains do instead of being stuck in the past.

The irony was.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786269)

They undercut Tower Books like a motherfucker out here in Sacramento before Tower finally went belly up in a manner very similiar to Border's eventual demise. One of the big things that got me going to Borders was their selection of RPG materials that were at a 10-20 percent discount compared to the hobby shops around the area, and the similiar discount for 'regular' books was just a bonus. Once Tower was run out they ran MSRP all the time which made it far less enjoyable. And unlike Tower they had a crappy selection of magazines. One of Tower's shining points was a pretty consistent collection of esoteric foreign magazines you'd never find in the US. From japanese magazines, to the odd british tuner mag, they had stuff from both shores on anywhere from a monthly to a bimonthly schedule, and even if demand was low they usually kept at least one issue on the shelves until somebody bought it.

Re:Simple. Easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786113)

Go in browse, then go home and order the book you want on Amazon for 30-60% the bookstore's price....

Re:Simple. Easy. (1)

gnupun (752725) | about three weeks ago | (#47788887)

Not viable long term for physical book sellers. Maybe they need to charge a token amount to allow you to browse their books/products.

Re:Simple. Easy. (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | about three weeks ago | (#47786135)

Ugh. So incredibly inefficient. I will consume and process orders of magnitude more information in my lifetime than you will by not clinging to outdated methods of information exchange. Its great that you enjoy it, but keep in mind all of those things that you like will make your books cost significantly more and you will get less information overall due to the physical overhead.

Re:Simple. Easy. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about three weeks ago | (#47786301)

Ugh. So incredibly inefficient. I will consume and process orders of magnitude more information in my lifetime than you will by not clinging to outdated methods of information exchange. Its great that you enjoy it, but keep in mind all of those things that you like will make your books cost significantly more and you will get less information overall due to the physical overhead.

Orders of magnitude more information? How is that possible? Few people have their reading rate limited by the time it takes to buy a book even if they buy it at a store, especially since prodigious readers tend to purchase more than one book per visit. But you somehow read at least 100 times more material than someone that buys books at a store?

I have a feeling that those that prefer to shop in a book store don't measure their reading effectiveness in "words consumed per unit time", but in enjoyment of the book, including the selection process.

Re:Simple. Easy. (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about three weeks ago | (#47787237)

That selection process however is far more limited that what you can find on Amazon. It's nice to enjoy nostalgia but that doesn't mean everyone else does or should.

Re:Simple. Easy. (2)

nblender (741424) | about three weeks ago | (#47786457)

A pleasure no longer available in my city. The small bookstores were pushed out of the market decades ago by big conglomerates like "Chapters" and "Indigo". "Chapters" has since bought "Indigo" so now there's really only one retailer in the city that sells books, at a dozen locations... The problem is, they also sell scented candles, scented notepads, scented plushies, scented pillows, scented throws, etc... So the place is a veritable onslaught to the senses... My wife and I can endure maybe about 5 minutes in the store before we're sneezing and our eyes are all puffy...

So now we just order online, sometimes from Amazon.

I will always remember the smell of an old independant bookstore...

a physical delight (3, Insightful)

Anomalyst (742352) | about three weeks ago | (#47788707)

a physical delight to go, in persona, to a book store, browse

Unless you encounter bookshelves where the fantasy and vampire stories are mixed with the science fiction. I get the urge to go mix the romance shelves with the mysteries in retaliation

Re:Simple. Easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47789581)

This is just another example of American bookrealist policies. Together we stand!

Amazon fan boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47785995)

Ah yes, a story like this one will bring out all the Amazon fan boys, eager to defend their Chosen One.

Re:Amazon fan boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786053)

Followed by the Amazon Haters... eager to bitch and moan about Amazon Fan boys and how they are sheep. *Rolls eyes*

Why should tech people care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786099)

Most of you fellows are pirating ebooks anyway, fuck the Japanese. :3

Why take sides? (1)

Kohath (38547) | about three weeks ago | (#47786197)

Book publishers who overprice books and take a big cut for filling an increasingly valueless role vs. retailing supergiant. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer people read books.

Just Bussiness (2)

fermion (181285) | about three weeks ago | (#47786299)

Amazon is trying to squeeze out publishers. Publishers have trouble competing in the ebook market because they publish physical books, so it it not a matter of if but when they slim down or fail. Publishers appear to asking for larger cut to pay for these inefficiencies, while taking a larger slice from authors even though the authors job has not become that much easier.

Established authors depend on the publishers to limit the availability of books. In the Amazon world with no incentive to limit the number of published books, and to limit titles to those who will sell many copies, many authors are going to be working at a loss. That may explain why evidence that authors are bieng paid less matters less that the thought that Amazon may be in control.

So there are no good guys and no bad guys here. Just people trying to make money. When books are gone we the next generation is going to miss then no more than we miss leather bond, gold leafed books with each section having a faux-hand-drawn calligraphy character.

Re:Just Bussiness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47787469)

Did you even read the article(s) ? It is Amazon who is restricting the supply of books, namely, books from publishers who won't pay up.

Of course the publishers could just move to a different provider. Except there isn't one. That's what "abusing your market dominance" means.

Re:Just Bussiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47787517)

When books are gone we the next generation is going to miss then no more than we miss leather bond, gold leafed books with each section having a faux-hand-drawn calligraphy character.

I have several books of precisely that type sitting on my bookshelf right now. Easton Press still makes books like that; they're obviously a specialty press, but they're still hanging in there. I'd miss them if they were completely gone.

E-Books... [shudder] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47786645)

Makes me glad I won't touch E-Books with a 10' pole. I realize the advantages, but I just can't overcome the fact that they are books that you could "lose" because a company went out of business, your device/account crashes or an overzealous judge decides to sign an order forcing the company to delete the books off users devices. When you can move your copies between devices without difficulty, they are in an open format, reasonably priced and making multiple backups is not an issue I'll be happy to start buying them. Until then I'll stick with good old fashioned paperback.

Re:E-Books... [shudder] (1)

dk20 (914954) | about three weeks ago | (#47788383)

As someone who is into ebooks... i see your point and unfortunately you are misting a few negatives:

- Publishers ability to remove books (amazon, 1984).
- DRM
- Inability/restrictions sharing a e-book, which is artificial and the real "paper" book doesnt have this issue.
- Many ebooks actually cost more then the paper version.
- Some publishers demand library's repurchase ebooks to account for the fact the paperback would have worn out.

The world's most protectionist economy (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about three weeks ago | (#47787227)

Japan is a heavily business-oriented society, but not in the free market way that we tend to assume. Most consumer markets are locked up by an oligopoly of the largest players. Competition is considered less important than tradition, and the everyday consumer considers it his patriotic duty to pay more for everything he buys so that the Japanese economy can be promoted. The only way for Americans to imagine what this system is like is to think of the US prescription drug model, extended to every market you shop in. Imagine paying pharmacy prices for computers and cabbages.

When you go there to live, you will be besieged by friends and relatives asking you to buy cameras and electronics "at Tokyo prices" for them. You need to tell them at the outset that a Nikon or a Sony product is a lot cheaper ordered through Amazon right at home than it would be in Japan. THIS is what those Japanese publishers fear from Amazon operating on their own soil.

Re:The world's most protectionist economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47787573)

You mean, the Japanese consider it to be more important that many people have employment at all those little companies, than one big company having control of a major market? Especially when that company is notorious for wringing maximum work for minimum pay from it's employees, and is not a Japanese company, to boot?

Sounds like the Japanese care more about their people as a whole than about letting someone come from outside and wring profit from their people.

The U.S. used to be protectionist, and we had a strong middle class and resilient economy. Then the free traders got their way, and the U.S. is well on its way to being a corrupt third-world hell hole, with a few rich people at the top to be our masters.

I salute the Japanese, and hope they eliminate Amazon from their shores.

Re:The world's most protectionist economy (3, Interesting)

fullback (968784) | about three weeks ago | (#47788199)

Sorry, but it is not "patriotic duty." I've lived in Japan for over 20 years and most markets are not locked up. There is a sense of community in Japan. Patriotism is not teary-eyed nonsense looking at a colored cloth. It's a sense of living within a society and doing things that benefit a society that's been around for over 1,200 years.

Japan is small, has no resources, half the population of the US packed into a place the size of California. Police don't kill people and a convenience store robbery (no one gets hurt) is national news.

The used book business in Japan is huge. People read in Japan; they like books and magazines. They like the touch of paper. It's the most widely read population in the world. People stand at bookstores and read and read and read. The pricing model assures that small publishers exist and a wide variety of books and authors can be published. They are not all gobbled up by conglomerates.

Japan can do business in Japan however it chooses.

Re:The world's most protectionist economy (0)

Jumunquo (2988827) | about three weeks ago | (#47788485)

I don't know if you realize, but your post is all over the place and at times refutes your own points.
1) You say it's not "patriotic duty," and then immediately explain how deep ingrained and important patriotism is to guiding Japanese behavior. Didn't you just agree with the point you were trying to refute?
2) Japan is very safe compared to California. Okay, I don't think anyone disagrees with you. Water is wet. Earth is round.
3) You explain that used books need to be kept expensive so that small publishers can make money easier ... except publishers don't get any money from used book sales. Maybe you meant new books? Also, this is what exactly they mean by protectionist, so you just proved the point.
4) Then you end with the statement - "Japan can do business in Japan however it chooses." See #2.

So as far as I can see, you totally agree with the first post in this thread, except that the first post says this is bad, and you say this is good.

How are the ratings manipulated? (2)

Jumunquo (2988827) | about three weeks ago | (#47788217)

The summary says:
"Amazon has launched a new rating system in Japan which gives preference to publishers with larger ebook catalogs (and publishers that pay higher fees)."
This is the main point of the post and yet there are not even a mention of how this rating system manipulation works in the articles linked? Online search just shows sites copying the same line from each other and again w/o explanation. Does anyone know?

Why do governments persist with book price-fixing? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about three weeks ago | (#47789125)

Its not just Japan, France and many other countries seem to have laws that limit discounting of books or fix their prices. Why do governments continue to maintain these restrictions?

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