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Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0 Kudos

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


keriflur wrote:

To reiterate Toastr's point, the legality of the agency model is irrelevant to the DoJ suit.  Irrelevant.  Should I say it again?

 

The DoJ has stated that they are suing over the collusion that was all but admitted to when the model went into play, and then again by Jobs to his biographer.  If someone would like to link to a document (not wikipedia) that indicates otherwise, please do so now.


The pricing model that was implemented by Apple and the publishers was a violation of the Sherman Act.  It was illegal.  The DOJ complaint says so explicitly.  Not Wikipedia, the actual complaint.

 

I think we are confusing the notions of The Agency Model vs. an agency model of pricing.  The first is clearly illegal, and the DOJ says as much.  The second certainly isn't, especially in some industries, but (so far, at least) not in the publishing industry.  Is that incorrect?  Has an agency pricing model in the publishing industry been ruled legal by any court with jurisdiction?  If it has, why haven't we seen it before 2010?  If we have seen it, please provide a reminder.  Some of us must have forgotten. 

 

Does anybody believe that the DOJ would have filed a lawsuit if Apple and the publishers had colluded over which novels should win which literary awards, or over where they should hold their annual golf outing?  The suit is about price fixing, regardless of the method employed.  It is illegal to form an oligopoly and fix prices.  This practice used to be enshrined in laws called "Fair Trade Laws," and there have been a number of court rulings (pro and con) about them.  I happen to be old enough to remember them.  Most of you probably are not. 

 

keriflur, you have asked for a source other than Wikipedia.  Here is a repeat of a portion of one of my earlier posts:

 

"The original complaint, in PDF format, that was filed by the US Department of Justice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York can be found at:"

 

http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f282100/282135.pdf

 

 

EVERYTHING you need to know about the position of the governemt in this case can be found first-hand within this document, and it comes directly from the Department of Justice.  It might be helpful if more folks read it. 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case

[ Edited ]

bklvr896 wrote:
Keriflur, I agree, I want good, well written stories. I dont care about bundling or a used ebook market, i just want good stories. I also don't want delayed releases of the ebook version of a best seller, which is a likely outcome of this.

bklvr896, I think we all want good, well-written stories.  The question is, do we want to pay excessively high prices for them?  That's what this case is all about.  If the "standard" e-book price had remained at $9.99, there would be no antitrust litigation.  No settlements.  Probably little or no angst on these fora. 

Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,771
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


deesy58 wrote:

bklvr896 wrote:
Keriflur, I agree, I want good, well written stories. I dont care about bundling or a used ebook market, i just want good stories. I also don't want delayed releases of the ebook version of a best seller, which is a likely outcome of this.

bklvr896, I think we all want good, well-written stories.  The question is, do we want to pay excessively high prices for them?  That's what this case is all about.  If the "standard" e-book price had remained at $9.99, there would be no antitrust litigation.  No settlements.  Probably little or no angst on these fora. 


Write a fiction novel good enough to get picked up by a major publisher in this market, or good enough to make enough money to be a full-time writer in the self-pub market.  Seriously.  Do that, and then come back here and tell me what your time was worth to you.

 

Probably the biggest misconception out there is that it's easy to make a living writing books, or that it's easy to write good fiction.

 

Sure, writing crap is easy.  But I don't want to read crap.  And I know what it takes to write a good novel.  It's not as easy as most people think.

 

If you don't have any taste and what to read the lowest common denominator, then don't pay for quality.  There are hundreds of thousands of self-pubbers out there selling their books for $1 that you can read.  I don't mind paying for quality and will continue to do so.

 

<keriflur looks lovingly at her $30 copy of The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Completely Fantastical Edition, that author/illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi signed just this weekend>

 

I also have some theories about what will happen if agency publishing goes away, and I don't think even the most agency-hating readers will like either option.  Scenario 1 leaves Amazon with a monopoly, and I don't think that's going to be all love and unicorns for readers.  Scenario 2 involves the pubs refusing to sell to Amazon and setting up their own ebookstores so that they can continue to set their own prices.  I learned this weekend that some pubs are already refusing to stock at Amazon.  So, be careful what you wish for.

Distinguished Bibliophile
patgolfneb
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎09-10-2011

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case

Deesy, I feel your response does not match what happens in the real world. 1. Parties frequently use the legal system as a tool to punish their former spouse, dragging it out causes expense, detnys aces to resources etc. The greater risk is that over time one party repeatedly brings new actions against the other, who cannot afford representation and is taken advantage of. I saw hundreds of cases where this happened. 2. One of the tools the state uses against state employee unions in my state is to keep appealing. Since unions have less power and resources, cannot strike, and it is a right to work state, the employees run out of legal funds and settle for greatly reducetd benefits. While taxpayers like this it is clearly not good faith. 3. I think your perspective on how laws are passed is naive. Lobbyists and activist dominate this process. Many laws which benefit a few to the detriment of most are passed this way. How do you think the removal of glass-segal, and other financial safeguards occurred. Finally I believe attorneys represent their client and few have any interest in truth or fairness. Winning is what drives far to many. Judges make finding of fact, they take no actions to research or find fact not presented. Ultimately witnesses, cops, have their own agendas and again resources for investigation favor the party with money.
Distinguished Correspondent
BearLion
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎02-10-2011

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


patgolfneb wrote:
Deesy, I feel your response does not match what happens in the real world. 1. Parties frequently use the legal system as a tool to punish their former spouse, dragging it out causes expense, detnys aces to resources etc. The greater risk is that over time one party repeatedly brings new actions against the other, who cannot afford representation and is taken advantage of. I saw hundreds of cases where this happened. 2. One of the tools the state uses against state employee unions in my state is to keep appealing. Since unions have less power and resources, cannot strike, and it is a right to work state, the employees run out of legal funds and settle for greatly reducetd benefits. While taxpayers like this it is clearly not good faith. 3. I think your perspective on how laws are passed is naive. Lobbyists and activist dominate this process. Many laws which benefit a few to the detriment of most are passed this way. How do you think the removal of glass-segal, and other financial safeguards occurred. Finally I believe attorneys represent their client and few have any interest in truth or fairness. Winning is what drives far to many. Judges make finding of fact, they take no actions to research or find fact not presented. Ultimately witnesses, cops, have their own agendas and again resources for investigation favor the party with money.
As a lawyer, I totally agree with this.
Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0 Kudos

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


keriflur wrote:

deesy58 wrote:

bklvr896 wrote:
Keriflur, I agree, I want good, well written stories. I dont care about bundling or a used ebook market, i just want good stories. I also don't want delayed releases of the ebook version of a best seller, which is a likely outcome of this.

bklvr896, I think we all want good, well-written stories.  The question is, do we want to pay excessively high prices for them?  That's what this case is all about.  If the "standard" e-book price had remained at $9.99, there would be no antitrust litigation.  No settlements.  Probably little or no angst on these fora. 


Write a fiction novel good enough to get picked up by a major publisher in this market, or good enough to make enough money to be a full-time writer in the self-pub market.  Seriously.  Do that, and then come back here and tell me what your time was worth to you.

 

Probably the biggest misconception out there is that it's easy to make a living writing books, or that it's easy to write good fiction.

 

Sure, writing crap is easy.  But I don't want to read crap.  And I know what it takes to write a good novel.  It's not as easy as most people think.

 

If you don't have any taste and what to read the lowest common denominator, then don't pay for quality.  There are hundreds of thousands of self-pubbers out there selling their books for $1 that you can read.  I don't mind paying for quality and will continue to do so.

 

<keriflur looks lovingly at her $30 copy of The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Completely Fantastical Edition, that author/illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi signed just this weekend>

 

I also have some theories about what will happen if agency publishing goes away, and I don't think even the most agency-hating readers will like either option.  Scenario 1 leaves Amazon with a monopoly, and I don't think that's going to be all love and unicorns for readers.  Scenario 2 involves the pubs refusing to sell to Amazon and setting up their own ebookstores so that they can continue to set their own prices.  I learned this weekend that some pubs are already refusing to stock at Amazon.  So, be careful what you wish for.


keriflur, you seem to be missing the point entirely.  I don't recall anybody writing or implying that writing books was easy.  Perhaps you could help us out by quoting the offending words.

 

Did somebody (besides you) say that writing crap is easy?  If a writer lacks talent or skills, that does not necessarily mean that he or she did not work very hard to produce a novel that turned out to be of very poor quality.

 

How did you switch the topic to quality, anyway?  The debate here was as to whether or not the name of the publisher has significance to most readers.  While I can't speak for most readers, I can speak for myself, and I simply do not care which publisher publishes a book and/or author that I like.  Period!  It has nothing to do with an assumption that quality automatically follows from certain publishers, and will not be found otherwise.  That argument is unconvincing on its face.  The implication that posters on this forum who are not all enamored by the name of a publisher "don't have any taste and what to read the lowest common denominator" is insulting and uncalled for.  Perhaps an apology would be in order.  

 

You are also attempting to misstate the nub of the problem with the DOJ antitrust suit.  Quality had absolutely nothing to do with the case.  E-books of all levels of quality were regularly being sold at a retail price of $9.99, and consumers seemed to be content with this pricing level.  Apple, however, found that a retail price of $9.99 was insufficient to meet its desired profit margins, and it intended to enter the retail e-book market. 

 

If you read the DOJ complaint (and you really should), you will see that the complaint states: "... the intense price competition that prevailed among e-book retailers in late 2009 had driven the retail price of popular e-books to $9.99 and had reduced retailer margins on e-books to levels that Apple found unattractive."  In the same paragraph, the Justice Department goes on to say that "... the Publisher defendants also desired to have popular e-book retail prices stabilize at levels significantly higher than $9.99." 

 

In the next paragraph, DOJ states that "This change in business model would not have occurred without the conspiracy among the Defendants."  The Wholesale Model would still be the norm in e-book pricing but for the conspiracy, led by Apple, that violated US Law. 

 

The complaint details the pricing agreement as: "All bestselling and newly released titles bearing a hardcover list price between $25.01 and $35.00, for example, would be priced at $12.99, $14.99, or $16.99, with the retail e-book price increasing in relation to the hardcover price." 

 

There is no disputing that this policy is/was harmful to consumers.  Regardless of the quality of the particular books, retail prices were to be driven upwards from $9.99 to as much as $16.99, with no change in underlying costs, and with no relationship to the quality of any particular e-book.  This is price fixing for the benefit of suppliers at the expense of consumers.  It is illegal.  Apple and the publishers should be hit with very large class-action lawsuits, and be forced to pay out significant settlements for such blatant disregard for the laws of our land. 

 

Although I find your theorized scenarios of Chicken Little and the falling sky, do you imagine that consumers would prefer to pay $12.99 for the same e-books that can be purchased from Amazon for $9.99?  Perhaps you should stand in front of Wal-Mart for a while and see where American consumers have placed their priorities.  Why would anybody with a modicum of sanity or intelligence pay significantly more than necessary for the exact same product? 

Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,771
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case

"How did you switch the topic to quality, anyway?  The debate here was as to whether or not the name of the publisher has significance to most readers."

 

Um, nope, that's the other thread.  THIS convo, while now completely off track (hmm, wonder who the thread derailer could be??), was originally about the ABA comments.  REREAD the related posts before replying, please.

 

Strange how so many of us want to talk about reading, but some of us don't seem to be doing any actual reading.

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0 Kudos

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


patgolfneb wrote:
Deesy, I feel your response does not match what happens in the real world. 1. Parties frequently use the legal system as a tool to punish their former spouse, dragging it out causes expense, detnys aces to resources etc. The greater risk is that over time one party repeatedly brings new actions against the other, who cannot afford representation and is taken advantage of. I saw hundreds of cases where this happened. 2. One of the tools the state uses against state employee unions in my state is to keep appealing. Since unions have less power and resources, cannot strike, and it is a right to work state, the employees run out of legal funds and settle for greatly reducetd benefits. While taxpayers like this it is clearly not good faith. 3. I think your perspective on how laws are passed is naive. Lobbyists and activist dominate this process. Many laws which benefit a few to the detriment of most are passed this way. How do you think the removal of glass-segal, and other financial safeguards occurred. Finally I believe attorneys represent their client and few have any interest in truth or fairness. Winning is what drives far to many. Judges make finding of fact, they take no actions to research or find fact not presented. Ultimately witnesses, cops, have their own agendas and again resources for investigation favor the party with money.


Well, Pat, it is called "the tyranny of the majority."  Our country is a representative democracy.  We elect people who make the laws, and we all understand that we must obey those laws.  If our lawmakers become corrupt and respond more to special interests than they do to the people, we always have the option of not re-electing them.  If 51% of the electorate gets all of their information from a single source (regardless of the nature of that source), and makes little effort to seek out the truth about controversial matters, then the other 49% have no choice but to accept the will of the majority. 

 

If you believe that the laws where you live are unfair, you are totally free to run for office and make changes.  Tell me, why were the "right to work" laws enacted in the first place?  Why are they found primarily in Southern and Western states?  Who do they hurt?  Who do they help?  Is it good for America that the various states compete with each other to lure businesses away rather than competing with foreign countries like China, Mexico, etc.? 

 

Which lobbyists and special interests were responsible for passing the civil rights laws?  How about Medicare?  Have you ever donated to the campaign of a particular candidate?  If not, why not?  It is easy to stand on the sidelines and complain, but we have an obligation as Americans to participate in the running of our governments, at all levels.  Democracy is not a spectator sport, IMO. 

 

Nobody said that lawyers have to be fair, but judges do. 

 

I don't know anything about divorce laws, but I am a bit familiar with labor laws.  I seem to recall that, for many years, public employees weren't even allowed to form unions at all.  Even after they were allowed to organize, they generally were not allowed to strike because it was against the public interest.  In fact, even some non-public unions were prohibited from striking.  One example is the prevention of the railroad unions from striking during the Truman Administration.  The Taft-Hartley Act gives the President the right to order striking workers back to work,  It was exercised by President Eisenhower in 1959 when the United Steelworkers struck the steel industry.  Do we not remember President Reagan firing 11,000 Air Traffic Controllers after they declined to return to work after his order?  That was in 1981.

 

The general climate in the US has been anti-labor for many years.  It does not appear to be about to change anytime soon. 

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0 Kudos

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case


BearLion wrote:

patgolfneb wrote:
Deesy, I feel your response does not match what happens in the real world. 1. Parties frequently use the legal system as a tool to punish their former spouse, dragging it out causes expense, detnys aces to resources etc. The greater risk is that over time one party repeatedly brings new actions against the other, who cannot afford representation and is taken advantage of. I saw hundreds of cases where this happened. 2. One of the tools the state uses against state employee unions in my state is to keep appealing. Since unions have less power and resources, cannot strike, and it is a right to work state, the employees run out of legal funds and settle for greatly reducetd benefits. While taxpayers like this it is clearly not good faith. 3. I think your perspective on how laws are passed is naive. Lobbyists and activist dominate this process. Many laws which benefit a few to the detriment of most are passed this way. How do you think the removal of glass-segal, and other financial safeguards occurred. Finally I believe attorneys represent their client and few have any interest in truth or fairness. Winning is what drives far to many. Judges make finding of fact, they take no actions to research or find fact not presented. Ultimately witnesses, cops, have their own agendas and again resources for investigation favor the party with money.
As a lawyer, I totally agree with this.

Totally?  Really?  Have you read the entire post?

 

Oh well, even lawyers are entitled to opinions I suppose. :smileyhappy:

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012

Re: American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble to weigh in on Apple ebooks case

Well, keriflur, here are your words:

 

"Write a fiction novel good enough to get picked up by a major publisher in this market, or good enough to make enough money to be a full-time writer in the self-pub market.  Seriously.  Do that, and then come back here and tell me what your time was worth to you.

 

Probably the biggest misconception out there is that it's easy to make a living writing books, or that it's easy to write good fiction.

 

Sure, writing crap is easy.  But I don't want to read crap.  And I know what it takes to write a good novel.  It's not as easy as most people think.

 

If you don't have any taste and what to read the lowest common denominator, then don't pay for quality.  There are hundreds of thousands of self-pubbers out there selling their books for $1 that you can read.  I don't mind paying for quality and will continue to do so."

 

So tell me, how did the subject of "quality" get introduced into a thread about price fixing and an anti-trust suit?  How is this not an example of driving the train off the tracks?