Re: [telecom] Macmillan will sell e-books to libraries in pilot program at $25 per title

Now Macmillan, another one of the "Big Six" publishers, announced

> Thursday its new plan for selling e-books to American public > libraries. Macmillan now says its titles will cost $25 (by > comparison, some of its same bestselling titles in the Kindle store > go for $8 to $12)-and once acquired by a library, each will be > available for two years or 52 check-outs, whichever comes first.

My father used to say that "Every society in the history of the world has destroyed itself by graft and corruption". I didn't realize how right he was until now: the thought that my grandson might have to pay a fee to check out Tom Swift and His Electric Runabout from a library is proof of how myopic and vicious the publishing industry has become.

Of course, the bookbinders are swinging a double edged page-trimmer: as with the record labels that Steve Jobs put out of business, the printers are likely to find that "their" authors will soon discover that distributing manuscripts in electronic format pays better than relying on the typesetters who are sitting on top of a choke point in the distribution network.

In essance, limited-function readers are intended to enforce (at their owner's expense) the chokehold that the publishers have on connecting authors and readers, which the distributors have, up to this point, been able to sell by frightening new talents with folk tales of poor, forgotten scribes starving in the dark because they didn't sign over their works to the industry. However, it won't last: copyright protection is a phantasm that the kindlenook purveyors waive around to scare the young and impressionable, but (as with music), they know that it's a toothless boogeyman. Copying has always been a marginal cost to publishers, and it always will be. What they *really* want is to get a royalty every time /anyone/ reads a book, no matter what the delivery mechanism, from the instant it is written until the heat death of the universe.

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Bill Horne
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