There is a lot of hoopala about the fight between Amazon and Macmillan. See here. Essentially the question is pricing of books and whether the publishers or Amazon decides the price.

I find the whole discussion very strange. Already many e-books are available online for free. Illegally but for free. How long before even 5$ would be too much for an e-book?

  1. A lot of music is available for free. But apple is still making a lot of money selling music. Similarly for movies and tv shows.

    For books, the kindle potentially also allows for reporting piracy. Your kindle could tell amazon about what’s on it everytime it connects (and similarly for ipad, and other book readers), so potentially they can report you to the equivalent of RIAA. So at some price point, it would be not worth trying to download a book for free. Since the cost of distributing a book online is much much smaller than the cost of distributing one physically, there is probably a lot of money to be made still selling books. Assuming that people continue reading books rather than blogs and twitter feeds. Eventually, amazon would probably prefer to move to a monthly subscription model.

    • I agree – Amazon/Apple are making/will make money. But like the music industry the future for the book industry is grim if people move to e-books.

      There are many e-readers, and all of them except one does not report to amazon. It is clear Amazon is not going to be the only player in this market…