12 October 2009

Why copyright is abused by booksellers

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 12 October 2009:

Australian Kindle users will have to pay about 40 per cent more than Americans for books on the Amazon e-book readers and the local publishing industry has expressed serious reservations about supporting the gizmo.

Given that the USD is worth less than 10% more than the AUD, one has to wonder why... The article quotes Amazon as saying that 'operating costs are higher outside the USA'. Is Amazon really trying to say it costs AUD$4 more to deliver a $10 book over an automatic purchase and delivery system? Oh please.

The Australian Society of Authors is advising members not to deal with Amazon on rather reasonable grounds though - apparently the deal to the authors and publishers is worse than the print version.

But there are still 'territorial lockouts' so Australians may not be able to buy books freely available overseas.

The final picture is that most of the players are shooting themselves firmly in the foot:

  1. Amazon is going to lose market share due to the poor deals it offers to the content creators and publishers;
  2. The market for other e-book readers is consequently wide open;
  3. Australian publishers are going to simply miss out on extra sales - the Kindle with wireless purchasing and delivery means that impulse purchases are easily made;
  4. Australian copyright law continues to block freedom of choice and create artificially high prices for Australians.