Amazon Backs Down On Demanding Publisher Use Only Its Own Print-On-Demand Solution

from the stand-up-for-yourself dept

Back in 2008, we wrote about Amazon's questionable demand to book publishers that if they wanted to offer print-on-demand books, they had to use Amazon's own POD solution. A few months later, a class action lawsuit was filed, and after a judge refused to throw out the case, it looks like Amazon quickly agreed to settle (thanks Achura). Unfortunately, from the wording of the agreement, even though this was filed as a class action, it's not clear if it only applies to this one publisher or others as well. It is worth noting that Amazon is allowing the publisher to keep using alternative solutions and also agreed to pay the legal fees of the publisher. Amusingly, a monetary reward was on the table, and the publisher turned it down -- and wanted it written into the settlement that it refused to take money -- but Amazon didn't want that mentioned in the official settlement. Still, it seems unfortunate that at least one publisher had to go through all this trouble just to use the print-on-demand offering of its own choosing. And, while it's great for this one publisher, it leaves out the fact that many others caved in and agreed to deals that required them to only use Amazon's solution.

Filed Under: limits, print on demand, publishing on demand
Companies: amazon, booklocker

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  1. icon
    zegota (profile), 21 Jan 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: Kindle Is The Same Thing ... Single-vendor Lockin

    That's not actually true. Backing up your eBooks to your computer is officially supported. True, Amazon proved they can revoke your license -- but as long as you turn of your wireless connection, it's not an issue.

    You can't lend books with Kindle at the moment, but I'd expect that they will follow the Nook's lead and make this an option in the next version.

    Also, the "locked-in" to buying only from Amazon is not really true (it supports conversion from ePub and PDF using both official and unofficial tools), and it hasn't been true of iTunes for a long time (I don't use it often, but iTunes offers run-of-the-mill mp3s for almost all of its catalogue, right?)

    You're 100% right about not being able to resell them, but, unfortunately, I seriously doubt this will ever become a reality for digital goods, since it's too easy for companies to prevent.

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